In everyone’s career, there is a time that we stop following and start leading and pro-acting as an expert.
In the beginning of my career as a headhunter, I relied on my clients to help manage or even run the hiring process. In most cases, the search turned into a nightmare. Misunderstanding of critical specs, no feedback, guessing along the way. A total disaster. Candidates being turned down with idiotic reasons such as “I just didn’t get a warm and fuzzy” or “She never smiled” or “Won’t fit in our culture.” Job descriptions that were 2 paragraphs with more emphasis on lifting 5 lbs. than what the job really did.
Finally, I realized I was trying to be successful in an information vacuum. My role in the hiring process is to manage the process from start to finish. Information was the key. Before the hiring process can begin, it is imperative to establish the ground rules. Have all internal avenues been tried, have the postings expired with no results, and lastly what is the sense of urgency?
First and foremost, is the client really in need for talent or has the new addition or replacement just started in the thought process? Is this a replacement or newly created? Far too many hiring managers indicate they have a need, which has been approved, and really haven’t detailed exactly what skills, behaviors, experiences will succeed in the position. They may drift this opening to Human Resources and let them deal with the hiring process and then introduce the top two candidates, etc.
HR is given the ultimate burden to manage the internal hiring and interviewing process. When the communication with the hiring manager is weak, this hiring burden can drag on indefinitely or be driven by third-rate candidates. Then there is a realization to use a third party recruiter — usually chosen from friends or reduced fees.
If the transfer of information from the hiring manager thru the HR Manager is weak, then the headhunter is playing Russian roulette with non-qualified candidates and hoping to hit one that works. Both HR and the selected headhunter are working with a moving target.
Specific information is a must in order to make the hiring process work and result in the hiring of the best of the best. An informed recruiter can move the process and talent to fit the need and manage the success of the placement.
About the author
R. Patrick Perkins
President & CEO, The Perkins Group, Inc.
Pat Perkins formed The Perkins Group in 1985, a boutique national search firm providing executive managament and highly-skilled professional placements within niche industries and topgrading of aggressive companies. His areas of expertise include Operational (Lean/SS), Supply Chain, Materials, Marketing, Sales, HR, and IT upper management disciplines.