Lots of recruiting managers are asking me to help their recruiters become more consultative, more proactive, and even acquire new skills like writing more marketing-oriented postings. They are demanding their recruiters have these skills and including them in performance appraisals. They are also asking for these skills when hiring new recruiters.
Interestingly, these changing expectations are not always being expressed. Hillary is a dedicated, hardworking Recruiter who successfully manages a very large req load with quite good statistics. Imagine her disappointment and surprise when she was passed over for an expected promotion. She was told she was not “consultative” enough for the new role—a term she doesn’t remember ever hearing her Manager talk about before this conversation. That skill wasn’t even listed in the job description.
In addition to not talking about expectations around new behaviors, I believe many Recruiting Managers:
- are not fully defining what success looks like with these new behaviors, and worst of all,
- cannot teach their recruiters how to acquire these new behaviors.
For example, a Natalie is a recruiter I’ve just started to coach who told me about a conversation she had with her Recruiting Director. She asked her how to deal with a hiring manager who seemed to treat her with distain (read: like an order taker), didn’t get back to her with vital information, etc. You may know the type!
Often the advice on how to deal with these situations is along the lines of:
- Push back.
- Take it.
- Address it with the hiring manager.
None of these is a true solution. “Pushing back” won’t build a relationship nor solve the problem on a long term basis; in fact it can often further damage a relationship. “Taking it” is what order takers are forced to do. And because you cannot force or dictate a working relationship, “addressing it” usually results in temporary cosmetic changes to the relationship you and the hiring manager have, without any lasting improvement.
In this case, the Director’s answer was “take it”, which of course just reinforces the order taker image. Not her fault; these aren’t skills that everyone knows how to do themselves.
Bottom line? Even if your Managers aren’t talking about these new behaviors and skills, don’t assume they aren’t thinking about them. Talk to your Manager about your goal to be seen as a Trusted Advisor by your Hiring Managers. Get that person to define the behaviors and results they expect from Trusted Advisors.
Spend as much energy as possible on building trusted advisor relationships with your hiring managers.
Everyone benefits—especially you!
P.S. Here are some great conversation starters when launching a new req with your hiring managers.
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