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Communicating the recruitment process: dos and don’ts

In many companies, hiring responsibilities in the recruitment process are shifting from Human Resources to distributed teams of hiring managers. These managers will be making calls on candidate sourcing, recruiting, interviews and ultimately, they’ll be doing the hiring. As companies scale, people operations decentralize, often producing better hires. However, Human Resources directors and managers are still responsible for communicating hiring processes and philosophies.

Here’s how you can make your recruiting process crystal clear to your company’s hiring managers:

Do be clear about the role of hiring manager 

As more senior leaders in your company grow their teams, it’s important that they know how their role in the hiring and recruitment process works in tandem with HR.

If people in your company are hiring for the first time, it’s a recruiting process best practice to sit down with them and address their particular needs. How quickly are they looking to make a hire? What are their key requirements? And most importantly, how do they plan on assessing their candidates?

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You can quickly get your hiring managers up to speed using a hiring process orientation packet that includes:

The overall hiring philosophy at your company

By crafting a hiring mission statement or recruitment policy with buy-in from your company, you can help inform all hiring decisions. Some famous hiring philosophies include:

“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person.” – Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook

“If you always hire people who are smaller than you are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. If, on the other hand, you always hire people who are bigger than you are, we shall become a company of giants.” – David Ogilvy, Ogilvy & Mather

Some companies, like AppNexus, have such a clear hiring philosophy that they make it accessible to all their potential applicants.

Any recruitment and selection processes that are non-negotiable across departments

In order to ensure fair and compliant hiring, you’ll likely have some HR plans and processes in place. Whether each candidate has to go through an official phone screen, have a meeting with the CEO or do a skills assessment, these nuances should be communicated upfront.

Any hiring policies, both company-enforced and legal

Background checks, communicating with references, non-disclosure agreements, invention disclosure, tax requirements – these are just a few examples of the many legal requirements candidates may need to go through before they’re hired. Though HR will handle most of this part of the hiring and recruitment process, giving hiring managers the proper information they need to share with applicants and new hires will make everyone’s jobs easier.

Sample job descriptions, interview questions and salary information

Depending on their exact role in the recruiting process, hiring managers may need help creating job listings. By giving them an example job description to modify, you can set expectations for length, language and style. Sample interview questions can help avoid awkward moments and provide an anchor for keeping interviews on track. And by providing candid salary information, you can empower hiring managers to discuss one of the most sensitive aspects of hiring.

Don’t stifle each department’s needs

It can be tempting to try to implement something across the board that worked in the recruiting process for one department. However, the process of hiring a new salesperson is different from the process of hiring a new backend developer. Hiring managers, even those who are starting the hiring and recruitment process for the first time, will have good ideas about how to assess who will be a good fit for their teams. Let them propose sourcing strategies, interview questions and skills assessments that, combined with recruiting process best practices, may yield stronger candidates.

Do have a consistent interview process

Even though interviews naturally vary between departments, having a consistent attitude and rubric for interviews will deliver more effective results. Structured interviews allow interviewers to get the most quantifiable results. These results will allow you to test and create a high-quality interview process. During a structured interview, you ask all candidates the same questions in the same order. Questions should be linked to job skills detailed in the job description.

TutorialStructured interview questions – Tips and examples for hiring

If you opt for a more casual interview process, it’s important to ensure that all candidates are treated equally. Consistency is helpful, even for causal processes. How many interviews should you conduct for each hire? Are phone screens 10 minutes or 30? Do you ask for work examples before the first interview, or after? When assessing the KPIs of hiring, even in a more relaxed environment, asking and answering these simple questions can be useful.

RelatedRecruitment process effectiveness metrics FAQ

Don’t keep secrets

The recruiting process can be tricky and your approach could feel personal, but it’s not in your best interest to keep secrets about your process from your hiring managers. If you discover something about a candidate during your recruitment and selection process—whether through a phone screen, background check, or reference call—it could be a crucial factor. It’s important to share information about your candidates throughout the process. Hiring should be a two-way conversation between Human Resources and hiring managers, and neither of you should be left in the dark. Be sure to check in with your hiring managers before and after each step of the process, answering their questions, and making sure you’re on the same page.

On the other hand, if you see questionable behavior from a hiring manager, don’t be afraid to speak up. Hiring biases are an unfortunate reality, and can negatively impact a hiring decision. Combating nepotism, cronyism or other kinds of preferential treatment of particular kinds of candidates is a responsibility that falls on Human Resources.

Do be a support system and resource

When your hiring managers hire their first new team members, they’ll inevitably look to you for guidance in the hiring and recruitment process. But they’ll also crave autonomy and respect for their decisions. Hiring managers, more often than not, know who will work best for their team – they may just lack technical knowledge of the hiring process the first time round. Approach each hire as a partnership, with clear guidelines and expectations for who is responsible for recruitment, interview coordination, communication and other aspects of hiring. By building a mutually beneficial relationship between hiring managers and HR managers, hiring at your company will become smoother and more effective.

Don’t miss: The recruitment process: 10 things you need to master to succeed

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