When I get word that a new job opening is coming down the pike (for example, a senior engineer), the first thing I start to do is some personal research. The majority of the team is senior engineers. Just because a senior engineer left, why is the need typically an identical backfill? A lot of the senior engineers currently on the team have mentioned to me that they want an opportunity for mentoring. What about a more junior person that can be molded and has a higher willingness to learn and change?
After I think about the role more, with the details that I do have, I start preparing for my kick off meeting with the hiring manager. I jot down some research I found on what senior engineers are making, where they are likely located, and look at my network/pipeline to see if I can bring any profiles with me to the meeting.
Here’s what I like to ask the hiring manager in our kick off meeting:
- How much do you have budgeted for the base salary?
- Is relocation or sign on bonus an option?
- How much travel is involved?
- Does this person directly manage anyone?
- What are the team dynamics like? How would you describe your team culture?
- What are your must haves, what are your nice to haves?
- What will be the new hire’s biggest challenge as they assimilate into the org?
- Describe your management style
- What are some current team priorities or projects? (if they aren’t proprietary)
The above questions will help give you what you need to start the search! When hiring managers just provide you with a job description, or a list of traits/skills they think they HAVE to have, this is where the process can go wrong. You may go down the wrong path and need to have an additional meeting to reconvene and figure out the true need. Be prepared to educate the hiring manager on why just providing you with the job description isn’t enough to make the process successful.
Without a kick off meeting, understanding where the hiring manager can give and take on years of experience, skills, etc. and a strong commitment to communicate during the process, finding a great hire will take longer and there will be more frustration. Chose to align with your hiring team in the beginning, let them know you are there to help them, and that you have the same goal they do – to find a great hire to bring on to the team! I make sure to always offer tips in a positive light and explain the benefits. I’ve found the consultative approach to work best - not “you should do this” – it’ll be harder to create that partnership and build trust. Be a TA business partner. Not just a recruiter. Don’t default to making excuses to why a search is hard. Whether you are in house, or agency: build those relationships. Get to know your businesses. The outcome will be so much more rewarding.
Full version originally posted on Claire Petrie blog.