The Secret Recipe For Great Hiring is Finger Lickin’ Good, Y’all


Talent Acquisition Specialists, time to look in the mirror for 2017. How do you make your recruiting efforts sky-rocket? Let your hiring managers run the show.

Here are some of my fundamental beliefs:

  • Leaders fundamentally believe they are intuitively experts in people.
  • HR Pros fundamentally believe they are intuitively experts in people.
  • HR should not own a vast majority of HR functions nor should HR be measured in isolation for most corporate outcomes.
  • People want to do good work.
  • HR pros will never know more about a position than the hiring manager.

What does that mean for recruiters?

It means shifting the philosophy of the talent acquisition function. For years many recruiting teams have believed that they are failures if something goes wonky in the recruiting process. Why? Because that is our gig. Protect and preserve, a very human instinct. But it’s not your gig anymore. It’s “our” gig. You and the hiring manager. You and the company.

But aren’t recruiters the Subject Matter Experts?  

You better believe it. You need to know enough about recruiting to teach anyone involved in the process, everything they need to know about recruiting. However (and this is big) you have no authority at all over the hiring decision maker. And it is not your job to make that decision.

What is your role

You teach a man to fish. Or as Beastie Boy Adam Yauch said, “Give him some wood and he’ll build you a cabinet.” Yes you. The successful hiring manager will help you build credibility, trust, and a successful recruiting function.

So here are some quick things talent teams can do to make their hiring managers finger lickin’ good, y’all.

  • Before you get into “job requirements” the “interview process”, ask this ONE question: “What can the talent acquisition team do to make YOU successful in filling this job?” This one question will help you determine many things regarding next steps.
  • Do not believe you are smarter than hiring managers.  It is a gross misstep to generalize all hiring managers as the stupid ones and recruiters as the ones who get it. All involved are smart and trying to do the right thing.
  • Assume leaders are time-strapped. This can lead to fuzzy thinking. Not because of lack of cognitive ability, just time to make a thoughtful decision. Go into this knowing it is your job to provide tools to mitigate time issues.
  • Consider changing recruiting incentive programs. If this is a true partnership then the recruiter and hiring manager need to be incentivized together. If any of you have done this I’d LOVE to learn more.

There are many more steps to creating a successful recruiter/hiring manager team. And I am not suggesting it is easy. However, creating anything finger lickin’ good is never easy. But, just like the Colonel’s 11 herbs-and-spices, once you get the mix right, there is enough success to go around for everyone.


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