Who should be responsible for hiring the right candidate?

Unless the newly hired person is going to work in HR it really isn’t HR’s responsibility. The hiring manager is the person who needs to take responsibility for hiring the right person for the vacant position. The right person may be an internal candidate or he or she may be a new candidate. (Note: the rest of this article will use he to mean he or she and him for him or her.)

HR may be the “bridge” between the recruiter and/or the hiring manager, but HR people usually have enough to do without trying to figure out what experience and skills the hiring manager really wants to see in candidates. HR may coordinate meetings with the recruiter and/or candidates if the hiring manager doesn’t have his own assistant to do this, and HR will often hold the final meeting with the candidate to finalize the hiring process, but this part of HR’s role should be just that – part of the overall process – but not making the hiring decision.

So what skills does the hiring manager need to make the right decisions about hiring the right candidate?

First, the hiring manager needs to have some method for screening the candidates so he is not wasting time interviewing candidates who are not suitable for, or interested in, the position. Some companies rely on HR to do this initial screening, but unless the HR person doing the screening knows the vacant job intimately, and knows exactly what sort of person the hiring manager wants, the hiring manager is going to waste time meeting unqualified and unsuitable candidates. This is where a solid relationship between the hiring manager and the recruiter adds so much value. When the hiring manager and the recruiter meet or talk a good recruiter will know the sort of questions to ask so he truly understands what the job is, the sort of person the hiring manager wants, and what the hiring manager wants to see in the way of performance from the newly hired candidate.

HR staffs are sometimes reluctant to introduce the recruiter to the hiring manager. This reluctance makes no sense at all. A good and well trained recruiter, which we pride ourselves on having at iSearch, isn’t trying to take over the HR staffs’ job, or downplay the importance of HR. He is in fact trying to help HR do their job more efficiently and free up HR’s time to have more time to do the tasks they are so proficient at or to even improve HR staffs’ work life balance by taking some of the work off of the HR staffs’ shoulders.

The hiring manager also needs to know how to interview candidates. Interviewing sounds like a simple process, but the reality is a poorly handled interview can cause a candidate to be completely turned off about the company and/or the job. Similarly, it can cause the interviewer to be turned off about the candidate.

One cause of a bad interview is using the job description as the primary determinant in selecting candidates. Interviewing on the basis of what the job needs, rather than what the job description states, is a better way to determine if the candidate is the right person for the job. Doing this also helps the candidate decide if the needs of the job match his goals for career growth.

Hiring managers should keep in mind that putting the right candidate into the job is a two way street. Both the interviewer and the candidate need to agree. In Japan’s candidate shortage market this is especially important to remember. Candidates often are interviewing with multiple companies and the interviewing skills of the hiring manager are critical to the process. This is another area where iSearch’s consultant can be an important partner.

Our consultants can talk to the hiring manager before the candidate meets him to give him the feedback from our initial screening of the candidate. At iSearch we will do our best to sell the candidate on your company and we can tell the hiring manager what the candidate’s “hot buttons” or concerns are to help the hiring manager prepare for the interview.

There is much more for the hiring managers to know and do and we will cover those things in subsequent articles. Meanwhile, talk with your iSearch Consultant to see how you and he, working together, can improve your company’s chances of hiring only the best candidates.

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