We're lucky to have Barry Flack, a talent leader who has run the show for companies like UBS and Primark, sharing his thoughts on the Beamery Blog.
Whilst I am not a big believer in the much fabled, McKinsey-inspired War for Talent, I am familiar with the lifelong battle for the love of the hiring manager. It's an altogether different phony war that has troubled many an internal recruitment function for as long as I can remember.
A subset of the wider HR team’s pursuit of the ‘seat at the table’, the recruitment function has been constantly on the lookout for ways and means to establish a working relationship that often resembles a grubby late night transaction leaving both parties feeling awkward and increasingly distant afterwards..
You see, like the tooth fairy, the Yeti and a successful England football team, there is no such thing as a hiring manager community. One day they’re blissfully happy in their job-related flow then with a sudden cold blast of disruption they are thrust headlong into reaction mode as a “temporary” hiring manager. And by and large, they bloody hate it.
It represents nothing more than a misalignment between a resigned, checked-out, soon to be departed team member, a frazzled wider team taking up their respective slack and a recruiter forced to recite a standard narrative that represents everything wrong with the priorities of the business at the time.
It is quite literally a menu of disastrous proportions:
2 weeks to advertise the role internally before going external. Never said or done with anything looking like conviction.
Then, as nothing of any quality begins to materialise, fear and panic sets in and it’s over to the standard job board of theirs (and everyone else’s) choosing, with the recruiter hanging on bravely to the coat tails of direct sourcing dogma.
A rather cheeky piece of deviance kicks in where, despite the PSL ordered by procurement to rule over the God of cost containment, the hiring manager begins to sneakily engage with external headhunters.
The more naive and desperate ones don’t truly understand the issue of contingent engagement and in a space where the incredibly small terms and conditions section at the bottom of the agency CV, means that £1,000s are being added to the potential bill to get a body. Any. Body!
Now for a moment imagine losing all this nonsense as a result of a CRM technology intervention that helps bring both parties together in perfect harmony.
The recruiter’s efforts in maintaining talent pools and puddles cuts completely through the traditional game of deviance and deceit above where PSLs are flung about like yellow cards and contingent agencies hide under the duvet.
Candidates reaching the business quicker and keener, have been brilliantly engaged, with relevant content and messaging and are in danger of entering the application process without bitching about a poor candidate experience to date.
This new-found time and space should produce the foundation for avoiding the issue of poaching brought about by traditionally clunky, drawn-out, recruitment processes.
The dialogue between recruiter and business focuses on targeted candidate engagement, with a CRM that allows both a single source of truth (helpful when engaging with a busy recruiter) and a reporting tool that’s not indulgently focused on the vanity of the recruitment teams statistics but informing the immediate hiring needs of the manager.
Whilst a beautiful CRM cannot necessarily guarantee you love, it does give meaning and authentic purpose to a mutually beneficial relationship between recruiter and hiring manager.
The recruiter gets to focus more on nurturing, candidate relationship and insight and less on the grunt work of data input and the stresses of distressed hiring. The manager closes the historic gap in time to hire with a pre-qualified candidate pool, focussing on selling the proposition and making best use of their time. And for that we should all be very grateful.
Until next time. What are you waiting for ?