Teach Your Hiring Manager to Sell

Sometimes good candidates are won or lost in the interview. I started wondering why good candidates sometimes ran for the hills after an interview. And then I had my answer- it was a poor experience with a hiring manager. These days, recruiting is a group effort. A hiring manager can’t simply opt out of the process anymore and stumble blindly into a meeting only to completely muck it all up. Candidates today aren’t hungry enough to jump at any old position that comes along. They now demand transparency and communication. Candidates today are scouring the internet for information about your company, they’re looking at your team photos on social media, and they’re definitely reading reviews on sites like Glassdoor. In this time of scrutiny, it’s going to be difficult to compete if your hiring manager isn’t on board with the message. You’re going to have to teach your hiring manager to sell the company and sell the position.

Ditch the Inquisition and Sell, Hiring Manager, Sell!

In the old days, a hiring manager could largely opt out of the recruiting process. He or she could come in at the end, meet the top candidates and pick the one they wanted. Now, they also have to be on brand, on message. They have to worry about whether a candidate will post the questions they asked in the interview on Glassdoor. They have to worry if their position will sit empty because they weren’t as forthcoming about the company culture. Today, the hiring manager has to be involved in the recruiting process as much as the Talent Acquisition team.

So, what do you teach them and how?

  • Talent Acquisition must sit hiring managers down and go over the message. Whether a hiring manager knows it or not, every employer has a brand and a message that they want candidates to hear. This message should be authentic and in line with their talent brand. Ideally, a strong employer brand is supported by a strong talent brand. If the two are out of sync, your hiring manager may be driving candidates away. Teach your hiring managers the official messaging to connect recruiting efforts with a candidate’s experience interviewing. Do they know what differentiates your company from its competitors, what makes them unique in the market? They should be able to articulate all of this to a candidate as an extension of your employer branding efforts.
  • Teach your hiring managers how to interview. Frequently, the number one complaint we hear from candidates is that their interview was not good. Many hiring managers just don’t know how to interview. Beyond the top 6 questions your team wants to know about, your hiring manager should be able to make the experience great for candidates. Offer them training in interviewing techniques and teach them how Talent Acquisition is able to get the answers they want without the inquisition. Offer role playing scenarios to hiring managers seeking to apply these tools. Practice, practice, practice. With a little training and development, a hiring manager can become a very effective interviewer.
  • Review your company culture with a hiring manager. Many hiring managers are great employees, but they don’t quite know what the company culture is, let alone how to articulate it. By going over the intricacies of your company culture, you can position your hiring manager as an authority on the company. This information is critical to the candidate experience and can be the differentiator that causes a candidate to choose your company over a competitor. Teach your hiring manager how to discuss company culture in a positive and realistic way. If they’re trying to sell the company, they should be able to do so without faking it or making false claims. No new employee wants to start a position finding out that the laid back team they thought they were joining is really a high pressure high stress environment. Give your hiring manager the tools to discuss the company culture with candidates to set them up for success.

The old models for hiring are broken. Today’s candidates seek transparency, communication, and interaction with team members. An effective hiring manager can bridge the gap between Talent Acquisition and the company, offering candidates the insight they crave. Using these techniques, your company can sell the position and acquire the talent it desires

Author: Greg Rokos