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  • Rachel Doyle

Why hiring managers need recruitment training support yet often they're untrained

The role of a manager or supervisor is crucial for an overall business success. They are responsible for delegating tasks across the team, ensuring they all work well together and achieve the company’s overall goal. Managers are often found juggling multiple responsibilities and, while good managers are great at directing a team, recruitment is a whole different ball game. Here, you don’t always have the luxury of seeing how the new hire will fare in the busy work schedule. Decision making is much more complex, especially if you are considering a personality fit and cultural fit into a business. If a line manager hasn’t been with the business for a long time, has limited experience of recruitment or if they have been promoted from within the team or company, they are unlikely to have the recruitment skills.

Interviews and screening needs to be carried out by humans

Recruitment is a human based skill as humans assess how other humans will perform in a role. It is also one of the areas where there is the least structure to an interview, an interviewer can ask any questions they wish of a candidate. Sometimes there will be competency based questions in relation to a role but if you get these wrong, or don’t personalise the interview to the individual, you can get varying results. This could see your inexperienced line manager rejecting a high potential candidate.

Invest in training to prevent conscious and unconscious biases

Our biases, more often than not, tend to be deeply rooted in our subconscious. Most people wouldn’t think of themselves as someone who’d discriminate against a candidate based on race, neurodiversity, or disability, however, the sad truth is that it happens all the time.

Line managers need recruitment training to help them recognise their own biases and ensure they don’t affect their hiring decisions. Looking at how minorities may be commonly discriminated against, learning to see beyond the standard interview questions and getting the best out of each candidate in an interview is an important skill set managers should develop. It is also important to think about these biases when reviewing CVs that have been selected and sent over. Consider whether social bias may be creeping into your decision making. Don’t overlook the potential of a candidate who has year’s of industry experience but limited further education and be confident to challenge an internal perception that all post holders must be degree holders from a particular type of institution. This excludes people on a social basis, those who couldn't afford to travel far from home to further their skills and knowledge or didn’t want to take on a debt that comes with a university degree.,

Training line managers in recruitment can help them to identify the necessary soft skills

Line managers who are inexperienced in the recruitment process can become too focused on technical skills and overlook the importance of a candidate’s soft skills. It can be far too easy to tick off a list of education credentials and relevant work experience, however, it takes a seasoned recruiter to spot the right talent based on soft skills. These will really make all the difference in how well the candidate gels with your workplace culture and can often impact the longevity of their career with you.

So, where can you start with identifying the necessary soft skills? Begin by analysing the skills your current team has. What makes them a success in what they do? What are the particular team dynamics that work? What personality traits can you spot that help them work together? Perhaps there is room for improvement – if so, what skills are missing that would complement the team?

When you get to the recruitment stage, ask the right questions that will help you gauge the candidate’s workplace personality. Encourage them to give examples of handling situations in their previous workplace, ask how they would respond to typical issues that you come across each day. It will help you to determine their problem-solving skills, communication, cooperation and how they cope with pressure.

How do they perform cross department?

If you are looking to build a high performing culture in your team and cross department - then you need to find ways to identify the best candidates to do this. You want to identify an individual’s integrity and emotional intelligence to build effective relationships with anyone regardless of title or position. Think about what would a great engaged business unit look like? If there are strong characters in other teams, what characteristics would your new recruit need to have to persuade those challenging personality types? Similarly if you have a stakeholder business, what sort of networking skills does your recruitee need to have? Have they worked in a stakeholder business before and if not, don’t discount them. Find out how they work and look at what skills they have to give them the ability to adapt to this new environment. Perhaps they need to have particular influencing skills? Can they demonstrate effectively how they have done this elsewhere and do you believe them, or does it feel like a pre learnt interview answer? Remember that social mobility can also indicate whether an individual has been able to access additional tools or training that would help them to perform better than someone who hasn’t in an interview. Can you identify good interview techniques that would help you identify each individual’s raw potential - not learnt behaviours? How might you be able to assess this in the interview? Perhaps you could look into their external work interests and identify how motivated they really are.

Line managers need recruitment training to offer valuable input

While HR teams are still in charge of the recruitment process, line managers can provide valuable insight into the skills they are looking for and the personality that would be preferable to hire. They are the ones responsible for their team each day and, provided they are given proper recruitment training, they can support HR in making decisions and actively get involved with the interview process. In some businesses it is the hiring manager’s decision that is final in terms of competency, HR would be able to identify business and cultural fit.

To contribute properly, it’s important for management to work closely with HR and undergo necessary training to give them a more rounded knowledge of the process. Interviews can be challenging, you may need to adapt your style depending on who you are interviewing. Given that we’re no longer living in the 80s - the good cop/ bad cop routine, or overly aggressive interview styles are out. Your interview needs to give the interviewee the opportunity to present the very best of themselves. If you spend most of the hour trying to trip them up, it’s unlikely that they are going to want to continue the interview process with you and it doesn’t give them a good impression of the business.

Read their CV beforehand and be prepared

Likewise, if you haven’t bothered to read the applicant's CV, they aren’t going to take too kindly to you getting their name wrong, or not having a clue about their experience. The interview will be much more effective with adequate and thorough preparation - it’s crucial line managers get to know the applicant profile ahead of time, so they can personalise the interview to them. Most HR teams would be very receptive to the input of line managers and it can also free up some of their time and efforts, therefore, employers are wise to invest in recruitment training for line managers.

How to get the best out of your interviewee

Best interview processes are those where you begin by setting the scene. Depending on the age of the candidate, the first few years’ or times being interviewed can be insanely nerve-racking. A usually calm individual can experience sweaty palms and a faster heart rate and generally just feel awful. The best thing you can do is give them the opportunity to shine. Create a relaxed introduction which enables you to tell them about the business, the opportunity and the team. Offer up information that they might be able to hook their experience onto, or just give them a greater flavour for the opportunity. Don’t jump in with “tell me a bit about yourself” - it’s a cold start to an interview.

You’re also being interviewed

It is wise to remember that you and the business are being interviewed too; particularly in a candidate driven marketplace - it’s best foot forward for everyone. Allow the interviewee to ask questions and give them an opportunity to find out more about anything they want to know about. Don’t just cut them off after having asked one question or tell them that time is up. If you’re enjoying the conversation, then allow them a bit more time to ask more, or let them know that if they have any questions which pop up after the interview, how they can get in touch to ask those questions.

When you start out your interviews, make sure you have thought of questions that will enable the candidate to show their very best selves to you. Research their experience and CV and identify how that might fit into your team and business. Gone are the days where they have to tell you what they bring to the table - you should know some of this already. This will help them to feel more engaged with you and the business. Show that you are interested in them and have done some homework on them (positively) and they will bring their best selves to the interview and be able and willing to demonstrate effectively how they fit into that dynamic. If they sit there and demonstrate little understanding or interest in the business, then you know that they aren’t serious about the role.

A rough estimate is that over 80% of hiring managers aren’t trained in recruitment

Huge statistic. That’s a big percentage of hiring managers that are free to interview however they see fit, without knowing how to get the best out of an interviewee. With the lack of standardisation offered by interviews, it is hard to know how fair each interview process is. If you leave your hiring manager to interview alone, or just with a member of their team, without HR intervention or support, you have no idea what type of experience your candidate is getting. As we have identified, 74% of businesses don’t ask what a candidate thought about the hiring process according to . More than this, over 30% of candidates have noted that if they have a bad experience in a recruitment process, they will be sure to tell other people, friends, family and potentially social media about it. That’s a lot of employer brand damage that can be done in a short period of time.

Struggling with pre-screening - talk to a recruiter

If you’re struggling to attract the right employees to the business or to find the best type of candidate then it’s time to bring in a recruiter. If you find an experienced specialist recruiter, who knows how to identify the cultural fit of a candidate to a business, they will save you time and money in your recruitment processes. At Auxeris we have a network of recruitment specialists who have years’ of experience, understand the market and have placed excellent candidates that have met their client’s brief and cultural fit. Find out more about how you can work with us to find your temp, temp to perm or permanent hires. At 15% fees, we’ll save you money whilst bringing you a first class service and will attract the best fit candidates to your business. Get in touch with us today!

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