If you've ever experienced hiring managers circumventing human resources in an effort to fill vacant positions in their departments quickly, you're far from alone. In fact, many HR managers and directors report that their hiring managers have gone around HR because they claim that the HR department doesn't understand their needs and resolve their issues. Sound familiar?
Even though sometimes these rogue hiring managers have a point, it certainly doesn't give them the free range to leave HR out of the process - particularly when the primary responsibility of the HR department is to find, nurture and develop talent for the entire organization. So, how do you encourage your hiring managers to stop going it alone when it comes to meeting their staffing requirements?
Step 1: Understand Your Business and the Needs of Your Hiring Managers - Take a few moments to assess how well you understand your business. Do you know who your company's core customers are? Do you know the challenges they face? Do you know who your competitors are, and how their performance differs from yours? If you've answered no to any of these questions, we encourage you to conduct some quick research and open a dialogue with your executive team to give you a better understanding of your business. By developing your knowledge of your industry, you will be in the best position possible to anticipate trends and identify common challenges that can directly affect your workforce.
From there, think about how HR is perceived by your hiring managers. Maybe they feel HR is incapable of providing them with qualified candidates. Or, perhaps they feel that your department's interview process is too slow in helping them secure the talent they need to fill vacant positions. Whatever the case, make it a point to meet with your hiring managers to get their thoughts on what HR is doing well, and, more importantly, what can be done better to make the process more efficient and effective. Having a firm grasp on your business ensures such conversations are both smooth and productive.
Step 2: Develop a Comprehensive Strategic Hiring Plan - Once you have a clear understanding of your business and the needs and expectations of your hiring managers, it's vital to create a strategic hiring plan to ensure you are targeting and securing high-quality talent. Make sure that your strategic hiring plan looks far beyond the obvious tasks of sorting through stacks of resumes and scheduling interviews, and includes elements like employer branding and social recruiting to boost your chances of producing perfect candidates who will (hopefully) become loyal, long-term employees.
Step 3: Help Hiring Managers Anticipate Needs - Leverage your strategic hiring plan, which should include evaluations for business fluctuations, to help hiring managers identify talent gaps before they become problematic. For example, if one of your customers just scheduled a large order that they need filled in six months, you probably need to ramp up your staffing efforts now in order to meet the deadline and satisfy your customer. Additionally, if one of your key employees is looking to retire in the next 12- to 18-months, identify steps to talk to the employee about their retirement plans, and begin working with your hiring managers to promote from within the organization or find and onboard a candidate that posesses the skills and experience required to keep your businesss running smoothly.
Step 4: Make Sense of Dollars and Cents - We've all heard stories of new hires that only lasted a couple of weeks because hiring managers "went with their gut" and hired a prospect quickly to fill an urgent need, rather than "go through the time and hassle of dealing with HR." Unfortunately, those cases often cost the company a great deal more in terms of time and money, as the hiring process needs to be repeated. In such cases, hiring managers are piling on additional expenses, though they likely don't see that is the case. That's why it's important to educate them on the true cost of hiring an employee, and how those costs differ when the appropriate process (with the support of HR) is followed versus the additional time and effort spent when hiring managers take matters into their own hands.
Step 5: Listen, Act and Communicate - Having a plan doesn't mean that your business will be immune to events and situations that occur outside of its scope. Far from it. For these reasons, it's important to maintain regular contact with your hiring managers, listening carefully to the concerns and requirements they share with you. When they convey a need, act quickly to address and meet the demand - whether it's a quick email to recap a conversation in the hall or a rough draft of a new job description - to demonstrate that HR is not only listening, but partnering with them to find talent for the organization.
Step 6: Repeat the Process - Because businesses and needs within an organization evolve, it's critical to review your plan with leadership and hiring managers annually, making adjustments as warranted, to ensure your business continues meeting the demands of your customers and your industry.
After reviewing the steps above, are you wondering how to begin assessing the needs of your hiring managers and develop a strategic hiring plan? We're standing by to help you take control of your organization's talent acquisition process.