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Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions For Hiring Managers and Candidates

By Nicole Cox, Chief Recruitment Officer
With Tom Brennan, Senior Writer

New Year fresh start

Part One: Helping Hiring Managers be More Successful in Recruiting

New year, clean slate — always a great opportunity for self-improvement. In that spirit I’ll share some suggestions for both hiring managers (HMs) and candidates. At Decision Toolbox (DT) we believe the best recruiters aren’t just order-takers, but proactive business partners. With years of experience, recruiters are in a position to provide positive feedback to everyone involved in the recruiting process.

These suggestions, based on my own experience as well as that of DT’s recruitment team, are not just lists of things that frustrate recruiters (although they do). They are recommendations for avoiding actions that can, unintentionally, undermine the recruiting process — and for choosing actions that facilitate finding a good fit. In this first of four posts, we’ll start with five suggestions for hiring managers.

1. Look for potential, not perfection

You may very well get a better candidate by offering an opportunity for a strong supervisor to step up to the manager level. Yes, it may mean you’ll need to invest some time in coaching and, yes, I know you’re busy. But if someone has been doing this same job for five years, why would they want to come and do it for five more? And if you’re going to insist on finding a CPA with Big 4 experience, you’ll need to have what it takes to attract that person — the chance to make an impact, professional development opportunities, career options, etc.


2. Grab ’em while the grabbing’s good

If you are fortunate enough to find a great candidate, make a move. The job market is fast and competitive — strong candidates have options. It’s a mistake to assume that, because your recruiter found one great person, there are three others out there. Trust your judgment to recognize when you’ve found a good candidate.

3. Three interviews, tops

I’ve seen companies put candidates through five, six, even eight interviews. That’s a lot of hoops! Candidates are people, not show poodles, and more than three interviews is nerve-wracking for them. It’s great to have multiple stakeholders involved, but the more you include, the less likely you will be to reach consensus.

4. Find clarity

“Needs” and “wants” are two different things: 10 years of experience does not necessarily fill a need — accomplishments fill needs. In addition, define the job and the requirements before you start the recruitment process. Needs can change and recruiters need to be adaptable, but some HMs seem to use the recruitment process as an exercise in organizational development, changing the job one week and the requirements the next. This can waste the recruiter’s time and delay the hire.

5. Make a commitment

Candidates won’t wait weeks, let alone months, for you to sort out your travel/project/personal schedule. You might be surprised how often it happens that a recruiter sends three or four qualified, interested and available candidates only to have the HM “disappear” for three weeks . . . and then the HM wonders why the candidate pool has dried up. If other things are the priority, wrap them up first and then launch the search. If filling the position is a priority, then find time for the process. Carve time out of your schedule to interview (if you don’t interview that top prospect this week, your competitor will)!

Hiring managers represent their companies and set the tone for the onboarding process. Handling the recruitment process poorly can send the wrong message. It also can be costly, in terms of company reputation for future recruiting and in terms of lost productivity due to open seats.

Next up: five more New Year’s resolutions for hiring managers. Then on to advice for candidates. The goal: a right person for every job and a right job for every person.

Connect with Nicole on LinkedIn or Twitter.

To learn more about Decision Toolbox, contact us – we’d love to hear from you!

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3 Responses to “Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions For Hiring Managers and Candidates”

  1. January 16, 2014 at 8:34 am, Kim Shepherd said:

    Candidates are not “show poodles.” That’s the statement of the year!


  2. January 22, 2014 at 4:45 am, 5 More New Years Resolutions For Hiring Managers | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] Part One I presented the first five of our top ten new years resolutions for hiring managers. Here is the […]


  3. January 27, 2014 at 4:25 am, Top 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Candidates in the Recruitment Process | Blog | Decision Toolbox said:

    […] not too late to set those resolutions for 2014! In the first two parts of this series (Part 1, Part 2) I shared our top ten resolutions for hiring managers (HMs), and now we’ll turn to […]


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