You spend hours sourcing, researching, and engaging candidates, and even more time coordinating interviews. But ultimately, when it comes down to the final decision, it will most likely be up to the hiring manager. It can be frustrating to spend so much of your time on a candidate only to have your VPE turn their nose up, so you've got to make sure before you even begin that you're barking up the right tree with your recruiting efforts. If you're going to find the best fit candidates, you're going to need to sync with your hiring manager and relevant team members to get an intimate understanding of what exactly the role requires. Here's a handful of questions to ask the hiring manager before you even begin sourcing to help you make the best use of your time and only deliver the most relevant professionals.
How crucial is this role?
Seems a bit elementary, I confess, but this will help you to prioritize and also determine the level of experience the ideal candidate will have. If your hiring manager shrugs at this question, you can put the role on your back burner and focus on filling other roles, or potentially lower the bar for the type of candidates you work into the funnel for that particular low-priority role.
What does success look like in this role?
This question helps you understand expectations of the position without having to get too technical. As you source and look at candidates' previous experience, you can keep this end goal in mind in deciding who is most relevant. Further, this is a more direct and useful way to pull out of your hiring manager his or her conception of an ideal candidate. Of course, you can ask "What does your ideal candidate look like?", but this is broad question with a limitless amount of responses, many of which will end up relating only to a romanticized fantasy of a candidate who's going to make your hiring manager's dreams come true. For actionable results, stick to concrete descriptions of success.
What are the top 3 must-haves/nice-to-haves?
Somewhat related to the above question, with this one, you can determine the most necessary attributes of a candidate, and with the nice-to-haves, you'll know what sets someone above the rest. Also, asking specifically for the top 3 means your hiring manager must narrow down the role to only the most important aspects, which will give you a much simpler springboard.
What does the role offer a candidate?
This one will allow you to make a more alluring pitch to your prospects, specifically regarding projects and efforts unique to your organization. As a recruiter, you're already aware of the cultural benefits and other perks your company brings to the table, but here, you can lure candidates with the actual technologies and opportunities they can expect when they sit down to grind out tasks each and every day. Especially when it comes to engineers, this aspect of a job cannot be emphasized enough.
What other questions do you ask your hiring manager before you start recruiting? Leave a comment or tweet @EnteloRob!