Monday, May 02, 2005

Hiring Managers

Johanna Rothman posts about hiring managers, saying that they shouldn't be doing their own sourcing. Agree (mostly). That is a tactical job. We can step in and do actual hires but we'll use a team of external researchers to map our competitors, provide us with backgrounds of target candidates etc. We'll do it for very senior hires. Sometimes a call from a senior company representative opens more doors.

However Johanna says we should be adding value:
in job analysis, determining the interview team, who'll ask which kinds of questions, how you'll audition, how you'll decide about candidates, what to make as an offer, checking references, and starting the person working in a way that makes sense.

Let's face it, that's about as tactical as doing the sourcing & just as open to bringing in experts. I will bring in a psychologist when needed, we'll outsource references to the sort of people who do due diligence on management during M&A deals. Other times I'll step in.

The hiring manager's job is to know when it's appropriate to be hands on. It's about knowing who the experts are, when you need them & when you don't.

It's also about setting the strategy. It's not about worrying about the 1 passive candidate when you can worry about what you can do to develop relationships with 500. It's about mobilising the whole organisation, removing blocks, monitoring the competition, understanding the changing labour markets, facilitating a liquid internal labour market, building your employment brand. It's all about connecting these and a hundred other things together.

I have the utmost respect for Heather & guess she would agree with me on most of this. There are transactional in-house recruiters out there but I'm not sure she is a great example. The smart hiring manager knows that if you are focussing at the individual sourcing level you're adding little value & might as well be outsourced 'to the experts'.