What You Need to Ask the Hiring Manager In Order to Source the Right Candidate

If a recruiter ever needs to present more than 3-4 candidates in order to make one great hire, there is something fundamentally wrong with the hiring process being used. And, if two of the remaining three aren’t aren’t strong backups, something is even bigger is wrong.


Having just finished a series of meetings with a group of hiring managers and their recruiters, I am more convinced than ever that lack of understanding of real job needs is the root cause of too few qualified candidates. 

Use the intake meeting to gather the information you need to attract the right talent 

When I first became a recruiter, my early engineering and manufacturing background offered me the chance to only handle search projects where I had a complete understanding of the work involved. However, my recruiting effectiveness dropped when I started to get assignments for jobs I knew little about. I overcame this personal lack of job knowledge by being more inquisitive and asking the hiring manager this critical question when starting the intake meeting:


What does the person in this role actually need to do over the course of the year to be considered extremely successful?


As part of having the hiring manager describe a few major objectives, it was also important to define what the new hire had to do in the first few months to ensure the person was on track to achieve those objectives. This list of 6-8 time-phased key performance objectives (KPOs) soon became known as a performance-based job description. Preparing this type of job description ensured that recruiters and hiring managers were on the same page when it came to sourcing, assessing and hiring the strongest talent possible without wasting time and effort.


The biggest benefit of this shift was the ability to expand the talent pool to include more diverse, high potential and passive candidates who could do the work but who had a different mix of skills and experiences than listed on the typical job description. As important, these candidates were 2-3X more responsive to our outreach messages since the job was quickly seen as a potential career move rather than a vague and ill-defined lateral transfer.


Along the way we discovered that in order to gain a complete understanding of the job, it was important that the most important KPOs were written as SMARTe objectives (Specific task, Measurable, Action verb, Results defined, Time bound and include something about the environment, e.g., pace, culture, hiring manager, unusual challenges). As a minimum the remaining KPOs needed to describe the task, the action or change needed and some measurable result or deliverable.

Source - Read More at: business.linkedin.com