Four little words you love to hear as an executive recruiter. I recently started my day with that exact message from a client and felt like I scored a touchdown. Upon reflection, I realized the bigger story was how you get there.
How do you create the elusive win-win-win? Here are two things that stand out for me, two common elements that can’t be underscored enough – the quality of the hiring manager and the candidate. Quality might seem like an odd word choice, but for me it fits when examined more closely.
Let’s take the hiring manager first. Most know exactly what they are and are not looking for but not everyone does a good job in articulating that. The clearer a hiring manager can be about what they need – skills, experience, DNA – the faster and more accurate we are in finding the right talent. Great hiring managers go beyond a basic description and share their vision for the organization and how the role and individual fits within that. They know it’s often that extra color or context that hooks the candidate and arming recruiters with that makes us more successful for them.
Great hiring managers are also responsive with feedback about candidates – they don’t let them get cold, have excellent interviews skills themselves, and ensure the rest of the interviewing team conducts a well-orchestrated interview with each member focusing on a different area.
As for the candidates, simply stated, they are prepared. They are clear about what they are looking for – the role they want to play, the visibility, challenge, and responsibility they desire, and the environment they want to work in. Even more important, they are clear about their passion and what they bring to the table. Companies want to hire people who are passionate about what they do – they know when they are able tap into an individual’s passion on the job, the satisfaction, engagement and contribution are much higher. Great candidates are able to articulate their passion and the precise value they bring to the team.
The days of tire kicking for candidates are over. If you’re not clear and focused about what you want, and what you offer an organization, you’ll never be part of the win-win-win trifecta.
So for me, it is about quality. The quality of the hiring manager – vision, finesse, great communication; the quality of the candidate – preparedness, readiness to change; and the recruiter – understanding of the role, and having the ability to align great candidates with great hiring managers.
As for my ‘we loved them both’ situation, the hiring manager is finding room for both candidates. He knows when top talent walks in the door, you don’t let them walk back out.