Hiring Managers Lack Confidence

By Jane Kennelly, Director, Frog Recruitment

It is interesting when within the rhythm of the daily hubbub of meetings and appointments; a trend sidles into a pattern and takes shape almost without detection.

One example of a trend that has become increasing obvious is the evident lack of confidence by hiring managers to conduct contemporary, well-structured interviews.

When researching the reasons for this lack of confidence, the answer is easily found. Training budgets have been under the scalpel. Where recruitment and interviewing training were once common-place, today this is less frequently invested in. Instead it is left up to the individual to ‘do their best’.  In surveying in excess of 350 hiring managers who have had training in the last 18 months, only 4% were able to raise their hands with an affirmative.

This lack of confidence is having a damming impact inside organisations. It is hampering the talent acquisition process across many New Zealand business environments.  Indecision, prolonged processes, time delays, over-recruitment, poorly executed interviews and confusion in knowing how to identify the key attributes needed for the position are commonplace. Costs are escalating due to the clutching of outmoded processes and employer brand damage is occurring.

kim-seeling-smtihAccording to Kim Seeling-Smith, Ignite Global, speaking at the recent Conferenz HR Leaders Forum 2013; “One of the most important things an organisation can do is to teach their hiring managers how to recruit talent.”

We agree.  Done well, numerous positives outcomes occur on many levels including reduce cost of hire, saved time, increased talent quality, increased engagement and improved length of tenure. Research completed by Seeling-Smith shows 50% of hiring managers are more likely to have lower turnover, 38% are more likely to work in highly productive teams, and 44% are more likely to earn higher customer satisfaction scores. What’s not to like about this?

In today’s competitive environment, not only should the ‘here and now’ be in scope when hiring, so too should the future be firmly in view when interviewing.  It is here the untrained hiring manager becomes short-sighted resulting in many high potential or future-qualified people being overlooked simply due to a lack of insight.

Not only is talent identification essential within the recruiting process, the ability to ‘sell an opportunity’ to a prospective employee is crucial.  High calibre talent have choice so getting them ‘on the hook’ is important at the outset. It takes training, practise, confidence and know-how. On a positive note, once trained, it becomes second nature.

With the evolution of employer branding having moved from the employer being at the centre of the process to the JOB SEEKER being at the centre of the process, the vital importance of expertise needed when recruiting is further amplified. With the impact of social media, changes in job seeker preferences and looming skill shortages it is easy to see why a lack of confidence in recruitment must be rectified.

On a positive note, one thing that hasn’t changed is that fact that no one wants to make a hiring mistake. Hiring the right person is still considered one of the most powerful impacts an individual can make inside a business. Executed well, positive outcomes are numerous and include increased morale, competitive advantage and bottom lines.

Given the extreme importance of this activity we repeat the advice provided by Seeling-Smith which is to “Teach your hiring managers how to hire, now.”  We couldn’t agree more.


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