Hiring? Are you open to hearing feedback?

Hiring? Are you open to hearing feedback?

Author: Laura Mazzullo

Hiring? Get ready for feedback!

In recruitment, when we speak of ‘discussing feedback’ it is often in relation to candidates. Most candidates seek to know how they can improve their job-searching efforts (how to improve their resume, interviewing skills, resume walk-through, their negotiation abilities, networking, etc.) They know that receiving this constructive feedback helps them improve, helps their overall personal development, and helps them get closer to landing their next job.

But, wait, what about hiring managers? Surely, hiring managers need feedback, too! Don’t you think that they are also curious about how to improve? We aren’t taking enough about this.

I would argue in this quickly-evolving market, hiring managers need to welcome constructive feedback more than ever! The hiring climate is ever-changing, and there are so many ways to keep learning. If you want to hire the best talent, how better to help you do it than by receiving specific and constructive feedback?

I’m delighted when I speak with a hiring manager who is self-aware and confident enough to be able to say to me:

“We are hiring for our HR team, and I’m sure we can improve. We’d love to learn how we can be doing a better job with the hiring process. Can you help share some specific, constructive feedback with us throughout the process?”

In fact, I’m shocked whenever hiring managers become defensive when feedback is shared with them. I believe they are scared to see what’s been going wrong; but how can you improve if you can’t identify areas for improvement? In order to improve, you have to be open to seeing what needs to change.

If you are a hiring manager, currently hiring for HR, I’m sure there is at least one thing you can learn about your process that will help you improve.

Not sure what that one thing could be?

Here are some common areas of improvement I am currently seeing in today’s hiring market. These are just a few areas-and certainly may not be reflective of your own areas for improvement, but hopefully something will resonate with you that may help improve your process going forward!

1.      How you partner with Talent Acquisition

Could you be more communicative with your Recruitment partners? Are you gathering data and market intel from them? Are you clear on what your competitors are offering, and how this role compares? Have you asked them what they’re observing in the market? Are you partnering with them or just giving them orders? Are you respectful of their expertise? Are you asking them what you can be doing better to attract and engage top talent during the recruitment process?

2.     How you partner with Finance/Compensation

Are your salary budgets aligned with candidate expectations? Have you gathered data about external competitors and are you clear on market intel? Are you really paying enough for the caliber of candidate you are seeking? Are you collaborating with Finance to discuss these challenges and find solutions? Are you sharing with them? Are you clear on internal equity and have you talked with Comp to see how you can get creative with problem-solving?

3.     How you review resumes

Are you weeding candidates out too quickly due to unconscious bias? Have you talked to your L&D team so you can get trained on unconscious bias in hiring? Are you making assumptions from candidates’ resumes prior to talking to them? Are you considering those from new industries? Are you judging unfairly, or evaluating based on actual criteria? Are you making the pool narrower than it needs to be? Are you keeping an open mind to diversity/inclusion and considering those from different industries, different levels of experience, different areas of expertise?

4.     How you view the role itself

Do you think this is a great open role for someone? Or are you feeling unexcited about it? Do you think highly of this role? Or do you see it as ‘grunt’ work that you don’t want to do? Are you ready to engage an employee, recognizing they want to see a succession plan for themselves? Are you ready to give candidates new and exciting projects to keep them engaged? Are you prepared to develop and train someone? Do you know the unique selling points of your role? Are you able to explain this role to candidates in an exciting, constructive way? Is your job-description exciting top talent? Does your role/job description seem aligned with the caliber of talent you are trying to attract?

5.     How you’re feeling about working there

Are you feeling disgruntled at work? If you are cranky and disengaged, candidates will see it and lose interest in your firm. Do you need to speak to your manager about your own engagement? Ensure you are feeling excited to interview, and to be an employee there. If you are cranky and losing interest there, it will come across to talent. Are you telling your own story about your experience working there, in a positive or negative way?

6.     How candidates feel after interviewing with you

Are candidates more or less excited about the opportunity having met you? Are candidates leaving you feeling heard and valued, or rushed and disengaged? Are candidates impressed by your leadership style? Or are they feeling dismissed by you? Are you coming across as warm and inspiring, or cold? Do you know if your interviewing style matches your actual working style? Could you work on blending the two so that your true, authentic self shows to a potential new hire?

Remember, just as we provide advice/wisdom to prompt candidates to consider improvement during their job-search process, we must do the same for hiring managers!

Hiring Managers: your specific areas for improvement may not be mentioned here, and may be in a totally different arena. The point is to dig deep and to question your areas for improvement, and to be open to receiving feedback.

Challenge yourself to improve. Be humble and open enough to admit you are willing to learn. Know that all hiring managers are learning and growing at the same time that you are! As it becomes harder and harder to secure top talent for your roles, don’t become stubborn to receiving feedback. Remain open, curious and eager to learn!

When in doubt, ask your recruitment partners how you can improve. They’ll be happy to share constructive feedback to help fine-tune your hiring efforts!

Follow East Side Staffing on Twitter and Instagram @EastSideStaff and let’s keep learning from each other!

Laura Mazzullo is the Founder and Owner of East Side Staffing, a boutique recruitment firm focused on the placement of Human Resources professionals. Since 2003, Laura has maintained a successful career in Recruitment working in major markets such as Chicago, Illinois, Stamford, Connecticut and New York, New York.

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