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We’ve been writing recently about return on interview, a new recruiting measure. In our last post, we provided a seven-step process for recruiters to deliver qualified shortlists so that IT hiring managers enjoy a great return on interview.
Consistently achieving a great return on interview leads to benefits such as:

  • Strong time-to-hire and quality-of-hire metrics.
  • Stronger IT department performance
  • Increased company profits

But here’s the rub: as a recruiter you can’t achieve this goal alone. You need IT hiring managers to buy into the process, and do their part as well. In this post we examine four commitments recruiters need from hiring managers to achieve great IT hiring results.

  1. Set Expectations

As a recruiter, you need to know the candidate qualifications IT hiring managers are looking for. Otherwise, you are left guessing, which leads to the wrong candidates advancing to the final interview stage, and possibly even being hired.
As a result: you need hiring managers to:

  • Give you fully thought out technical job descriptions for each position that list the specific experience and skill requirements, and list preferences separately. (If they need a good primer on writing technical job descriptions, see Dave Fecak’s post “Writing Job Descriptions to Attract Technical Talent.”)
  • Take the time during intake sessions to clarify any questions you have.

It’s also important to agree with hiring managers on what’s expected of each of you during the hiring process, so everybody’s clear on what they’re supposed to do.

  1. Be Accountable

It’s easy for IT hiring managers to prioritize other demands (e.g., project deadlines) over hiring. As a recruiter, you need hiring managers to commit to being accountable in the hiring process.
Most importantly, you need hiring managers to respond quickly when it’s time to take action. For example, hiring managers can’t delay in setting up interviews after you deliver your shortlist. Given the intense competition for top tech talent, any delay could lead to losing out on potential quality hires.

  1. Collaborate on Candidate Screening

IT hiring managers need to commit to serving as advisors during the candidate screening process. When they collaborate on screening—instead of just leaving screening up to you as the recruiter—it helps the right candidates emerge on the final shortlist.
Hiring managers can be helpful during the screening process by:

  • Prioritizing screening steps. Do they want you to see if candidates have contributed on Stack Overflow? On GitHub?
  • Contributing to the technical interview process. For example, we recommend IT hiring managers to provide the areas they’d pick to cover if they were the ones to perform the technical interview.
  1. Give Timely Feedback

The recruiting process rarely runs perfectly, so it needs to be adjusted and fine-tuned. As a recruiter, you need IT hiring managers to provide quality, timely feedback to make proper adjustments. After all, you can’t read their minds.
For example, you want IT hiring managers to tell you:

  • What they like and dislike about the qualifications of the candidates on your shortlists.
  • Whether they’re satisfied with the amount of time it’s taking to deliver shortlists.

Only by knowing IT hiring managers’ insights can you properly tweak job requirements and the screening process to deliver better candidates or to deliver candidates in less time.

Work as Partners
Recruiters and IT hiring managers need to be partners. All partners have clear expectations of each other, own their own parts of the process, and provide feedback to each other.

Ultimately, the success or failure of your partnerships with IT hiring managers will go a long way to determining the success or failure of recruiting efforts. Research by Bersin by Deloitte shows that a strong relationship between the recruiter and hiring manager is the “most influential predictor” of talent acquisition performance outcomesfour times more than any other factor.