When it comes to developing successful hiring managers we take a bit of an unorthodox approach; an approach that starts and ends with putting employees first and the business second. While ongoing training is necessary for recruiters and sources it is equally important to train your hiring managers, not only those with the final decision but also those who potentially have the biggest impact on future employees. It’s the hiring managers that truly have an opportunity to shape the ever-evolving culture from the start. Its the hiring manager that has the responsibility of making sure we are hiring people who will embrace the culture and embrace the experience of being put first while also embracing the experience of a culture that will love you and put you first while equally expecting a lot from you. Its the hiring managers that will begin the process of acclimating new hires to a new world, a more beneficial and productive workplace world that both the employee and brand can appreciate. Below are five key points to consider when constructing a successful hiring manager!
The Basics (Learn to ask questions that build “emotional glue”)
Hiring an employee isn’t cheap. And a bad hire has an impact on everyone in the company and believe it or not building what I like to call emotional glue with new hires during the beginning phases is one of the best ways to do that. Now you’re most likely wondering, what is emotional glue – it’s simple, emotional glue is the trust, bond, respect, safety, and excitement a new hire will have for the hiring manager as a person of 1 and the brand as a whole. As a hiring manager, you can build that by asking great questions, and if you have developed that the new hire will start their career with the brand with an extra level of dedication that is always helpful and needed when trying to ensure you have successful hiring someone that will make an immediate impact. Here is a question you can ask to build that glue…
- Tell me a bit more about your life goals as a whole – then once they give you an answer based on the context you may or may not have lived into; provide your POV, tips, ideas, ask questions that prove to that employee that you are interested!
Understanding the role and impact a “hiring manager has”
One of the biggest responsibilities that managers have is hiring. Because if they don’t do it well, then the other functions of their job (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling) will not go well. Organizations need to give managers the skills they need not only to interview but understand the recruiting process. That translates into better hires who can help the company achieve its goals.
Hiring manager’s impact and the role is also to make sure they find new hires that are truly excited about the culture you have in place. It’s a hiring manager’s job to walk a new hire through a few examples that spell out the current culture and pay close attention to how much they do or do not live into the examples. Watch to see if they ask further questions, challenge POV’s or completely take a passive approach; their reactions will tell you a lot!
Beyond Brand “inside look”
Now, this is going to throw a lot of you off but please bare with me! In order to make sure that you hire someone that is truly going to be successful you as a hiring manager and the brand as whole has to make sure you are living into full transparency about the good, bad and ugly of your leadership, workflows, culture and organization as a whole. This is key for many reasons but the largest one is that your new hire not only knows what they are getting into but they can navigate the realities in a way that maintains their engagement and overall productivity; you never want a new hire caught by surprise which can lead to significant drops in productivity. Below is a look at a few questions you as the hiring manager and the brand as a macro should be answering to give your new hiring a deeper more transparent look!
- What’s one sacrifice you made as you developed this company that you believe if employees knew it would explain a lot of your core weakness as a leader?
- The current decision making structure, is it based a collective opinion or do you allow the final decisions on something to be made by a single manager or person rather than a collective and team
The Development of Empathy & Intentional Listening Skills
One skill that many hiring leaders miss is the skill to have strategic empathy and listen closely for indicators that might point in the direction that the new hire has skills that are diamonds in the rough. Let’s start with strategic empathy; during the recruiting process one thing, I feel most managers miss the mark on is having enough confidence to stray away from traditional best practices. Now I know that might seem a bit confidential but there is value in doing that. When recruiting someone that might not check all of the traditional boxes it takes a special person to seek and respect the nontraditional and find transferable skills and value. Let’s say you’re hiring a new marketing director but they maybe don’t have graphic design skills but they have conducted strategy execution for the own brands that have worked out well from a marketing perspective, it takes empathy and awareness for that leader to notice the transferable skills, be comfortable with the lack of that one core skills and have the empathy to why they don’t have that skill and still find a way to make that potentially work. If a hiring manager asks great questions and listens with an open mind searching to apply empathy great things can happen.
Companies often say they care about DEI and want a diverse team, but find it difficult to get started and move beyond the talk. You can’t just say you support diversity. […] Even though a lot of these organizations have great intent, it doesn’t always translate to the actual experiences and outcomes.” If you’re bringing people into an already dysfunctional culture, any efforts done while hiring will be moot long-term. What’s the point of hiring from underrepresented groups if you’re not retaining them? Is having a 50/50 gender split really impressive if none of your leadership roles are held by women or people of color. Its the job of a hiring manager to make sure they are strategically working with recruiting to make sure the pipeline is filled and its the job of a hiring manager to then dive deep into what makes that person different to ensure they are adding to the culture not just finding someone to be a so called “culture fit that will blend in” . All hiring managers should be asking the following questions below to ensure DEI is active …
- Are there pay disparities across different groups?
- Are there pay differences for people with different degrees, and is an advanced degree critical for the requirements of the job?
- Do we find our talent from the same small pool of places?
- Are we being thoughtful about how we promote people? Who’s getting promoted and when?
- Do we have any formalized programs related to DEI, or have they all been ad-hoc?
- One of the biggest responsibilities that managers have is hiring. Because if they don’t do it well, then the other functions of their job (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling) will not go well. Organizations need to give managers the skills they need not only to interview but understand the recruiting process. That translates into better hires who can help the company achieve its goals.