When direct sourcing goes wrong, it really goes wrong.
Social media has made direct sourcing an In-house Recruiter’s dream… and a nightmare. Because as much as you can approach passive candidates and promote your employer brand, your hiring manager can destroy your efforts with the experience he/she gives your candidates.
And it’s you that looks bad even though it’s the hiring manager who’s being a pain in the proverbial!
I have two friends who are both your typical passive candidate. Ironically, both working in the worlds of HR and recruitment and neither is looking for a job.
Then they received a flattering approach from an In-house Recruiter and tumbled into the world of the candidate.
And tumble they did… both have been screwed around by ill-prepared or inconsiderate hiring managers who simply couldn’t care less about ‘candidate experience’, ’employer brand’ or a ‘candidate driven market’.
So how do you avoid this direct sourcing disaster?
As my expertise falls squarely in helping you find the candidates, I’ve gathered advice from three HR and Recruiting leaders on how they handle the situation. I think you’ll agree their advice is fabulous!
Experience is the best teacher
Colin Crowley, from KCOM Group PLC, heads up the Group Recruitment and Resourcing team that sits within the HR function. His team provides in-house support to the entire business throughout the UK, recruiting anything from Admin to Finance to IT to Pre-sales, and creating talent pools to provide resource for roles that are either frequently open or hard to fill.
Experience is the best teacher. Usually in a situation where a manager takes their time and/or cancels at the last minute, they lose out on the talent. There is nothing more sobering for a manager than finding out that the talent they wanted has gone to their competition!
When we run our candidate experience surveys for new starters, we gain little nuggets of feedback that can be passed along to management too – for example if a new starter made a comment that it took a while to get a decision on their interview and eventual offer we’d be able to pass that feedback on directly. We’ve also found encouraging our line managers to keep in touch with candidates during their notice period has had a positive impact on their recruitment experience.
Contact the hiring manager at the beginning and set the scene
Gemma Reucroft, UK HR Director at Tunstall Group, is responsible for leading HR and Internal Communications for Tunstall Healthcare in the UK and Ireland. She is also a regular keynote speaker, award winning blogger, and author of HR 2025: The Future of Work – Managing People.
It is clear that the job market is picking up and we are seeing good candidates securing positions quickly. If you want to hire great talent, then a good process is essential. This means a great candidate experience, an agile recruitment process, and it means telling the story about why a candidate should choose you. Some of this is the responsibility of the recruitment team and HR, but much of it, of course, lies right with the hiring manager.
How candidates are treated at interview says much about your overall company culture. Ok to keep people waiting? Mess them around? Fail to give feedback? It is a window into the organisation. So to the candidate who experiences this sort of behaviour from a hiring manager, I would say, heed the warnings and walk away. Why would you want to work for such a person? In my experience, managers who are arrogant towards candidates fail to be effective leaders in other areas as well.
When it comes to handling the hiring manager, there is a fundamental problem. Telling them that the world has changed, and that they need to change, probably won’t get you very far. They might just have to see it for themselves. If you are a recruiter facing the issue then your best approach is to contact the hiring manager at the beginning and set the scene, explain that the best candidates will move very quickly and that speed of response and an effective process will be key to them hiring the best. And sometimes, an ‘I told you so’ after the fact will be warranted too!
Manage your managers!
I always make sure my In-house Recruiter manages that sort of thing very tightly and insist on a plan for every vacancy – how and where candidates will be found, profile, target filling date and who will be involved in the selection process, assessment methods etc. Candidate experience is everything. It’s easily controlled and part of the recruiter’s job to manage that in my view not just to source the candidates.
My tip is don’t let that situation develop in the first place! Prevention is better than cure. Managing your managers is just as important as managing your candidates!
The cost to your company
- Social media is word of mouth on steroids: don’t let your company’s bad candidate experience be all they’re talking about online.
- Glassdoor is a window into your company, what does the Glassdoor interviews section say about your firm?
- …and then there is your own reputation. Is the hiring manager causing your brand to be marred? As the face of the company, I hope not.
Have you experienced a direct sourcing disaster?
What did you learn from it? Add your comments below!