Depending upon a company's size, the role of an HR person or department in the hiring process can vary from simply posting an ad and sending resumes to the hiring manager to completing everything through the first interview. The challenge with the latter is making sure that you're not delegating steps throughout the hiring process to a person to whom you've not given the proper tools to complete those steps.
The first thing that should not be handed off to someone else is any fee negotiations with a recruiter. The HR department may have been given a budget for recruiting fees and, therefore, they may turn away any candidate coming from a firm charging more. Contrast this with the hiring manager, who will see value in the A-player candidate with demonstrated success in the industry, and talk with all relevant people within the organization to make sure that the candidate is interviewed regardless of fee.
Secondly, and along the same lines as flexibility in recruiter fees, is flexibility in salary ranges. Sometimes a company has given a range for a position and will turn away anyone who does not fall within that range. This is another situation in which the hiring manager will see the value of a candidate’s skills, experience, and success, and adjust the salary range accordingly in order to attract the right hire. The final offer should be determined by the hiring manager and be the dollar amount that will likely be acceptable to the candidate, rather than a number within a range that was determined by a job description.
Finally and most importantly, a hiring manager should not rely on someone else to screen résumés and qualify candidates, as that person might not have a real understanding for what the hiring manager is looking. They may look for keywords in a résumé and if they do not see them, they may deem the person unqualified. A hiring manager could look at the same résumé and realize that, even though the candidate did not use specific keywords, he or she actually does have the skills for which the company is looking. Also, someone other than the hiring manager may look at a résumé and fail to recognize target source companies and possibly dismiss a candidate who may come from a desirable competitor company.
Having HR or someone else conduct the first interview also tends to create some issues. First of all, if you’re directly recruiting a candidate from a competitor, or a candidate who was not actively looking and/or is currently employed, you’ll find that they do not want to spend 30 minutes on the phone with someone answering general behavioral questions. They want to hear about the opportunity from the person to whom they’ll be reporting and with whom they’ll be directly working.
If the person conducting the interview doesn’t work in the same department or will not be working directly with the candidate, they may not have been filled in on all of the position’s details, and it’s tough for them to answer the candidate’s questions. Another issue with this is the personality piece. The initial “click” for both parties will play a big role in whether the candidate is offered and accepts a position. So, clicking with the right person is important.
Although these steps along the hiring process can be time-consuming, it’s important for the right person to spend the time completing them.
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