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The Ides of March Are Come: Et Tu, Hiring Managers?

by Joseph Murphy


Beware the ides of March,
Shakespeare’s soothsayer famously warns in Julius Caesar, prophesizing the title character’s doom. Marking the day Caesar was stabbed to death by a mob of mutinous Roman senators in 44 BCE, March 15—even more than 2,000 years later—continues to be associated with watching your back and otherwise being on the lookout for harbingers of unpleasant things. Are you heeding the ides?

The middle of March means the first quarter is almost over. Any new goals or initiatives you implemented at the beginning of the year should be in full swing. Are you on your way to hiring smarter, finding better talent faster? If not, then the ides of March is a deadline for you, too. With the end of the first quarter in sight, now’s the time to reevaluate your current strategies and recalibrate what’s not working. And though there’s probably no one as conspicuous or scheming as a Brutus among them, be mindful that your hiring managers may be part of what’s preventing you from achieving full hiring success.

While not as dangerous as a group of angry senators (the ongoing showdowns among contenders for the American leadership being a more recent example), hiring managers can be engaging in behaviors that are actively undermining your hiring goals, metaphorically stabbing you in the back. Not following the advice of the recruiting team, going with gut feelings over real data, and generally blaming you for any mis-hires (though prepared to take full credit for snagging strong performers) are some of the ways hiring managers can sabotage your mission.

But hiring managers are not your enemy. Instead of perceiving them as traitors, value them as among your most potentially valuable defenders. They share your goal of finding the best people for their teams to drive business success, however dissenting they may be at times. It’s up to you to set them on the right track and make them effective and faithful partners, instead of disgruntled conspirators. What can you do to get them back on your side?

Pass along the best candidates

To ensure hiring managers are making the right hires, they should be considering only individuals who show strong potential to be effective employees. Using Virtual Job Tryout® technology helps predict on-the-job performance by capturing a real-life work sample, enabling you to identify top candidates faster and more accurately. It ensures hiring managers are presented with the best of the best, helping them make the right decisions for your organization and minimizing the casualties of advancing the wrong people.

Commit to improving the candidate experience

Providing as much information as possible about the job up front not only saves time, it results in a better candidate experience. When a realistic job preview provides information to candidates about what the job will entail, hiring managers don’t need to spend as much time during interviews explaining the position—or worse, explaining the job to a candidate who discovers the role isn’t right for them after all. As a result, hiring managers can have more focused, meaningful conversations with candidates about their abilities and how they can make a difference. And when candidates participate in simulations that help them understand the complexity of the job, they learn faster once in the role and achieve higher levels of productivity, further satisfying your hiring managers.

Show them the data

To win your hiring managers’ support for your recruiting efforts, show them how effective your strategies for finding the best talent are. Demonstrate how the combination of robust assessment technology, predictive analytics, and their expertise and judgment will lead to better recruiting results. Period. Showing hiring managers the real data and metrics—the fewer phone screens, lower interview-to-hire ratios, higher offer-to-acceptance ratios, faster time-to-fill rates, and increased new-hire retention—will help convince them that you really do know what you’re doing and deserve their support when it comes to governing the hiring process.

No matter how oppositional they sometimes may seem, your hiring managers also want to acquire the best talent for your organization. And no matter how antagonistic they may find you at times, they aren’t likely to be plotting against you. They just often prefer to do things their way, which isn’t always the right way. Make the effort to work closely with your hiring managers. Showing them the data behind what you do and how it will help them to make the best hiring decisions possible is key to getting them on your side. And one fewer reason to have to watch your back.