The Best Predictor of Recruiting Success? It’s Probably Not What You Think

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When it comes to achieving your company’s recruiting goals, what’s the single most important predictor of success?

Is it how much you spend on jobs ads? Which job boards and recruiting channels you use? The quality of your ATS and other HR systems?

Actually, it’s none of those things. As a 2016 Bersin by Deloitte blog post revealed, “the most influential predictor of TA (talent acquisition) performance outcomes is a strong relationship between the recruiter and the hiring manager.” In fact, this relationship is four times more influential than other TA performance drivers identified by Bersin, including “developing candidate pools” and “social media campaigns,” which were the second and third most influential performance drivers respectively.

An astounding 97% of “mature TA functions” (those with highly experienced, proactive recruiting professionals) report having strong relationships with hiring managers, according to Bersin. This figure is just 56% for organizations at the lowest level of TA maturity.

These Relationships Need a Little TLC

Let’s face it—recruiting is no cakewalk. Even successful companies struggle with the never-ending challenge of finding and nurturing the right talent. Often this is due to outdated recruiting processes. However, many organizations rarely (if ever) scrutinize the relationships between their recruiters and hiring mangers, despite the supreme importance of these relationships. As the Bersin research makes clear, we need to give recruiter/hiring manager relationships the attention and care they deserve if we want to improve recruiting outcomes.

Obviously, there are recruiters and hiring managers who work well together. But these two groups don’t always see eye-to-eye, as ERE’s State of Talent Acquisition Survey 2016 shows. The recruiters participating in this survey gave themselves a grade of B- for their work; the hiring managers, on the other hand, gave these same recruiters a C-. Perhaps even more troubling, the hiring managers scored the quality of candidates they found on their own “significantly higher” than candidates found by their companies’ recruiters.

Part of this rift stems from the fact that, although the two groups are working toward the same basic goal (hiring new talent), they face very different day-to-day challenges and they don’t always understand the pressures and demands their counterparts are working under. Plus, neither party has total control over all of the recruiting process’s moving parts—reviewing resumes, examining online profiles, conducting background checks, scheduling interviews, writing up post-interview evaluations, etc. Recruiters and hiring managers (along with others, in some organizations) have to collaborate on all of this and share responsibilities. It can be a daunting proposition.

Bridging the Relationship Gap

One way to strengthen the recruiter/hiring manager relationship is through content created especially for and by them.

As Candarine has observed, content creation and marketing are increasingly critical elements of an effective talent attraction strategy. To build relationships with your talent audiences, you need to develop content that’s tailored to their specific interests and needs. The same is true for your recruiters and hiring managers. You can improve their relationships by developing specialized content—content that’s written just for them and that helps them better understand each other’s needs and challenges.

In fact, you’d be wise to enlist your recruiters and hiring managers in developing this content! After all, they’re the subject matter experts. Nobody knows their issues better than they do. And having them create this crucial content may be exactly what’s needed to strengthen their collaboration.

This post was originally published on the Candarine blog, which offers insights on talent engagement using inbound, relationship-building strategies and proven content marketing methods.

Photo: Business meeting via photopin (license)

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