Defending Candidates to Hiring Managers
By becoming partners with their hiring manager clients, recruiters can use their influence to better defend their candidates from dumb decisions and poorly designed practices and policies. The key to the defense requires intervening at each step of the assessment and selection process, while fighting soft emotions with hard evidence.
Here are some things you can do to get started:
Know the job.
Before you start looking for candidates, ask the hiring manager what the person needs to do to be considered successful. Have the manager define the key projects and challenges the person is expected to handle. Then, ask the manager to describe how better people handle these same tasks compared to average people. Talk to the best people you've placed in similar positions. Find out what they did differently than the average performer.
Become a good interviewer.
You'll need to be a better interviewer than your hiring manager clients if you expect to defend your candidates from superficial or narrow assessments. One way to do this is to get detailed examples of major accomplishments related to those described in your job description (above). If you spend at least 10 minutes (each) digging into the candidate's job-related and individual accomplishments you'll have plenty of evidence to overcome generalizations and flawed assessments. On the technical side, too many interviewers dig into areas unrelated to real job needs; so, be sure to challenge your candidate's apparent lack of technical depth by relating it directly to the real job requirements.
Use more outside evidence.
Don't defend your candidates half-armed. Use test results, in-depth references and multiple examples of recognition which the candidate received for doing outstanding work. Point to early promotions, special bonuses, awards and raises as evidence of exceptional performance.
Don't take no for an answer.
This is the recruiter's mantra. Too many people make decisions without all the available evidence. A recruiter needs to fight the tendency to judge competency too soon based on minimal information. Unless the hiring team has enough hard and fast evidence to make a good decision, you'll need to continue fighting for your candidate if you believe the person is being judged unfairly.
Use the "close upon an objection" sales technique.
Even if you don't have ready proof to defend your candidate, use the promise of getting it as a way of keeping the hiring manager open-minded. For example, "If I could present further evidence that the candidate is far stronger than your initial assessment; would you at least reconsider it and postpone your judgment for a few days?" Of course, you'd better get the proof.
Lead more panel interviews.
If you're a good interviewer, why not lead a panel interview? This way everyone hears the same information. By digging deep and getting examples of major accomplishments, the other interviewers learn more about the candidate than they would have on their own. While you lead the interview session, other panel members ask for clarification and examples.
Coach your managers to interview properly.
If you can teach your managers how to improve their interviewing skills, you're instantly recognized as an expert in your field and an invaluable member of the hiring team. Using job-related behavioral interviews will set you apart as an expert and a leader.
Lead the debriefing session.
To ensure that superficial information is not used to eliminate (or hire) a person, it's vital that the recruiter be present during the debriefing session. The collective judgment of the group is a valid means to assess competency if everyone involved presents hard evidence. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Usually the dominant person's opinion prevails; or the concerns of one or two people overshadow the positive judgment of others. To prevent this, it's best if the recruiter leads the debriefing session to ensure that all the evidence is considered in an objective manner.
I've had the fortunate opportunity to interview some true leaders over the past years. Some were just starting their careers, others were seasoned pros. A few things stood out among them all. First and foremost is that they take on responsibility to change things, typically without being asked and often without permission. That's what leaders do. And they don't just talk about it: they push their viewpoint and achieve real results. So when you're interviewing your candidates, look for these leadership qualities among their major accomplishments. Then use this information when you're leading the debriefing session. In the process, you'll become a leader yourself. Bottom line: that's how you defend your candidates from stupidity, and how you become a true partner in the process.
- 10 Reasons to Hire Vets
- Hire Older Workers
- Improving Candidate Quality
- Sourcing 101
- Sourcing Candidates Well
- Tips for Building Employment-Related Websites
- U.S. Employ of People with Disabilities: Free Workshops
- Virtual College Recruiting
- 10 Commandments of Recruiting
- 5 Keys to Successful Hiring
- 7 Tips for Successful Phone Interviews
- Behavioral Interviewing Basics
- Contrary Evidence Questions
- Interview Questions: Do's and Don'ts
- Interviewing Opening and Closing Remarks
- Interviews: Common Weaknesses
- Mistakes Amateur Interviewers Make
- Phone Screen Interview Mistakes
- Probing Techniques Explained
- Screening Interviewing: Top 10 Red Flags
- Strengthen the Validity of Your Interviews
- Telephone Interviews: Basics
- Ten Bad Listening Habits of Interviewers
- Types of Interviews
- Typical Probes and Follow up Questions
- What Do Interviewers Need to Know to be Effective?
Interviewing Best Practices
- 7 Keys to Effective Selection Interviews
- A Closer Look at Behavior-Based Interviewing
- Advantages / Disadvantages of Interviewing
- Applying Core Competencies to Selection Interviews
- Are You Really a Behavior-Based Interviewer?
- Assessing Speaking and Listening Skills
- Best Practices in Interviewing Candidates
- Deadly Interview Mistakes
- Death by Interview
- Ensure Hiring Success in Every Situation
- Executive Assessment Should Be Mandatory
- Generational Interviewing
- Hiring Interview + Strategic Applicant Management
- Hold Evening and Off-Time Interviews
- How to Interview a Top Performer
- Improve your Interviewing Techniques
- Interview Questions to Assess Soft Skills
- Interviewing for Ethics
- Interviewing Millennials
- Interviewing: Business or Psychology
- Metrics Interview
- Peeling Back the Onion
- The Positives of Panel Interviews
- Time for Candidate Advocacy?
- Tips for Conducting Successful Interviews
- Two Critical Interviewing Questions
Laws & Documentation
- Applicant Reference Release
- At Will Employment Release
- Avoid Negligent Hiring Mistakes
- Employee Referral Program Metrics
- Fair Labor Standards Act Information
- Four Interview Questions Never to Ask
- Giving Employee References
- Hiring Compliance Guidelines
- Hiring for Small Business
- Interviewing People with Disabilities
- Job Denial Letter
- Legal Issues in Interviewing
- Minimize Employment Risks: Document
- SAMPLE Employment Policy
- SAMPLE Letter: Educational Records Check
- SAMPLE Letter: Reference Check
- Ten Safe Hiring Tools
- What is Negligent Hiring
Line Manager / Recruiting Partnership
- Defending Candidates to Hiring Managers
- Interlocking Core Competency Interviews
- Internal Application Process
- Making Internships Work for You
- Making the Case for Behavioral Interviewing
- Non-Traditional Merit Pay Alternatives
- OFCCP Definition of an Internet Applicant
- Why Managers Shouldn't Do Most Hiring
- Workforce Planning: Strategic Staffing Strategy
Pre-Planning & Retention
- Bonus or Incentive?
- Brand-Building on a Budget
- Build a First-Rate Hiring Process
- Closing the Deal
- Compensation Plans: An Overview
- Conducting an Exit Interview
- Good Hiring Starts with a Good Job Profile
- Improve the Quality of the Employment Function
- Interview Process Problems
- Interview the Job Before the Candidates
- Job Description Template-Link Pay to Performance
- Linking Pay to Company Performance
- Selecting and Using Salary Surveys
- Succession Planning
- Succession Planning: Identifying Top Performers
- Using a Pre-Interviewing Questionnaire
- Winning the War for Talent
- Worker Shortage by 2010: Preparation
Reading the Candidate
- Beware of Those Who Boast
- Blind Man's Bluff
- Decision, Decisions: Choosing the Better Applicant
- Detecting Deceit in Interviews
- Little White Lies on Resumes
- Suspend Judgment Until the Interview is Over
- College Recruiting Basics
- College Recruiting Essentials
- Cut Down on Interview No Shows
- Discouraging Low Quality Applicants
- Don't Hold Too Many Interviews
- Job Descriptions: Why are they Important?
- New Strategies for Screening Job Candidates
- Preventing Resume Overload with Questionnaires
- Resume Review Basics
- Test Validation Explained
- The Value of Person-Organization Fit
- Three Companies Cut Turnover with Tests
Recruiting Best Practices
- 25 Telltale Signs of the Wrong Candidate
- 5 Overlooked Ways to Hire Winners
- Asking the Right Recruitment Questions
- Attracting Your Competitor's Employees
- BPR.......for Recruiters!
- Candidate Engagement
- Cloud Recruiting
- Evaluate Your Capture Strategy
- Hiring Best Practices
- How Do You Attract and Retain the Best People?
- How to Attract Applicants to Undesirable Jobs
- How to Attract, Develop and Retain Best People
- How to Find and Keep Valued Employees
- Ignorance and the Human Condition
- Onboarding Success Secrets
- Secrets to Non-Profit Hiring
- Selecting Top Management Talent
- Semi-Active Candidates are Best Bets
- Six Core Selling Principles
- Skills Based Recruiting: When, not How
- Smart Choices: How to Hire the Best
- Strategy for Hiring the Best This Year
- The Uses and Misuses of Personality Tests
- Top 10 Employee Selection Mistakes & Solutions
- Treat Candidates with the Carbon Rule