You are Jerry Maguire and your hiring manager is Rod Tidwell…
There are many different places a candidate might come from and fill one of your roles. There are internals, externals, sourced candidates, people recycled from the ATS, people recycled from the CRM, and referrals. When it comes to referrals, we often network directly with the team we are hiring for, our TA team members, or just people that we are close with at our company. But we don’t often go directly to the source: The Hiring Manager.
The Hiring Manager sets the requirements for the role. Does this person need a degree? Do they need to come from the same industry? How many years of overall experience do they need? We work heavily with Hiring Managers to make sure we are doing our best to find them top notch candidates for their roles. We do intake calls with them, build out the job description for them, send them a small batch of people, ask them for a benchmark resume or two. But we need to start asking them more often: Who do YOU know for this role?
If you look at this from the business side, the Hiring Manager is our client and we are working for them. Now, I don’t love it when things are put plainly this way. I like to feel like we are all on the same page and be treated that way. Maybe not in terms of seniority, but we work together and have the same goal: get people hired. Because we often feel that we need to tip-toe around things with the Hiring Manager, we don’t often push back on things or ask them for any additional assistance. I have had some HMs in the past tell me, “Why are you asking me to help you hire for this role. Isn’t that your job?” To which I would respond today with, “If you can make someone else’s job a little easier by just posting a role on your LinkedIn feed or plugging in a quick Boolean search, then why not?”
And here are the following ways on why and how to ask for assistance from an HM. Utilizing Their Network
A lot of the time, Hiring Managers to come from direct competitors. The reason they were originally reached out to join your company is because the Hiring Manager for their role wanted you to look for people from top competitors. Because of this, they are connected to a lot of great people from their previous companies. But they don’t often think about how strong their LinkedIn network might be. They might not have even logged into LinkedIn since they started their role at your company, but you should be pushing to get them to utilize that database.
Encourage them to post the role on their LinkedIn feed. Give them some strategies on what to say, how to attract the right candidates, what image to use (you have a 70% better chance of having your post seen if it has an image accompanied by). Sometimes you can even just write the whole post for them and have them just hit Copy and Paste. Or you can send them the link to your post and have them share it.
Another thing you can do is teach them Boolean. Sure, you can’t become fluent in Boolean overnight, but you can teach someone the basics to explore their LinkedIn 1st degree connections. You can even put together a quick search string for them to use. You can ask them to export their 1st-degree connections. You can even run a search on your own LinkedIn, narrow down to 1st connections, copy the URL and send it to the HM and when they open it – Presto, it has revealed THEIR own 1st-degree connections.
I would also make sure you are connected to your HM on LinkedIn. When you come across a good person, they might be connected to your HM and you can have your HM reach out.
Having Your HM Reach Out
This method has also gotten me a “Why am I doing this? Isn’t this your job?” from an HM or two in the past, but didn’t make me give up. Say you find a stellar person and you really want them to respond – You can have your HM be the one to reach out. Don’t swing and miss on your own. Once again, feel free to build them the content for them to just Copy and Paste. Write them a catchy message to send to the prospect. The thing is that not everyone wants to work with a Sourcer or Recruiter. They had bad experiences with them in the past and don’t want to be let down again. Or they don’t know what the heck a Sourcer is and they just ignore our message. Having a hiring manager reach out to someone for a role increases the response rate by a lot. It makes the candidate feel more valued. They are hearing from their future Manager!
You can also have your HM reach out, as a follow-up. Say you reach out to someone and they show interest. But they go dark after you send over some additional information or ask when a call would work. Have the HM follow-up. This will really help make sure people don’t fall through the cracks.
It’s a candidate’s market once again. You have competitors out there.
You might have the most creative InMail template our email put together, but that doesn’t always do the trick. Don’t be afraid to ask for a little additional help from your HM. They might be hesitant at first, but once they see some success with it, they will only be more and more open to this in the future. Don’t overload them with people to reach out to, don’t make this a habit by any means. But when you are really interested in getting someone in the door for a role, have your HM help you out. Strengthen that relationship with them. And I guarantee that the more this works out for you and them, the more they will be open to other strategies in the future!