Indecisive Hiring Managers Cause Employers to Lose Talent

Bored Candidates

HR technology vendors have launched a number of products to streamline the hiring workflow or improve candidate selection by leveraging various types of data. They may also want to consider developing more educational solutions for hiring managers, while employers examine whether they’re providing managers with the training they need to make talent acquisition as efficient and effective as possible.

Here’s why: Despite the attention being paid to, and money being spent on, recruiting automation, recruitment marketing, talent analytics and candidate engagement, hiring managers simply aren’t making their decisions quickly enough. That’s costing them in terms of lost opportunities, as well as time-to-hire and other expenses related to an extended search. 

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Specifically, research from Gartner found that more than 75 percent of hiring managers aren’t keeping up with the dynamics of today’s digital hiring environment. They need to be more decisive, the researcher said, and focused on prioritizing future talent needs, broadening the candidate funnel and sharing hiring decisions with experts across their organization.

“Hiring managers are operating in a world with more options and less certainty, and they are struggling to make high-quality, timely decisions about talent,” said Lauren Smith, a vice president in Gartner’s HR practice.

Hiring and Money

Not surprisingly, the hiring manager’s approach has financial implications. Compared to their “typical” peers, decisive managers hire 10 percent more candidates of high quality and 11 percent fewer of low quality, Gartner said.

In addition, companies that encourage decisive behavior by hiring managers reduce time-to-fill by 17 percent. In 1018, hiring managers took 33 days to make an offer after interviewing a candidate. That’s an 84 percent increase compared to 2010. The extended timeframe led to a 16 percent reduction in accepted offers. “Ultimately, hiring managers are losing out on prime candidates because of this lag in decision-making,” Smith said.

Shifting the Hiring Manager’s Role

Gartner believes it’s time for business leaders and recruiters to shift the hiring manager’s role in the overall talent acquisition process.

First, it said, employers shouldn’t rely on hiring managers alone to define and describe future workforce needs. Instead, recruiters should consult additional sources and consider the organization’s long-term talent strategy when defining hiring needs. Each hire should be evaluated in the context of the organization’s future, as opposed to the hiring manager’s short-term requirements alone.

Next, hiring managers should spend more time engaging with candidates. This is critical, Gartner said, because candidates trust hiring managers four times as much as they trust recruiters. To make it happen, organizations must ensure hiring is seen as a shared responsibility, help hiring managers look for talent beyond their existing networks, make sure they understand the roles for which they’re hiring and know how to properly evaluate each candidate in that context.

Finally, hiring managers should not be the default decision makers. Gartner observed that leading organizations focus on identifying the “best-fit” decision maker. While the manager making a hiring decision requires skills expertise, they must also understand who will be working closely with the candidate and how to evaluate candidates for the position in question. In the end, skills and/or decision-making experts often make better hires, Gartner said.

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