Working with hiring managers can be a challenge. They’re often as inexperienced in recruiting as they are pressed for time, which means that getting their cooperation isn’t easy. One of the best ways to improve your collaboration with hiring managers is to share your talent pools with them. Within the Hello Talent community we’ll sometimes get the question: when should I share talent pools with hiring managers? Based on our experience, the timing of sharing a pool depends on the hiring manager responsible for the vacancy.
There are Two Types of Hiring Managers
In sharing talent pools you need to first consider which type of hiring manager you are working with. Broadly speaking they can be distilled down into two types: hands on and light touch.
Hands On Hiring Managers
Hands on hiring managers like to be involved in every detail from the very beginning. They know what they need in a candidate and want to work closely with recruiters to get exactly what they are looking for. This can cause them to feel demanding in their partnerships, but they also are quick to share feedback, which empowers you, the recruiter, to do better work.
To keep a strong relationship with hands on hiring managers we recommend sharing talent pools with them at an early stage, such as after the vacancy has been approved. These hiring managers already want to be involved, and sharing the talent pool provides them with a useful overview of the recruiting process. They can watch the pool grow as you add potential candidates and can add instant feedback as each of them comes into your pipeline.
One way to optimize their early use of your talent pools is to provide the hiring managers with a few examples of ideal candidates that represent what they are looking for. Example candidates don’t have to be actual applicants, they don’t even need to be real people, but they should provide an outline of what you think the hiring manager wants. Then, the hiring manager can give you feedback to help shape your search.
Light Touch Hiring Managers
Light touch hiring managers tend to be more difficult for recruiters to work with. They usually won’t involve themselves with the hiring process until recruiters repeatedly press them to review and interview candidates. To make matters even more difficult, they often don’t share clear feedback. To work best with these hiring managers you need to give them well-filtered information that they can process and respond to quickly.
With light touch hiring managers you probably don’t want to share a talent pool with them in the early stages. (They most likely won’t even look at it if you share it too soon.) Instead you will want to share a pool that functions as a late-stage, curated shortlist. Candidates in these pools should have passed all preliminary screenings and interviews, be well-qualified, and have clear, simple descriptions that help the hiring manager to quickly understand who they are looking at. In this scenario the hiring manager won’t be involved in the hiring pool until relatively late in the process, but you’ll have an easier time getting the feedback you need.
While we do recommend waiting to share pools with light touch hiring managers, this doesn’t mean you won’t be communicating with them. Rather than share pools you should share weekly email updates about the status of your recruiting process. They should know things like how many candidates you’ve approached, how many have applied, and how many are currently working their way through the process. The hiring manager may not respond to your updates, but this information will ensure they know you are working to help them fill a vacancy, which will ultimately make it easier to work with them.
Regardless of when you share a talent pool you’ll need to manage expectations around your recruiting process. Hiring managers need to know what to expect from you and what you expect from them. A great way to do this is to create a service level agreement, or SLA. Under the recruiting SLA you can specify things like how quickly you should be responding to each other, what types of feedback you need, the candidate details they can expect for each candidate, etc. If you are using talent pools, which we highly recommend, you can also set expectations about what types of candidates will be in the pool, how their information will be presented, and how hiring managers need to manage that information. By creating an SLA you will make collaboration easier by ensuring that expectations are clear.
Sharing talent pools can happen at any time, and should be dedicated by how engaged the hiring manager is. Take the time to determine what types of hiring managers you are working with, and then create a set of processes that define when they should be invited to view and work in your candidate talent pools. If you manage your pools well and share them at the right time, you can expect a better relationship with your hiring manager, which will translate to a better candidate experience and a more successful recruiting program.
If you’re looking for a tool that will make it easy for you to build, manage, and share talent pools give Hello Talent a try! It’s simple, intuitive, and hiring manager friendly. Create your free account today!