Recently, I came across an article called “What Drives Me Nuts About Staffing Agencies”. I couldn’t help but think of the other side of the story. So, here are five profiles of hiring managers that have driven me crazy (and many of my staffing industry colleagues, I’m sure).
1. The Resume Hoarder: This manager thinks that candidates with a difficult to find skillset grow on trees. Although the unemployment rate for degreed professionals is less than 5%, he expects to see 10-15 candidates for a position. When working with this manager, you may begin to wonder if he just likes to interview. He wants to see countless candidates, and will talk to them, but never hires anyone.
Please, just pick someone. You are so busy because you will not hire someone to help you, and because you are always interviewing. Also, we are not lying when we tell you there is a talent shortage. As recruiters, it is our job to screen the candidates and provide you with only the best resumes (three resumes is a common expectation). We will save you time if you let us.
2. The Magician: The hiring manager expresses an urgent need, then disappears. The hiring manager does not respond when well qualified candidates are submitted. He does not tell us he does not like these candidates; does not tell us the position has been filled; does not return phone calls or e-mails; does not respond to even his own HR team’s request for feedback. He has disappeared. Note that this can happen at any stage in the process, including after interviews, at which point it is most frustrating.
We know you are busy. At least take the time to tell us you don’t like the candidates. Better yet, tell us why, so we can better service your needs.
3. The Lowballer: This hiring manager thinks that his company’s pay rates are “market value”. He does not listen to labor market statistics or the fact that other clients are paying $15/hour more for the same position. Although his company underpays, he expects top notch candidates and doesn’t understand why we can’t find them. Or, he interviews candidates that you submit at a certain rate, only to offer them $10 less per hour at the final stage.
We do this for a living. Please accept that we know the industry – we are only trying to educate you so that you can get the talent you want and need, not advance our own interests. We also understand that you can’t change your company’s budget. That being said, if you can’t pay market value, you may have to accept that you will not get the best talent. You may even need to provide training.
4. The Wuzzle Master: In Disney’s Wuzzles, a Wuzzle was a mix of two different animal species. In recruiting, a Wuzzle req (better known as a “purple squirrel”) is a job that is a mishmash of skills. It is generally due to companies downsizing and combining 2-3 positions into one job. A Wuzzle Req is a mythical combination of skills that most likely does not exist in the job market (read: a Production Supervisor with CMM Programming experience who is able to do accounting). Of course, the hiring manager thinks that Wuzzles abound and acts appalled that you cannot find a person to fill this role.
Candidates with a wuzzle skillset do not exist. If you want to fill this job, you will have to give on one or two aspects of the position. Decide what is most important; or better yet, hire two different people.
5. The Tail Chaser: This manager cannot decide what they want, which leaves everyone involved feeling like they are constantly chasing their tail. The original requisition states they are looking for a Finance Analyst. After candidates are submitted, they change their mind and decide what they really need is a Buyer. Or, they go from wanting an entry level candidate to a senior level candidate. Maybe at first, the candidates don’t need a degree – oh wait, ISO standards say that they do. The worst part: they don’t understand that the “tiny change” in their req requires us to start the entire process over.
We get that business needs change; however, please get an idea of what type of person you would like to hire before you provide us with a requisition. Otherwise, we are all just spinning our wheels.
My point here is not to attack hiring managers or clients. I believe that many times, managers don’t realize that they are being unreasonable or understand how their decision or behavior impact their staffing partners. As a hiring manager, if you can do your best to avoid fitting into one of these five categories, chances are your positions will always be high on the priority list!