14 Ways to Get HR Reps and Hiring Managers on the Same Page

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Welcome to Recruiter Q&A, where we pose employment-related questions to the experts and share their answers!

Today’s Question: The best hires happen when HR and department leaders are on the same page about what they’re looking for. What’s one strategy you have for how HR reps can better understand the hiring objectives of department leads?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization composed of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.

Sri1. Clearly Define and Understand Your Team Culture

A key aspect of intelligent hiring is developing a deep, instinctive understanding of the team culture prior to making hiring decisions. This involves frequently interacting with current team members and participating in team collaboration events as an observer. This knowledge enables HR to make accurate assessments about candidates, resulting in consistent successful hires over the long term.

Sri Vanamali, GEX Management, Inc. 

Justin2. Get Everyone’s Input Up Front

When making a new hire, I always collaborate with the department heads to find out what qualities they are looking for in a team member. C-suite members may be looking for specialized traits that I may not be able to evaluate properly, so their input is essential in getting it right. As with all aspects of the business, clear communication and objectives are key.

Justin Lefkovitch, Mirrored Media 

mario3. Build a Company Skills Matrix

Build a comprehensive matrix of skills and traits the company looks for. Design the key interview questions around these traits, and mark candidates’ answers during the interview. Gather regularly during the first few weeks to ensure both recruiters and department leaders are on the same page. Once calibrated, the process can scale horizontally.

Mario Peshev, DevriX 

Andrew4. Prioritize Great Communication

It really just comes down to better communication, something that doesn’t always happen with HR and department leads. Sure, job descriptions are great, but the person in charge of hiring often doesn’t know exactly what the department leader is looking for, and these qualities may or may not be in the job description.

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance 

kristin5. Create Detailed Job Descriptions

Detailed job descriptions are essential to ensure HR and departmental heads are on the same page when it comes to hiring. The manager should supply exact information on the team/department culture, job functions, and requirements. This will help weed out unfit candidates.

Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC 

Eric6. Document a Day in the Life of the New Hire

HR professionals can lower the risk of mismatches by ensuring they ask the department leads for what a day in the life of the new hire will be like. A job description is the aspirational ideal of productivity and drive in a role, but the reality of the daily actions and interactions might be different.

Eric Mathews, Start Co. 

matthew7. Share Specific Needs Beyond Job Duties

Share specific needs with HR representatives that may go beyond what is listed on the job description. This could mean discussing the need for a leader with strong communication skills or team members who do well with ambiguity. While those qualities may not be listed on the job description, they will help guide HR in identifying strong candidates.

Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, PA 

jared8. Invite HR to Spend Time With Your Department

The quickest way for HR reps to understand what you need is to show them what you have. Invite them to your team meetings, particularly ones where you review goals and objects. This way, they can gain an understanding of the niche roles they may be tasked with hiring for.

Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc. 

solomon9. Empathize With Each Other

Have empathy. Put yourself in the shoes of people in the department. It’s easy to follow strict corporate hiring guidelines, so sometimes it’s nice to have out-of-the-box people, circumstances, or experiences to work with. It’s not just about hiring another person; it’s about hiring the right person who is going to fit the job.

Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS 

Kelsey10. Have HR Reps Sit in on Final Interviews

Our HR reps worked with department leads, new employees, and experienced employees to revamp our job descriptions to ensure they were reflective of the actual responsibilities of the role. HR reps then sat in on a few final interviews to see what questions were being asked at the end of the process to help them better vet people in the beginning.

Kelsey Raymond, Influence & Co. 

jared11. Outline Your Expected Hiring Processes

If you create a document outlining the processes you expect, there’s no reason why HR shouldn’t understand your company’s hiring objectives. Think about what you expect from candidates and put it into a file that HR can look back at and take notes from.

Jared Atchison, WPForms 

syed12. Check In After Each Round of the Hiring Process

It’s helpful to do a check-in after a round of applications and interviews. HR leaders can have a conversation with the department heads to go through their choices and decisions and to get feedback. These trial runs can help HR get some great insights that can go back into improving the next round.

Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner 

Reuben13. Let HR Be an Overall Orchestrator

I’ve seen the value in framing HR as an orchestrator. In the hiring process, allowances have to be made for department leaders to be involved firsthand in selecting those they will be working closely with. If HR acts as a temporary personal administrator and consultant for the department leads, and those leads are empowered to take responsibility early on, things will run much more smoothly.

Reuben Yonatan, GetVoIP 

Kelly14. Build Flexibility Into Your Hiring Plans

The world is changing at a faster pace, and all the static and mundane processes are calling for new updates. Whether in capital or labor markets, businesses are pivoting and adopting cost-effective strategies. To enable greater coordination between HR and management, HR teams should build flexibilities into their recruitment processes.

Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz 

By Recruiter Q&A