In the complex world of recruitment, hiring managers play a pivotal role. The recruiter focuses on the candidate journey, but often overlooked is the role of the hiring manager in this process. The "manager's journey" is just as important as that of the applicant, and when done correctly, both embark on a process designed to fill open positions with qualified candidates. This collaborative endeavor requires a well-defined timeline, seamless communication, and a shared commitment to attracting top talent. In this article, we'll delve into the six stages that define the journey and explore how managers can actively contribute to each phase.

1.  Approved Budget: Setting the Foundation for Success
Before embarking on the hiring journey, a crucial step is establishing an approved budget. This forms the financial groundwork for the entire process, ensuring realistic expectations are in place for attracting and selecting candidates. Hiring Managers and recruiters must align on budgetary constraints, as this directly impacts the quality of candidates that can be pursued. 

2.  Crafting the Job Ad: A Beacon for Potential Candidates
The second stage of the journey involves creating a compelling job advertisement, something I describe intimately in my book. Hiring managers play a critical role in conveying the essence of the role, its responsibilities, hard qualifications, and the company culture. Collaborating with recruiters to infuse the ad with accurate and enticing details is vital. This stage marks the beginning of attracting candidates who resonate with the position's core attributes. The job ad is also the first impression an applicant will have of the organization.

3.  Pre-screening Process: Nurturing Promising Leads
As the applications roll in, the third stage—the pre-screening process—comes into play. Here, recruiters and managers sift through applications to identify candidates whose qualifications align with the job's core requirements. Managers' input is invaluable in this phase, as they can provide nuanced insights into whether an applicant's experience matches the role's demands.

4.  Interview Process: Unveiling Potential All Stars
In the interview process, managers take a front-and-center-role. Collaborating with recruiters, they engage in comprehensive interviews that go beyond skills assessment. Managers can delve into a candidate's cultural fit, team dynamics, and alignment with the company's long-term goals. Their perspective ensures a well-rounded evaluation, helping recruiters present candidates who possess the desired competencies and values. 

5.  Crafting the Job Offer: Extending the Welcome Mat
Once the right candidate is identified, it's time for the fifth stage: crafting the job offer. Hiring managers and recruiters bring their expertise to this phase, ensuring that the offer is competitive and aligned with the candidate's expectations. Their insights regarding the potential employee's role within the team and organization contribute to formulating an offer that resonates with the needs of both the applicant and the company. 

6.  Onboarding Process: The Journey's Culmination
The final stage, the onboarding process, is where the new employee's journey truly begins as a member of the team. Managers hold the torch assimilating the fresh talent into the company's fabric. Their role includes aligning the new hire's objectives with the team's goals, facilitating introductions, and providing the necessary resources for a seamless transition. This phase not only sets the tone for the new employee's experience but also impacts their long-term engagement. 

Applying Internal Accountability: Sealing the Partnership

To solidify the collaboration between hiring managers and recruiters, the concept of an internal accountability agreement emerges as a crucial touchstone. This agreement outlines the shared responsibilities of both parties at each stage of the manager's journey. By clearly defining expectations, communication channels, and deliverables, this agreement fosters transparency, minimizes misunderstandings, and paves the way for a successful recruitment process. This works best when a specific timeline is put in place that everyone can commit to and agree upon. As a recruiter, I would have the manager sign the agreement along with my own signature to solidify our commitment to one another. 

Move Forward with Dedication to the Journey

The manager's journey stands as a testament to the synergy between hiring managers and recruiters, becoming the foundation of the candidate journey. The six stages, from the approved budget to the onboarding process, paint a vivid picture of the collaborative efforts required to attract and onboard the right candidates. By embracing their roles within each phase and applying the internal accountability agreement, hiring managers and recruiters forge a partnership that not only fills positions but also fuel's the company's growth and success. As both the recruiter and the hiring manager are dedicated to the manager's journey, together, the recruitment efforts for the organization will succeed. 


Steve Smith and Robb Lifferth of IsoTalent will be discussing the six stages to successful hiring and more in a free webinar on August 24, 2023 at 11:00am. Click here to register.


Steve will be the first to tell you that recruiting is marketing. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Finance at Brigham Young University and started his career in recruiting in Feb 2005. In 2008, he took a risk during a recession to help start a new company with Ryan Kohler, called Applicant Pro (Eagle Mountain, UT), an applicant tracking software platform for small to mid-sized businesses.

With 11,000 clients and close to 300 employees, ApplicantPro has made the Inc 5000 list 10 years in a row, a feat accomplished by very few organizations in the country. ApplicantPro was also named an Indeed Platinum Partner in 2023, one of only four companies in the country to receive this designation. Steve is SHRM-CP and PHR certified, and currently serves as the Utah SHRM State Director. He loves to volunteer.

Smith's book, The Hiring Tree: Laws of Applicant Attraction, has helped thousands of organizations across the country rethink the way they approach hiring. One of the hottest book releases in 2023, The Hiring Tree will help organizations understand the principles and role of SEO and marketing when it comes to attracting job seekers, providing a solid framework for hiring.


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