“I Want” vs. “I Need”: Working With Hiring Managers to Take the Job Order

For the average recruiter, few things present a greater challenge than truly understanding what the hiring manager is looking for when filling open positions.

While some hiring managers recite dozens of requirements for the perfect candidate, others seem to close themselves off entirely. Essentially, the recruiter is left with too little information to do a quality job. In order to combat these common recruiter/hiring manager issues, both parties must form a strategy to gain the right information and move forward with the talent acquisition process.

With a few quick steps, recruiters can work more efficiently with hiring managers to gain all the information that they need to find the right candidate.

  • Determine the requirements: Many hiring managers Candidatesare guilty of naming requirements and desires without differentiating the two. The recruiter’s job is to sift through both and determine which attributes fall into each category. Requirements are skills or characteristics that a candidate MUST have in order to perform the duties in question. For an IT position, this might include efficiencies in specific programs, previous IT experience, or a number of other skills. Without these, the candidate simply cannot function in the open position.

  • Determine the hiring manager’s desires: While requirements are skills or characteristics that a candidate MUST possess, desires are skills or attributes that the hiring manager would like the candidate to have. These might include experience working with the public, a particular degree, or specific personality types. Without these items, a candidate might still fit the position in question. However, these skills and characteristics increase the likelihood that the candidate will succeed.

  • Ranking requirements and desires: Upon prompting the hiring manager to identify items in each category, it is imperative that he or she numerically ranks them by importance. By prioritizing such items, the hiring manager ensures that the recruiter has a starting point from which to search: starting with the foremost requirement, a recruiter can narrow down the candidate pool immediately.  The hiring manager must realize that finding a candidate with each and every attribute listed might not be possible. By ranking these items, their recruiter can determine which ones are absolutely necessary. These needs may shift as the hiring manager reviews candidates that are presented with some of the traits but not others.

Finding the “perfect” candidate is much easier said than done. Incomplete or vague expectations on the part of the hiring manager only make this process more difficult. In this regard, it is the responsibility of recruiters to communicate with the hiring manager from the beginning of the project.

Asking questions, clarifying potential misunderstandings, and prioritizing wants and needs allow the duo to maintain the same expectations throughout the recruiting process.

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