Hiring manager responsiveness makes or breaks talent attraction

Over 40 years of talent attraction, I have experienced hiring managers who were very responsive with positive and negative feedback. This information helps me focus my searches on the exact candidate they seek.

There have been other managers who ignored both the resumes and my calls for feedback. Since recruiting is not a priority for them, I only focus on other positions where we may be successful. Sure, I will ping them occasionally. Generally, they wait until a key member of their team decides to leave before they respond.

This practice leads to unhappy and overworked staff. Can you imagine how many candidates over the past 40 years responded to my recruiting call because they felt overworked and underappreciated? Suffice it to say very many.

You have 72 hours

Studies demonstrate that after 72 hours without contact from a company, candidates begin to lose interest in a position. Additionally, the companies where managers respond quickly will interview and offer the top candidates. Which candidates are left for the other companies?

Talent attraction mirrors the sales process perfectly. Would you agree that attentive sales professionals are the most successful? The same is true when your company is attempting to recruit the best candidates.

Companies have conditioned candidates that they have low interest in their candidacy if they are not responsive during the selection process. Therefore, candidates mentally move on.

Responsive managers attract top talent

Some managers complain they are too busy to respond quickly to resumes and phone screen results. Assuming they need the new talent to move their projects forward, doesn’t it make sense to attract talented professionals when they are available?

If your company is losing candidates to other companies, it may be the recruiting staff. More likely, the problem lies with the responsiveness or lack of responsiveness by the managers.

As a recruiter, it is frustrating to be asked to screen six candidates now for one position. Then watch the excuses mount as the hiring manager determines that this is a low priority for them. “The sky is falling!” produces the expected result — the recruiter will most likely drag their feet until they are positive the manager will act on the candidates this time.

The top managers use recruiting to build their top performing team, not just fog their mirrors. Which manager are you?

Bill Humbert with Provocative Thinking Consulting, Inc. is a speaker, talent attraction consultant, career transition consultant and offers training contracts at recruiterguy.com.