Don’t Ask – Do Tell

26 Jul

Memo to Hiring Manager of the Day – You can’t expect the hiring of top people to be convenient.  My client – I tolerate their hiring gauntlet – I mean process and while thorough, it occasionally borders on defeatist. 

Location A is where the job is.  Location B is where the big boss resides.  Great candidate from afar has phone interview with hr and boss from location A and does well.  Company schedules phone interview with big boss 2 days later.  Candidate again does well.  HR calls and asks me to get candidate in to meet with boss and hr from location A at location B with big boss.

Top candidate is an interviewing phenom and is open to just about anywhere – working with a couple of recruiters and is apparently the headliner on Lalapainterviewza 2007.  In other words, the schedule is filling up and I am one of her promoters.  Dates I had previously given HR were not gonna work now that the tour bus was rolling. 

I suggest two dates.  HR shares that this Friday would not work because the location A boss and HR just can’t get away from location A and that next Friday would not work because big boss was "taking the day off."  I asked HR guy – "Why don’t you just ask big boss if he would be willing to come into the office for an hour next Friday?"  Simple enough. 

HR responds with "I am not gonna ask him to do that."  I, of course, said – in a service minded tone(always) – "If you won’t, would you mind if I did?  Because I will."  HR says – "Sure, go ahead."

Enough with the dialogue – (sorry, gosh I need to set the stage with real life examples here – back it down).

The point – this is where HR falls short so many, many times.  You’ve got a hiring manager with pain, you’ve got 3 people needing to interview potential candidates, a specific skill set you are looking for and unwilling to settle for less, the corporate travel department involved, airplanes involved, a candidate finds their way into your email inbox that you do not even dream of passing on yet you are unwilling to ask the manager with the pain to make a small investment to interview someone on a day you think he is contemplating taking a vacation day.  Huh?

Coincidentally, HR had it wrong.  The big boss was not going to take next Friday off but the Friday after that.  However, you don’t get that if you don’t have the discussion.  So – see you gotta ask but really – just tell them this is when it needs to happen.

What is the worst thing the manager can say?  No.  Next memo to hr – when you hear – "no" – know – you are doing your job.  Believe me I asked the hiring manager but if he would have said "no" I would have been telling him why it needed to happen.  HR needs to push more often – HR needs to make things happen more often and stop acquiescing to hiring managers.  They are screaming at you for candidates – when you have one – tell them when they will be interviewing the person.


One Response to “Don’t Ask – Do Tell”

  1. KT August 6, 2007 at 6:56 AM #

    Do we really have HR departments anymore or just personnel departments?
    It would not be politically correct if you piss off the big guy…….get some balls HR.
    By the way, I like your choice of words:
    Who else had to look it up!

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