What Strategies Help Human Resources Managers Handle Difficult Hiring Managers?

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    What Strategies Help Human Resources Managers Handle Difficult Hiring Managers?

    Navigating the complexities of working with challenging hiring managers, we've gathered insights from CEOs who've mastered the art of alignment. From a recruiting CEO's strategy to 'Reset and Connect' to the broader community's additional answers, including the implementation of conflict resolution policies, our contributors shed light on effective tactics. This article offers a spectrum of strategies for aligning goals with even the most difficult hiring managers.

    • Reset and Connect with Hiring Manager
    • Address Inappropriate Behavior Decisively
    • Introduce Inclusive Practices Gradually
    • Mandate Joint Recruitment Training
    • Establish Clear Hiring Processes
    • Provide Regular Performance Feedback
    • Implement Conflict Resolution Policy
    • Align Goals with Organizational Objectives

    Reset and Connect with Hiring Manager

    Starting back from square one can be a great strategy for dealing with a difficult hiring manager.

    As a recruiter, I recently had a relationship with a hiring manager that was going bad fast. We couldn't get on the same page, despite our best efforts. But when I carefully audited our history of working together, I realized our problems had started long before we met the first candidate. To put it simply, we'd gotten off on the wrong foot. It wasn't anyone's fault, but a byproduct of two type-A personalities working closely.

    I proposed we meet again, in an attempt to erase our previous interactions and start fresh. He was hesitant but went along, and this time I went into it with a much more relaxed attitude.

    After chatting for a bit as strangers, we realized we shared a love of cycling and golf, among other things. This connection helped us see each other in a new light, and we were able to build from it and create a professional relationship that worked beautifully. All it took was a good first impression.

    Rob Reeves
    Rob ReevesCEO and President, Redfish Technology

    Address Inappropriate Behavior Decisively

    I had the same hiring manager for 18 years, and initially, she was great. She treated all potential employees well. However, over the years, it became increasingly difficult for candidates to be hired. I installed a hidden camera with a microphone in my office where all interviews were conducted and was surprised to hear some of the inappropriate things she would say to them. Her behavior deteriorated every year, and despite multiple conversations, she refused to change her ways. Eventually, I had to let her go last year, and since then, the work environment has improved significantly.

    Tammy Sons
    Tammy SonsCEO, TN Nursery

    Introduce Inclusive Practices Gradually

    I once dealt with a hiring manager who consistently resisted adopting new, more inclusive hiring practices. To align our goals and foster collaboration, I initiated a series of open dialogues to understand their concerns. I then showcased case studies and industry examples demonstrating the success of diverse and inclusive teams.

    Implementing a phased approach, we introduced small changes, such as blind-resume reviews and inclusive language in job descriptions. This allowed the hiring manager to see the positive impact without feeling overwhelmed. Regular feedback sessions provided opportunities for them to express concerns, ensuring a collaborative adjustment process. Through this strategy, we successfully aligned our goals, creating a more inclusive hiring process that benefited both the organization and the manager's recruitment objectives.

    Jon Torres
    Jon TorresCEO, Jon Torres

    Mandate Joint Recruitment Training

    Engaging both human resources managers and hiring managers in mandatory joint training sessions can significantly streamline the recruitment process. This strategy ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the company's hiring protocols and expectations. By receiving the same training, hiring managers become more aware of their roles and the importance of collaboration with human resources.

    This shared understanding can reduce friction and improve efficiency in acquiring top talent. Encourage your teams to attend these training sessions together to foster a cohesive hiring strategy.

    Establish Clear Hiring Processes

    Human resources managers can facilitate a smoother hiring experience by establishing clear, structured processes that are easy to follow. When hiring managers understand the sequence of steps and the reasoning behind each phase, it reduces confusion and resistance. Clear processes help in setting realistic expectations and timelines, which in turn can lead to greater compliance and a more harmonious working relationship.

    Consistency in the hiring approach also aids in maintaining a fairness and professionalism. Ensure your hiring processes are well-documented and accessible for all hiring managers to reference.

    Provide Regular Performance Feedback

    Offering regular performance feedback to hiring managers can lead to better hiring decisions and processes over time. Feedback allows for continuous improvement and adaptation to the dynamic needs of the organization. By implementing a systematic approach to performance reviews, human resources can help highlight successes and address areas that need improvement without personal biases.

    This ongoing dialogue can help build trust and promote effective collaboration. Start integrating frequent feedback sessions into your human resources strategy to optimize hiring practices.

    Implement Conflict Resolution Policy

    To constructively deal with conflicts between hiring managers and human resources, a formalized conflict resolution policy can be vital. This policy provides a clear path for addressing disagreements and finding solutions that are in the best interest of the company. When both parties know there is a neutral and structured way to handle disputes, it can alleviate tension and encourage open communication.

    The policy should be fair and respected by all to ensure it is effective. Review your organization's conflict resolution policy, or work on creating one if it doesn't exist.

    Align Goals with Organizational Objectives

    Human resources managers can encourage better cooperation from hiring managers by aligning their goals with the broader organizational objectives. When incentives are in place that reward collaboration and successful hiring outcomes, hiring managers may be more motivated to work in tandem with human resources. These rewards should reinforce the importance of teamwork, shared goals, and the overall success of the company.

    When achievements are recognized and rewarded, it cultivates a positive and productive work environment. Consider implementing incentives that resonate with your hiring managers' motivations and the company's goals.