Every HR professional will, at some point in their career, have rolled their eyes due to one of their hiring managers being a total …….
Don’t even try to deny it 😂. Sure, some managers are okay, a few are even a delight to work with because they actually know how to do their job and manage the people reporting to them. But others … well let’s just say they couldn’t manage their way out of a paper bag. And they’re usually the ones causing the eye-rolling.
Managers who can manage people are actually a rare breed
Managers are obviously necessary and serve a key role, but that title doesn’t automatically mean they’re any good at it, sadly.
Take one manager who came to me for some recruiting support because an employee working for him was leaving and he needed to replace her. I realised this wasn’t going to be an easy task because, despite his years with the job title, he’d never had to recruit before. HR to the rescue!
He didn’t know what the employee actually did in their day-to-day work so writing an up-to-date job description was the first hurdle to be overcome. Really?
Once we had a role to post and the application process was over, I gave him a list of applicants I felt might fit. I asked him for further suggestions. Silence!
So, I asked him to pick a shortlist to invite to interview. “Who should I ask?” He asked me.
“What? But you know what you need don’t you? Sure, it’s my job to support you, but it’s not my place to do everything for you”. I thought it but thankfully didn’t say it.
- Organising the interviews was way more work than it needed to be.
- What to look out for in CVs needed support too.
- How to conduct interviews even needed work.
- And then how to decide on the best person.
OMG! – You get the idea – I was having to hold his hand every step of the way.
Managers who can do the fundamentals of their job are hard to come by because people work their way up the ladder and land with responsibilities they’re simply not trained or coached to do well.
So, what’s the lesson we can learn from this?
- If someone has the title of manager, they need to know they are actually responsible for their staff. That’s not HR’s job.
- Automating the processes (of recruitment in this case) will help enormously. Automating simple steps well is worthwhile because it will bring consistency and will allow Managers to focus on the conversations, the questions and the work that needs to be done human to human.
- Some basic training on what being an effective Manager means would be a good idea too.
Tempting to avoid working with that manager again! – but that’s shirking my own responsibilities, right?
Well in the end, a good candidate was hired.
Unfortunately, they probably won’t stay long because we know who their manager is! And it’s all so frustrating when you put so much work into finding talent and the Manager lacks the basics. It can ultimately cause you to lose the person you’ve worked so hard to find in the first place – what’s the point?
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Is it worth a chat with them?
The Secret Diarist