I am an HR person who spends a lot of time coordinating job interviews in our company. Often the hiring managers take their time giving me feedback about candidates, or they just send me an email message to say "No thanks." It can take weeks to get that much out of them. The job specs they create are sometimes based on air. They want a person to move mountains for $30,000 a year. It's really hard for me to be in the middle. I would say the three biggest problems are:
1 - Hiring requirements versus salary levels are unrealistic based on the market, especially if they want good people (which they do).
2 - Managers get a job req approved, give it to me and then lose interest. I have to chase them down just to schedule interviews, and after the interviews as I mentioned it is hard to get any feedback. I am stuck having to try to explain to the candidate what's going on.
3 - Managers don't value the candidate's time and experience. They seem to think that talent grows on trees. Any advice?
Great questions! Let's start with this one: how do you get a delusional hiring manager to pull the needle (figurative) out of his arm with respect to candidate requirements and pay? Then we'll branch out to cover your other questions.
There's no way you're going to be ready to respond every time a hiring manager dreams up a new role with responsibilities you aren't necessarily familar with. Sit with the manager and get him or her to articulate the nature of the pain (the reason for the hire) and talk about what the ROLE is, not what the blinkin' job tasks and duties are. When I say role, I mean the actual role -- as in a theatrical role. What function does this person serve in the group? One of the biggest problems is that we define roles so ridiculously badly, we lose sight of what sort of player we need on the team -- getting all wound up in bullet-point requirements, instead. Anyway, you get the manager to talk about the role, and from there you go and do some research. You gotta tell the manager what the job pays - not the other way around.
You say to the manager, "Hey Broski or the female equivalent, I've got a hundred things to do just like you do. We have to agree on what you need, what the person's backstory will be prior to arriving at our doorstep, how high a priority this new hire is to you, what we're going to pay, and how we're going to manage the promotion and the interview process for this role. We have to commit to one another. I can't chase you down to get back to me on resumes, and I can't hound you to agree to interviews. That's ridiculous - if the thing is important, then you'll do it, and if it isn't, the whole requisition goes on hold. Done. You can ask me again next quarter and maybe I'll have time.
BRANDING AND ETHICS
Your own name and your company's name are both on the line when you run a job ad, much less begin interviewing people. That is YOU out there representing your family and your good upbringing and your personal integrity and all of that.
Your company does not pay you enough to trash your name and your word. That's why you have to be (and all of us HR guys have to be) the voice of reason and the voice for the candidate in the process, whether the person is high on the yes-let's-hire list or not. That's not the point. We owe a candidate a quick and human response after every interview, answers to their questions while they're in the pipeline, and a thoughtful and warm "thanks anyway' if it turns out not to be a good fit. We can't let immature or screwed-up hiring managers burn our own brands to the ground. You wouldn't walk around the office wearing a sign that says "I Don't Care about People and I'm Rude" because some VP told you too. So why would you let the VP behave that way toward candidates, with the same effect?
Enjoy your weekend! We all have to help one another build our HR mojo. It is very isolated being a human workplace type in a non-human-workplace world!