Talent Titans #21: How to Deal With A Difficult Hiring Manager (Follow Up)

Suky tackles a difficult question for a recruiter: how to deal with a difficult hiring manager as outlined in last weeks video.



Hi I’m Suky from Professional Selection. I want to follow up from last week’s video about hiring managers that interview great candidates,
but always have a reason not to hire them. What do you do if you’re a recruiter that’s facilitating that particular hire? Well, first of
all it’s a delicate one. Let’s put that out there – we all recognize that we’re dealing with individuals personalities and feelings
so definitely don’t go accusing that hiring manager of discriminating against somebody that’s perceived to be better qualified than them.
You don’t know that for sure, so first of all I would recommend that you have a one-on-one conversation with that hiring manager.

At this stage I wouldn’t even go and escalate it internally because again, if you do that you could be feeding the wrong information up
the ladder. So, one-on-one conversation with that hiring manager, ask them to explain why they’ve made the decisions they’ve made, why they
feel this individual is not suitable for the business. It may well be that that individual is overqualified but it’s at this stage where
you need to speak to that hiring manager and help them realize what other areas that this individual candidate can help them in.

So for example, if the hiring manager is currently managing ten people and this individual has some management experience capabilities, why
not suggest that they expand the area of responsibility for this new hire? Maybe they take five members of that team and they’re managing
them, which then allows the hiring manager to focus on other areas of his business. In return his manager could put some more stuff on his
plate, give him exposure to different areas of the business. Help that hiring manager understand that this is great talent that’s great
for the business and we want to bring them in. By bringing in somebody almost his succession planning for himself, he or she is then able
to go to their manager and take on a bigger area of responsibility.

Now at the end of the day, it could well be that that hiring manager refuses to hire a strong candidate into the business for no other
reason other than the fact that he’s fearful for his own job. What do you do? That’s a difficult one.

First of all tread carefully. You have a duty of care to your employer, to the business. You’ve got to do what’s right for the business.
So at this stage you have a couple of different options. If you’re within an HR department I would go to my line manager. I suggest
you go to your line manager, and again confidentially get their advice and their opinion on how to best handle this. If you’re working within a
small business and you don’t have an HR manager VP of HR then I would suggest you go to a senior member of the executive team. Would you
go to this individuals line manager? Probably. I’d recommend that, I’d suggest that’s a great place to start. Again be very careful. You’re not
going in there to accuse a member of their team of discriminating, not doing what’s right for the business, but explain to them the
situation and see what advice they can give.

At the end of the day you cannot force somebody to hire an individual they don’t want to hire because that is just a recipe for disaster.
That is not a win-win for the business, it’s not a win-win for the candidate. Anybody will resent having a hire forced upon him, so this
has got to be a situation where if that individual is hired, everybody has bought in and any concerns the hiring manager may have are

As always, I’m sure there’s different opinions on how to go about this, would love to hear your opinions.

Thanks for listening.

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