When it comes to workplace relationships, employees often strive to maintain harmony — but sometimes avoiding the stress of conflict becomes a path to complacency. Done right, stress can foster more productive, collaborative exchanges. In the world of talent acquisition, nowhere is this more evident than in the relationship between recruiters and hiring managers.
Unfortunately, stress can quickly become distress amid anxiety-inducing misunderstandings and missed opportunities. Consider some common scenarios. A hiring manager with a lot on her plate may not provide enough information about a requisition, while a recruiter juggling numerous requisitions may not take the time to fully understand the hiring manager’s business needs.
In order to improve collaboration, recruiting relationships can benefit from “eustress.” Coined by endocrinologist Hans Selye, the word adds the Greek prefix eu, meaning “good,” to the word stress. This “good stress” flows from productive conflict wherein both the recruiter and the hiring manager can:
- Express their differing perspectives.
- Negotiate these viewpoints.
- Deliver a more thought-out conclusion.
Injecting a healthy dose of tension helps develop strategic partnerships with better hiring results. Let’s explore how.
Reworking for Eustress
In a productive partnership, the hiring manager is a recruiter’s best resource for defining the role and identifying the best candidate. From shoulder tap to first day, both parties should be actively involved in the process of talent acquisition, using their different focuses to secure the right hire.
Prior to pursuing leads, a recruiter should sit down with the hiring manager to explore the current and upcoming needs. During these initial discussions, the recruiter challenges presumptions and seeks clarification, acting as an adviser and not simply an operational machine.
For example, even though identifying skills is relatively straightforward, the more difficult task is pinpointing the personal aspects and abilities that a hiring manager seeks. In only few cases will a candidate have all the qualities a hiring manager desires. So, most importantly, a recruiter should zero in on one simple question: What is the singular quality that would drive your team’s success? After refining the search parameters, a recruiter is better equipped to identify promising candidates.
It’s important to note that the partnership should continue until the point of hire, when the hiring manager’s approval matters the most. After all, they will soon be sitting down to work alongside the new employee who was sought, vetted and hired to make an impact.
Building a Framework
However effective, eustress requires an appropriate framework for productive recruiting. The following elements are paramount when exploring different ways to engage the hiring manager.
Tools for the hiring manager should be intuitive and straightforward. One strategy is to provide a dedicated portal, accessible from anywhere, at any time, on any device.
With technology like this, the hiring manager can check all recruiting tasks on a personalized dashboard that highlights information about new candidates, current applicants, open roles and high-potential passive prospects. This should serve as the hiring manager’s one-stop shop to review pending activities.
After evaluating candidates’ resumes, the hiring manager should be able to screen and evaluate candidates via customizable feedback forms available from a branded portal or mobile app.
Using this information, the recruiter knows exactly what a hiring manager thinks of each candidate, providing insights for decision making and context for future hires with that manager.
In order to avoid confusion throughout the process, tasks and handoffs should be visible to everyone involved. Configurable for both tasks and reviews, deadlines add that “good stress” to challenge both hiring managers and recruiters to complete their work on time so that they achieve their hiring objectives faster.
Eustress for Success
At the end of the day, a primary goal of the recruiting team is to satisfy the key internal stakeholder: the hiring manager. Satisfaction can be difficult to measure, but ultimately it comes down to two aspects. How happy is the hiring manager with the new employee, and how happy are they with the process?
After each successful new hire, the recruiter should send a survey to the hiring manager asking a short list of questions to provide the opportunity for feedback. With this, the onus to improve is back on the recruiter.
To ensure happy hiring managers, the recruiting team must be able to use technology to both identify points of failure and to adapt the process to satisfy the diverging needs across a company. Thus, the technology must be flexible. Easy access, traceable communication and actionable steps are only the starting place for eustress to flourish. Over time, talent-acquisition tools need to stretch alongside a company’s evolving objectives, making small improvements for sustained impact.