If you haven’t had your head buried in piles of work or under a cushion over the last couple of days, you will have heard about a Kent based company’s recruitment blunder in accidentally sending feedback about an application direct to the candidate. Comments calling her a “home educated oddball” and assessing her suitability for interview as “worth an interview if only for a laugh”.
Quite simply, a recruitment nightmare that could do untold damage to an employment brand. Reading between the lines, it appears these comments originated from the hiring manager in assessing the long list of applicants and it got us thinking about the challenges HR faces in breaking down the barriers from hiring managers.
Whilst most people aren’t out rightly prejudiced, stereo types and a fixation on cultural fit can often trap the inexperienced hiring manager. HR colleagues are very used to looking beyond what is on the surface when it comes to assessing candidate suitability, but how do you effectively manage others to do so?
Ideally you have the time to train hiring managers in a formal setting and fully educate them on all the legislation and key skills associated with recruiting. However, many businesses simply don’t have the resources required to do so and it becomes a case of learning on the job – they learn from your example.
In our experience, the initial brief between HR and the hiring manager is key, especially for marketing roles. Thanks to the rapid development of technology, the skill base required in a marketing team is ever expanding and evolving. The stereotype of “colouring in” and “pretty pictures” has long gone, and your talent acquisition strategy for marketing now needs to incorporate skills and experience from analytical, to design, to imaginative content creation, to technical digital marketers with HTML skills.
Not a predefined package
These skills do not come in predefined packages. When supporting your hiring manager through the longlisting process encourage them to learn from you in assessing the candidates based on their skills and experience alone. If they do “forage for mushrooms” in their spare time as Anna Jacobs does – what does it really matter? Making a snap judgement on someone’s character based solely on their CV is not just short-sighted, but potentially discriminatory.
That “oddball” as Anna was described might just be the best hire you ever made. It certainly was the case for a recent client who appointed a new content creator recently who did not fit their established mould. A rather timid personality, the applicant got the job based on their skills and experience at the urging of the HR Manager, despite concerns that they would struggle in a lively outgoing team. Six months on, the new hire is now their highest performing content creator and an integral part of the team.
So it goes to show, that in marketing, as in any other team; preconceived notions should be put to one side and all elements of the recruitment process viewed from a neutral standpoint. Easier to say than do, and it is up to you as an HR professional to lead by example.
A reliable consultancy can help lighted the burden on HR significantly. We support both you and hiring managers through the recruitment process, not only with our approach to sourcing but by offering pre-agreed screening questions that ensure candidates are shortlisted based solely on skills and experience.
Contact us today to discuss how we can help you to build a strong, diverse and professional Marketing team
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