How to Bridge The Gap Between Hiring Managers and HR

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Managers, particularly those that are doing hiring and firing have a love/hate relationship with HR. It’s also been of particular interest to news media outlets over recent years starting in 2005, with Fast Company’s cover story titled, “Why We Hate HR.” Being a CEO at an HR Technology startup company called 1-Page, I certainly understand the importance of HR. The position is critical to company’s future and yet causes much pain and heartache for the managers and teams, HR supports.

Recently, I spoke with a hiring manager who was frustrated with restrictions and roadblocks that were placed in the hiring process including pay bands, experience restrictions and internal promotion process for employees.

“HR and their process became the ultimate reason our best candidate turned down job. We didn’t act quickly enough extending our job offer. It’s back to square one,” said a frustrated hiring manager.

The rift between HR and the hiring manager is an ongoing He said She said causing conflict and frustration that leads to articles like Fast Company’s. While I realize there are two sides to every story, there is often an aggravating gap between HR and the hiring manager. It’s uncomfortable, and it’s roots are often times between a lack of communicating the expectations of both parties as well as the process from job posting, interview and ultimately to hiring that new employee.

Talk about the position you are hiring for. Start with the hiring manager and if possible talk a few minutes with his/her team and the exiting employee. Most times are employees are responsible for so much more than even our manager’s realize. It’s important to understand responsibilities that go beyond the standard company job description.

Outline the process and include time lines and expected results. Hiring managers should be upfront about the expected results while also being realistic as policies and process often keep recruiters and HR from moving quickly.

Establish clear expectations. When it comes to the workplace, work teams and the HR and hiring manager relationship, setting the ground rules, deadlines and overall expectations are key to any successful relationship even those of the non-workplace variety.

Schedule communications. Whether it’s a weekly conference call, excel document or status report, schedule a time to provide your hiring manager with information, updates and status in relation to the position you are hiring for. Face to face or voice communication works best in order to maintain a mutual understanding between one another.

The relationship between a hiring manager and HR can be a beautiful and productive thing. The key is to present solutions not roadblocks when hiring and dealing with performance, productivity and other workplace issues. Once the ground work is laid both parties can rest easier knowing that they’re on the same team while looking towards future of their department.

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