Build Credibility With Hiring Managers – By Using This “See I Told You So” Tool

A recruiter can instantly build credibility by showing that their candidate ratings are more accurate than their hiring managers’. The “See I told you so” method confronts managers by visually providing a simple side-by-side chart that reveals the many areas where a recruiter’s ratings, recommendations, and projections are superior to those of the hiring manager. 

Individual recruiters must have the courage to occasionally confront managers with “See I told you so data” that unambiguously reveals that the ratings, advice, and recommendations from their recruiter are often superior to their own.

The Birth Of The “See I Told You So” Tool For Determining Superior Hiring Recommendations

Many decades ago, while serving as a department manager, I hired a researcher for a critical position. I, of course, involved my entire team in the hiring process. In the end, I confidently selected Mary X for the job. After making the announcement, my team lead, Janet, came into my office and bluntly stated, in no uncertain terms, that Ms. X’s fooled me with her personality and extensive academic credentials. Being an Irish male, I, of course, strongly disagreed with her assessment and hired Ms. Smith anyway. However, Janet stood her ground and demanded that I physically write a notation my calendar on a date six months after Ms. X would start. In that notation, I predicted Ms. Smith to be an A+ top-performing hire, while Janet predicted her to be a C- hire. After six months, my physical calendar and Janet both forcefully reminded me of how wrong I was. 

At that moment, I learned a valuable lesson that I carry with me to this day. And that is to verify the accuracy of every team member’s candidate assessments later on after the new-hire begins working. On that same day, I started religiously recommending, what I now call, the “See I told you so” recruiting metrics tool. The tool allows a manager to determine who on their hiring team consistently, quickly, and most accurately assess talent. Knowing everyone’s accuracy and weakness areas also allow the manager to discount the candidate assessments and projections made in a team member’s weak areas.

Compare The Accuracy Of Everyone’s Ratings And Projections In These Recruiting Areas

It makes sense to rate and compare your recruiters’ accuracy, hiring managers, and your interviewer’s ratings and projections in any recruiting areas that you consider to be important. Here are two action steps for gathering “I told you so data” from members of your hiring team. 

  • Start with this simple “snapshot approach” for gathering data – once the finalist candidate accepts. Get the hiring manager, the recruiter, and anyone who sat in on multiple interviews to rate the new-hire on a single sheet covering each of these three areas. 

1) Your projection of their likely performance level (A+ to C minus), 

2) Do you project a reasonable chance that the candidate will be an early voluntary turnover? and 

3) Do you project a reasonable chance that this new hire will be released as a failure within a year?

Then after 6/12 months, assess the performance of the new-hire. Use the initial data collection sheet to determine which team members made the most and the least accurate projections. 

  • If you want to know who accurately ranks new hire’s resumes?  In the cases where you want to know which member of the hiring team most accurately ranks your received resumes.  Identify that person after the applications close, ask each involved recruiter, sourcer, and hiring manager to rate the received resumes that they would consider to be in the top 10% of all resumes, based on the job requirements. Then determine which of the resume assessors actually assigned the highest initial resume rank to the resume of the person you just hired. 

Why Recruiters Often Provide Superior Advice

Yes, almost all recruiters struggle to get hiring managers to follow their advice. Although hiring managers not only frequently make hiring mistakes. But they often repeat the same ones over and over. There are many reasons why hiring managers are overly cocky and, yes, sometimes arrogant when it comes to hiring. They include: 

  • Managers assume that experience and technical knowledge automatically improve hiring – after years of working in their professional field and participating in numerous hiring processes. Most hiring managers simply assume that they know more than recruiters about assessing a candidate’s capabilities and career trajectory. 
  • Managers are not provided with data that would allow them to improve – unfortunately, few corporate managers measure or receive data on the quality of hire and new hire failure rates. And as a result, most hiring managers don’t have data revealing their hiring errors or the accuracy of their hiring decisions and projections. As a result, they typically have little opportunity to learn from their errors.
  • Managers have little training in conscious and unconscious biases – a hiring manager’s ranking and performance projections are often less accurate than a recruiter because hiring managers are seldom well trained in avoiding the many unconscious biases that reduce the accuracy of their assessments, projections, and hiring decisions.
  • Managers are simply too busy doing their day job – managers seldom prioritize hiring, so they purposely don’t allocate enough time to the hiring process and learning about how it is evolving. Rushed hiring judgments are often inaccurate hiring judgments.

Final Thoughts

Unfortunately, too many recruiters accept being treated as an “order taker” whose advice is seldom followed. In addition, many recruiters are shy and are unwilling to directly challenge a hiring manager’s choices, projections, and decisions. I find that it’s a huge mistake for a recruiter to fail to challenge their hiring manager by providing them with “I told you so data” that proves that a recruiter’s ratings and advice are often the most accurate. Instead, I highly recommend that you use the “See I told you so” approach to proving your recruiting expertise. And to yes occasionally startle and remind your hiring managers of the superior accuracy of your advice, rankings, and recommendations. 

Author’s Note: This article is designed to make you think. So, if it succeeded, please help others by sharing it widely among your team and network. 

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About Dr John Sullivan

Dr John Sullivan is an internationally known HR thought-leader from the Silicon Valley who specializes in providing bold and high business impact; strategic Talent Management solutions to large corporations.

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