Two years ago, Flight Centre, an Australian airfare company, began to allow their recruiters rather than their hiring managers, hire the job applicants. Instead of presenting a small pool of qualified candidates to the hiring manager the recruiter instead gives them an employee.
As someone with recruiting experience, here are a few reasons why such a simple move is so brilliant.
- Perhaps the largest benefit is that recruiter hiring significantly decreases time to fill. Flight Centre reported that their hiring process which includes an assessment, interview, offer letter and time to start, decreased from forty-five days to just fifteen days. This is a staggering improvement. Decreasing the time to fill a position allows the employer to secure top talent before they accept an offer elsewhere. Additionally, filling the position quickly helps improve morale among the employees who have had to perform both their duties and those required by the open position. The majority of candidates hired by Flight Centre were sales people and so getting the new employee in and selling thirty days faster no doubt improved their bottom line.
- A second huge benefit is that it frees up a tremendous amount of time for the hiring managers. Hiring managers, as insinuated by Flight Centre’s long 45 day hiring process, are swamped with tasks and decisions unrelated to hiring. Freeing them of this burden obviously not only improves the hiring process but allows them to have a greater impact on their immediate duties.
- A third benefit is that I can see this process allowing for more diversity. Hiring managers tend to hire people that think like them. This form of mirror image hiring stifles productivity because hiring managers often choose yes men/women rather than people who might challenge their ideas with fresh opinions. A recruiter might be more apt to select the most qualified candidate than the one with which the hiring manager is most likely to play tennis.
- A fourth benefit is abolishing the hunt for the elusive purple squirrel, the perfect candidate that hiring managers covet but rarely find. Hiring managers who are often uncertain of the type of candidate they even want, delay the hiring process by waiting to see if someone better will come along. Why choose someone who matches only 85% of their long list of job requirements when they can have someone who matches 87% of their long list of requirements? During this time productivity suffers, the other candidates already being considered for the job are left twiddling their thumbs and a great deal of friction is created between recruiter and hiring manager. Recruiters on the other hand aren’t going to send themselves back to the drawing board with any enthusiasm time and again to look for Mr. or Mrs. Perfect.
- The last benefit is that turnover is unlikely to suffer; at least no increase occurred at Flight Centre. Your recruiters should know the company culture and qualifications for the position as well as or more so than the hiring manager. Turnover should not increase. I wouldn’t even be surprised to see it go down over time.
Now I don’t recommend allowing outside recruiters or search executives to hire for you but many of your internal recruiters are probably chomping at the bit to get their candidates through the door. Why not let them? It’s good for you, it’s good for your recruiters, and it is good for the candidates.