Often I hear complaints from Line Managers that all in their HR land is not simpatico.  That HR needs to truly partner across the business, be on the front foot, add value, be an enabler not a roadblock, work differently, do more of the same, be faster, hand hold us through the process, hire quickly, do their due diligence, terminate swiftly but with dignity, lead culture, don’t create more paperwork.  Ahh the quandary of the engaged Line Manager!

Interestingly when we convert this feedback into the all important hiring process, so many interviews fall over after a Line Manager holds a one on one interview with a prospective candidate.

Whether it’s a chance for one upmanship, or their life’s chance to act out good cop/bad cop, or their belief that they’re testing them for their mettle.  Lo and behold, the phone doesn’t ring as quickly after this interview with the candidate’s feedback.  HR or the recruiter has to chase them down – always a sign of the first nail in the coffin.

In this competitive commercial landscape, we have to work hard to broaden the net as much as possible.  Whether that’s creating business development opportunities, innovation through customer insights, achieving stretch financial targets, ground breaking technology or delivering a best in market supply chain process.

The exact same rules apply to Talent.  At all stages of the hiring process, the employer wants to be in the driver’s seat.  The employer needs options and that means you need every prospective employee or candidate to be so engaged in your business they are salivating for the opportunity!  Keenness on the employee’s side means flexibility in salary negotiations, an ability to get themselves up to speed in the notice period and an absolute determination to make the role work for the long-term.

An arrogant or indecisive Line Manager can undo your groundwork in 30 minutes.  It is critical as an on point HRM you are doing much more than just booking the interview time in your line manager’s diary – particularly when they are inexperienced interviewers.

When you book that time, also block a 30 min time slot for you and the Line Manager to sit down together.  Give them a fact sheet – perhaps the 4 top things they must deliver to the candidate in that interview.  Engagement in the brand, clear understanding of career succession plans, cultural strengths, and training & development support must be a focus of these deliverables.

Reinforce the end game is that you have the ability to make the decision on whether to hire, not the candidate.  There really is no excuse for unfavourable feedback from a candidate after any interview stage.  An interview is truly a magnificent opportunity to create a world class brand ambassador.  Go grab your Line Managers now!

Kara Atkinson