When C-level leaders increase the pressure to hire developers, it’s natural for talent acquisition managers to micromanage their teams. If this sounds familiar to you, you likely have plenty of company.
But Marcel Schwantes, Principal and Founder of Leadership From the Core, says that this is one of the biggest mistakes that a manager can make. He continues by writing, “Involve those who will be affected by the implementation by enlisting their energy and insights, or be left with people asking ‘What were they thinking when they rolled this out?’”
It makes perfect sense to involve your team as you optimize your talent management strategy. But how can you do this without giving them too much autonomy? Here are a few tips to help you share leadership with your direct reports.
As an HR leader, one of your primary responsibilities is to create and implement a sustainable talent management strategy. In many cases, you’ll have the final say about which tactics and tools your team relies upon. But along the way, your tech recruitment team might have suggestions to optimize your plan. Not only do effective managers avoid dismissing this input, but they actively listen to any recommendation before responding.
Remember, you didn’t hire your recruiters simply because they had the word “recruiter” on their resumes. They likely had previous experience and accomplishments that made you excited to hire them. But some of them might have hired developers differently than you have in the past. Does that mean they were wrong? The answer is a resounding no—and if you ignore their suggestions, you could be missing out.
Of course, you’re not obligated to ask for feedback on everything that you do. But if one of your recruiters approaches you with a suggestion, take the time to hear that person out. Listen to their initial idea, then ask follow-up questions about the impact that he or she thinks it will have on the team. Even if you decide to pass on a proposal, hearing each person out will motivate the entire team to find new ways to engage with developers.
Say that one of your recruiters suggests a new employer branding campaign. It would involve a minor update to your careers website and job listings, but this person has told you that applications could increase by 15 percent. You feel comfortable with the proposal and the data, and you’re optimistic that it will work.
Your next steps are to create a plan to launch the campaign, right? Not exactly. In fact, this is an ideal instance to share leadership with the person who initially came to you with this idea.
Even though you’re handing over the reins on this project, don’t just sit back and wait for the results. During your one-on-one meetings with this recruiter, discuss the campaign’s progress and any obstacles that he or she is facing. Sharing leadership involves much more than passing tasks on to your team. If you don’t provide support along the way, you’ll ultimately set your tech recruitment team up for failure.