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Some Managers Don’t Like Questions a Story in Miscommunication!

Some Managers Don’t Like Questions a Story in Miscommunication!

It has been sometime since I have written and I realized I never actually published this post from before the new year. It is interesting to let things sit for a spell. The one example I used in this post actually resolved itself extremely well, but I will save that for the end.

I have been talking a great deal to people in various stages of their career, one in interview stage, another just starting their job and a 3rd well established, yet the theme is the same don’t ask. Maybe I have been spoiled in my career in that I have always asked questions of my employer or potential employer, sometimes maybe even too many questions, but they are what I felt were good questions at the time. I would even go so far to say that it is my style that has allowed me to grow and help my company and those around me grow, change, be nimble, creative, etc… The list goes on. I would also be courageous enough to say that I have been supportive to my employees questions. That I created a safe environment for them to ask questions and make mistakes, I truly hope that I did this. More about that in a bit, back to the examples.

Someone I know has been interviewing for a high level almost director level position with a very well established and large organization for quite some time. There have been several phone interviews, and face to face interviews and the potential new hire had questions in regards to the structure of the organization to better understand where they would fit and how they would make the most impact. What did the hiring committee hear these questions as, uncertainty about the quick-moving pace of the environment, needing more clear direction and that the person would need a more structured, concrete role. Interestingly enough the potential employee had said, prior to getting this feedback, when discussing how they felt it went, “I am just not sure that they are clear and can all agree on what they want.” The irony in this situation blows me away! Not only did this candidate have the hiring committee pegged, they were probably the best for the environment, if they wanted someone who could understand and read them and the way they make decisions. On the other hand, they may have either just wanted a “Yes” person or someone who would never question the group.

I will save the middle story for another day and skip to the 3rd. Long term manager level employee who tries to work with their very intense power lusting boss. This is the type of boss that just shouldn’t exist anymore, I thought this type went out in the 60’s but they still exist and they are still breeding… ughh. The dictator is completely freaked out by anyone who threatens them, they don’t know how to actually communicate what they need from you and because you are not a mind reader you are an insubordinate and incompetent employee. So after a number of reviews by this new boss that all are leading to the unemployment line the employee finally decides they have tried reasoning, pleasing, pleading, anything they could think of and it is now time to go over their head. Unfortunately 8 out of 10 times this never ends well for the employee.

So why does this not end well for the employee? Well, the manager hired that person in question, or at least manages them and they wouldn’t make a poor decision. Another reason why this typically does not end well for the employee? The employee is nervous and intimidated to dredge all of the issues up to the manager and the bosses boss, they are uncertain, they may sound accusatory, lack confidence, etc… This means that when they are communicating, they are most likely not doing it to the best of their ability.

What to learn from all of this? Awareness. I am not saying that we shouldn’t ask questions or that we can’t. Here is what I would like you to take from this, you can use it in a number of aspects in your life:

What do I want the outcome to be?

That’s right, start with where you would like to see this end up, whatever the situation. Then work backwards. I may have to create an entire post on this… but it should get you started.

So the ending: that power lusting boss I had mentioned – they were actually fired recently after several other employees complained and when the habits of under performing employees began to show a pattern that this may have been more closely tied to the boss than the employees!

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Recruiters & Managers Working Together: It is Possible, You Have the Same Goal… well, you should

Recruiters & Managers Working Together: It is Possible, You Have the Same Goal… well, you should

Whether corporate or agency there are times during the recruitment process where a recruiter and a manager are not always communicating clearly. These should only be mere blips on the communication radar screen rather than long gaps of silence and disconnect. Unfortunately, these 2 professionals can sometimes appear as if they are standing on opposite sides of a very tall fence with barbed wire on the top. This is something I never understood as neither should be looked at as necessary evils to an end result (making an offer to a new hire).

Let’s talk about the frustrations of each side and through this confrontation maybe you can draw some conclusions. Each organization is different in the way the approach their solution, I happen to have some of my own.

Managers issues with Recruiters:

  1. they ask too many questions (read not the right type of questions or in the right format)
  2. they don’t react quickly enough (read no clear expectations were defined)
  3. they try to sell me on candidates (read push back or scrambling – there is a difference)
  4. they waste my time (read complete communication breakdown need to start with and continue to tweak and share the recruitment plan)
  5.  they don’t understand the intricacies of my department (read lack of trust)
Recruiters issues with Managers
  1. they are too tight-lipped; I can’t get any more information (read you are asking the wrong questions or you have no trust)
  2. the description keeps changing every time I give them a resume (read you didn’t qualify the job description)
  3. they won’t make time to interview (read no set boundaries & expectations of the process)
  4. I can’t get any detailed feedback (read ask better questions & set up a system)
  5. they have no idea how much time this takes (read- it is your job and they don’t need to… BUT they do need to see the value)
I know you are scratching your head right now and had more ah ha moments than you thought you might. This happens in most relationships between a recruiter and a manager and it typically has less to do with the skills on either side than the systems and set up of the relationship. Email me d e powers at g mail . c om if I can help shed some light and share some of my systems with you and your team. I created them because, as usual, I was tired of stating the obvious but seeing the same result: frustrated recruiters and managers. It is painful for me to watch and I knew that if I could put things down in black and white and work with people on how to communicate throughout the process the frustration would dissipate.
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