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When hiring managers clash with HR

Job hunting can be extremely painful. If you're not agonizing over writing yet another cover letter, you're refreshing your email to see if a company has responded. And if it does respond, half the time the job description doesn't reflect what the phone screener says. Then if you land the interview, it can seem like an entirely different job when you talk to the hiring manager.

Why is it so difficult?

Recruiting software maker iCIMS surveyed hiring managers and recruiters to figure out what in the heck was going wrong in the recruiting process. What it found might shock you, but only if you haven't looked for a job lately.

Mismatch in understanding between recruiter and hiring manager. 80 percent of recruiters think they have a "high" to "very high" understanding of the jobs they recruit for, yet more than half (61 percent) of hiring managers disagree, believing recruiters have, at best, a "low" to "moderate" understanding. Yikes! So, recruiters are speaking with confidence about the job descriptions, while hiring managers think they're misrepresenting the jobs.

The end result can be candidates who pass the HR screening aren't exactly what the hiring manager is looking for because the recruiter didn't understand the job in the first place.

The initial screening isn't working. 77 percent of hiring managers say recruiters' candidate screening is "inadequate." The hiring managers aren't pleased with the resumes landing on their desks, which again speaks to the mismatch between what the hiring manager thinks and what the recruiter thinks.

Hiring managers aren't communicating, either. 51 percent of recruiters said hiring managers "should do a better job communicating what they are looking for in a candidate." Job descriptions are rarely clear, and they are often simply the description that was written the last time someone tried to fill this position -- even if that was five years ago. As a result, what the recruiter is looking for isn't necessarily what the hiring manager now needs.

It's not all bad, though. iCIMS looked at the companies that had the best relationship between hiring managers and recruiters and the shortest time to hire, and it found some best practices. Here are some lessons from these companies:

Don't communicate only via email. 79 percent of companies with the best relationships made sure to communicate verbally. This can allow people to ask follow-up questions easily or for the recruiter to learn things that aren't written down.

Work together. The best practice is to prepare the screening and interview questions together (67 perccent) and team up to do things like figure out keywords and which social media site is most appropriate (64 percent). Additionally, when candidates aren't what the hiring manager wants, together they tweak the requirements (55 percent).

If you're a hiring manager, speak to the recruiter you're working with. And give feedback when candidates aren't hitting the mark. If you're a recruiter, realize you probably need to ask additional questions, and be willing to hear feedback.

And if you're a job hunter? Good luck. You'll need it.

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