Hi, I was hoping to get some advice on a problem I'm encountering with recruiting right now.  I am the director of HR and recruiting for a company in the DC area focused on government contracting.  I primarily hire Java developers and other members of a typical Scrum team.  Recruiting can be challenging here because I sit in the company headquarters and the team I'm recruiting with and for sit in a cleared facility.  I try to get over there as much as possible but due to our different locations and my lack of a clearance I do most of my recruiting virtually.

Until recently, I've been quite successful.  I've hired a larger number of developers in a short period of time.  Everyone must be vetted by our CTO and when I was hiring one or two people at a time it worked okay, despite lack of useful feedback from him at times or difficulty getting it at all.  Now, we are bidding on a contract that we expect to win and I need to hire 12 strong people in the next month basically.  I'm finding some great candidates but our CTO is turning down people for arbitrary reasons, taking days to respond to me, not showing up for planning conference calls, etc.  I've asked him if I could meet him for lunch to talk about folks and got him to agree to a planning call on Wednesday but I doubt he will show up.  I need his cooperation to be successful and I'm becoming more and more frustrated.

Any advice from some members who have been successful with a difficult hiring manager, client, etc? 



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I know what you mean by difficult managers.  You are doing the right thing by reaching out to him to let him know your concerns.  You're doing your job and doing it well, but it's important that you continue to back up everything with documentation.  Is he the only hiring manager that you deal with? 

If I can't get any "act right" out of my managers (which are very few), I usually pop up at their office where they will have to talk to me and I let them know that I'm sticking to the job description and giving them quality people....sometimes, some people have issues with their personality...you just have to sit down with him and make him understant that you are helping him with staffing and talent building. 

Thanks, Jai!  That's great advice.  I had a good talk with him and I'm hoping for the best going forward.

That's excellent Katy, sometimes having dialogue with those "higher than us" can open them up to see that they can be misunderstood or not clear in their expectations. If they want us to do what they requested, it's good to be on the same page and everyone is completely understood what the next courses of action are.  I'm glad you're getting a little clarity, now just do the best you possibly can and hopefully you won't hear any "lip". LOL!

Keep doing what you are doing and document. Sometimes, although I hate to do it, you have to bring in their boss. Also, keep your boss in the loop. Maybe copy him/her in a view emails. Maybe that will light some fire under the hiring manager.

This is tricky, and I have used it on occasion. Sometimes I leave a msg/email asking if the position(s) were still a priority and if not, I will put a "hold" on all recruiting efforts until notified. That ALWAYS get's a call / meeting.

Hi Tiffany, thanks!  I'm still not getting great responses from him so I think it is time to bring in the boss.  I appreciate the advice and I will definitely use the "hold" trick some time!

That's a tough one Katy.  Did he give you any hint as to his lack of responsiveness?  Other priorities or candidates not meeting his standards?  I would be reluctant to go to the CEO with it.  Unless this guy is the one bad apple, stuff usually rolls downhill.  

Hi Bill, it's that our CTO is extremely busy and has other priorities at the moment.  I'll play it out for now, I'm hoping that things turn around because I  don't have much time to get folks lined up for this new project

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