I interviewed Alison Tringale who discussed How can Hiring Managers Attract the Best Talent.
Can you provide a brief background of yourself?
Thanks, Dustin. So, as Dustin said, my name is Alison Tringale. I run Kenna Group. We're a recruiting firm that specializes in procurement and supply chain. My background is in procurement and supply chain, actually, rather than recruiting. I started my career with Quaker Oats and Pepsi and in their global procurement group buying commodities, ingredients, and then from there, I spent six or seven years in supply chain and procurement consulting with Accenture. And then about seven years ago, I started this firm. Like I said, we specialize exclusively in supply chain and procurement. We do a little bit of engineering as well. And that's me in a nutshell.
How can hiring managers attract the best talent?
That's a really good question. I get that probably on a weekly basis, Dustin. And really, I think most people agree that hiring good people is extremely difficult, regardless of the industry you're in, regardless of the sector or function. But it's especially difficult for those in the procurement and supply chain space. I've actually read through several of your interviews, Dustin, and you've interviewed others that have said the talent pool, there's definitely a shortage of good, strong procurement and supply chain talent out there. So it definitely is something that's top of mind for people.
And what I usually say is, most candidates that work with, once they decide to leave a job, they have multiple offers. So it is a competitive marketplace out there. The short answer is pay more money, because that's the number one reason people leave or make decisions to take a job is money. But that's not always feasible. Hiring managers have a structure that they have to work within, their HR policies. So if you can't offer that rock star salary or amazing perks like Google, and all the technology companies do, then you have to find other ways to stand out from the crowd.
One of the most simple, inexpensive things that I always tell people is just run a really solid recruiting process. I think what people need to remember is that this is a candidate's first experience with your company and its culture. So it needs to be positive. It needs to run smoothly. Timing and feedback are key.
When I say timing and feedback, what I mean by timing is candidates seems to move through the process at a reasonable pace. You'd be surprised how many companies take, I'm not kidding when I say six, seven months to get through a process. And unless you're interviewing a C-suite candidate, that's really too long. When I talk about timing, I think I'm talking to the manager, director type level. But it needs to move at a reasonable pace. And you need to get feedback. And by feedback, I'm not saying that it needs to be as specific as, "Oh, you nailed that question from Nancy in the last interview about leadership." It's more about feedback on the process.
So more along the lines of, "You did well in that last interview.We'd like to have you move to the next step. That will be an interview with Joe Smith. But Joe's out of town for the next two weeks. So we'll get you set up." Just give them feedback on what to expect next and how the process is going to move along. And that really goes a long way. And even if the process is going to take a little bit longer, if they know and if candidates are informed, it just makes for a much better process.
So one of the things I should probably hit — I glanced over it —is how long it should take. And I get this question all the time. It really depends, of course, on the level. But, like I said, for a manager, director level, it really probably shouldn't take more than 30 or 45 days. Having said that, it's my experience that candidates in the supply chain and procurement space aren't risk takers. So they generally take the first solid offer they get. By solid, I mean solid salary and benefits. So speed can be critical. So if you can move faster, you have an advantage over other companies.
So I guess that speed or timing and feedback are critical to that process. One of the things that...feedback I get to this is, "Yes, but I'm just a hiring manager. HR, they run the process. They have control over it." I think that's kind of a cop-out, to be honest with you, because a lot of hiring managers do take that hands-off approach, and they just let HR run it. But HR has oftentimes dozens and dozens of requisitions that they're handling. So they're doing the best they can, and your requisition doesn't mean any more to them than the next one. So I think you have to take the bull by the horns and help them keep things moving. Again, just remember that this process, this interview process, is a candidate's first experience with what it's like to work for your company, and most importantly, you as a hiring manager. So you don't want the interview process to be painful, unless, of course, you're painful to work for, if that makes sense.
Do you have any examples of success you can share?
I have a lot of examples of companies. Of course, I can't be specific in the names. But I would tell there are even very large Fortune 100 companies that will move through an interview process in a matter of three weeks. And those are the companies that I find once they can nail in on a candidate that they like, and they just move, they get the best talent, because they're not afraid to just pull the trigger, so to speak. I'd love to give you names, because I think you'd be surprised at how large some of these companies are that can move as quick as they can. But every single one of them has a very engaged hiring manager that runs the process. I shouldn't say runs the process, that owns the process. They own the hiring process, and they don't let little things get in the way. Once they find a candidate they like, they follow that candidate through the process and make sure they get through it. So that's what I would... Those are the types of examples that, when I look back on my clients and say, "Which ones get the best talent?" it's the hiring managers that are the most engaged.
Thank you. Do you have any final recommendations?
There are other things. I guess I focused on that hiring process, which is so important. But of course, there are other things that candidates look for in addition to a core salary. Salaries are always going to be one, culture is two, which the hiring process does reflect on the culture of a company.
But I think there's other little things that you can do, a flexible work environment is becoming increasingly important, particularly to the younger generation, or the millennials. Any flexible work environment or virtual, that will give you a leg up on getting talent. Any kind of other small perks that you can offer as far as time off or flexible time off. It doesn't necessarily have to be more vacation. It's just about allowing people to work when it's flexible for them. I find that that's a really important thing for, like I said, particularly younger or the millennial generation.
Other than that, again, it's really putting on a good... It's really showing them what's it's like to work for you as a hiring manager. Because your company is going to have a reputation, regardless. If you work for a big company, they have a reputation. Those candidates are going to go on Glass door. They're going to read a bunch of reviews about what it's like to work for company XYZ, but at the end of the day, a candidate is choosing to work for you as a hiring manager. So I think it's really important to take ownership of that and show them and give them an idea of what it's like to work for you versus this massive company.
Thanks for sharing today.
No problem, Dustin. Thanks for having me.
About Alison Tringale
President & CEO at Kenna Group