To recruit and hire employees in the current digital era and hypercompetitive labor market, companies have to redefine the role of the hiring manager to ensure that they are acting decisively and quickly, as a lag in decision-making can cause organizations to lose out on the best candidates, according to a study recently released by technology consultancy Gartner, Inc.

In a report released on June 26, researchers cited an analysis showing that more than three-quarters of hiring managers do not act decisively. According to the study, the characteristics of decisive hiring managers include focusing on prioritizing future talent needs, broadening the candidate funnel, and sharing hiring decisions with experts across the organization.

The research indicated that decisive hiring managers can be highly effective, finding that such managers hire 10% more high-quality candidates and 11% fewer low-quality candidates than typical hiring managers. The study also found that organizations that reward decisive hiring manager behaviors report a 17% reduction in time-to-fill.

The results of the analysis further revealed that the amount of time it takes a hiring manager to make an offer after interviewing is currently 33 days, up 84% from 2010 to 2018. According to researchers, this longer decision-making stage results in a 16% reduction in the acceptance of offers by candidates. The findings also showed that only 31% of hiring managers understand the vision their business leader has for their team.

Researchers recommended that recruiting executives and their teams change how they partner with hiring managers. Specifically, they advised organizations to avoid relying on the hiring manager alone to determine and articulate future talent needs, and to instead encourage recruiting leaders tap into sources beyond the hiring manager to define hiring needs based on the future talent strategy of the organization, and not simply on the manager’s short-term needs.

Citing evidence that candidates trust a hiring manager nearly four times as much as they trust a recruiter to provide the information they need to make a decision, researchers further recommended that hiring managers spend more of their time engaging with candidates. They also suggested that the recruiting function encourage hiring managers to prioritize candidate engagement, motivate leaders by linking hiring to their leadership role, and make it easier for hiring managers to go beyond their existing networks in sourcing talent.

The report pointed out that additional sources of information on future talent needs include business leaders, the workforce planning team, and the analytics team, who can provide insight into critical questions regarding the skills the business needs to grow, the skills and roles their competitors are hiring for, and the future development of the local labor market.