collaboration power: recruiters & hiring managers

Recruiters and hiring managers both strive for the same objective: identifying exceptional candidates

Recruiters and hiring managers both strive for the same objective: identifying exceptional candidates in a timely manner. Ideally, their collaboration would be seamless and productive. However, in reality, the recruiter-hiring manager relationship can sometimes be strained. Hiring managers may express dissatisfaction with the quality of candidate shortlists, while recruiters might face challenges in meeting the high expectations set by hiring managers.

common challenges in the hiring manager-recruiter relationship

  • Hiring managers express dissatisfaction with candidate quality.

  • Recruiters face unrealistic expectations from hiring managers.

  • Differing opinions arise between recruiters and hiring managers regarding hiring strategy and timeframes.

Rather than letting the difficulties of working with uncooperative hiring managers frustrate you, keep these three things in mind:

  1. Collaboration is key; you can't do it alone. Build a strong relationship with hiring managers, seek their advice, and value their management expertise.

  2. Respect their time; hiring managers have other priorities. They may have limited availability to dedicate to recruitment strategies.

  3. View the hiring manager as your valued customer. Identify and address their needs, as their satisfaction indicates a successful hire.

Here are the most common situations between these two and the best approaches to build a good collaboration!

In cases where job requirements are unclear from hiring managers:

Do your internal research well and master the role of the department in the organization. For this, you can start from the organization chart. Know what kind of outputs this team produces for your company, who are the people of team and what the short- or long-term goals of the team are etc.

Do your external research with industry benchmarks and find the best skill set you’re looking for. Use these data while asking your extra questions to the hiring manager.

Rather than asking to hiring manager general questions like ‘What are you looking for in your new team member?’ trust your strong question-asking skills and ask ‘What skills should the ideal candidate have?’ or ‘What are the essential qualities to be successful in this role?’

In cases where hiring managers want a quicker time-to-fill:

Be actively involved in the entire recruitment process, demonstrating your genuine care and commitment to hiring managers. Show them that you're not just focused on filling the job quickly and moving on.

Keep track of your candidates' expectations, which may change in the process. If the candidate is able to make changes regarding salary expectations or on-site work, keep a close eye on them and update hiring manager about these issues and warn them. Surprising changes can cause your whole process to come back to start point.

In cases where hiring managers has unrealistically high expectations from recruiters:

Make sure that hiring manager can distinguish well: must-haves and nice-to-haves. Collaborate with your hiring manager to determine the desired candidate skills pre-hiring and identify skills that can be developed on the job.

Maintain regular communication with hiring managers throughout the sourcing process to avoid suggesting unqualified candidates. Continuously seek feedback and stay updated on any changes to job requirements. Successful recruiters prioritize frequent interaction with hiring managers to ensure candidate alignment.

In cases where hiring managers require assistance in candidate interviews:

Some hiring managers might lack interview experience, so walk them through the process. Explain what to expect from candidates’ answers and point out red flags they should prep for. Follow up with them after their interviews, discuss their concerns and advise them on their final choice.

Improve candidate experience. Hiring managers who are new to their jobs could fall into the trap of common interviewer mistakes, like asking illegal or subjective interview questions. As a recruiter, you should guide hiring managers to avoid poor candidate experiences which can hurt your employer brand.

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