Hiring Manager vs. Recruiter Relationships: Mind the Gap
Your business’s success depends on hiring the right candidates. As a hiring manager, the better aligned you are with your partner in recruiting, the more efficient and effective the process will be.
A strong partnership is built on communication – whether it’s through face-‐to-‐face meetings, phone calls, emails, text messages or instant messages – never stop communicating!
Here are five steps of the hiring process and tips on how to strengthen the recruiter/hiring manager relationship:
Good communication starts at the very beginning of the recruiting process – this stage is the “intake”. If you’re a recruiter, you know exactly what I’m talking about. This initial meeting kicks off the recruiting process. It involves setting expectations for the search by briefing recruiters on their business, highlighting qualifications of the role, setting a timeline and laying out your overall recruiting strategy.
At times, you may even be able to review résumés or candidate profiles and provide feedback on the spot. The information communicated in the intake stage gives recruiters a place to start by narrowing the search specifications. It also helps the recruiter establish credibility with candidates, which increases the likelihood of engaging top talent.
Pro Tip: Never skip an intake session – this can send your recruiter on a wild goose chase. This will ultimately waste your time, the recruiter’s time and the candidate’s time.
Recruiting should be treated as a top priority with the same dedication as any other business project. Your business doesn’t exist without your people. As a hiring manager, approach recruiting as an essential part of your job. Communicate to everyone on your team, at the company, in your network about your hiring needs: think of recruiting as a business opportunity.
Every interaction with a candidate is a chance to sell your company, whether you hire the candidate or not. In this step, act like a salesperson: never stop selling. A candidate might have referrals or may even turn out to be a client down the road. The managers that can sell the company and opportunity at hand form the best teams. Be one of those hiring managers!
Another important component of the recruiting process is giving feedback to your recruiter.
As a hiring manager, it’s up to you to refine the candidate search and improve the recruiting process by communicating along the way. A great way to do this is to debrief after every interview. This feedback can be in whatever form of communication you prefer (phone, Skype, in person) – as long as it actually happens.
If feedback is delayed or non-‐existent, it can be extremely counterproductive – postponing interview scheduling, hiring decisions and ultimately on-‐boarding new hires. Never stop giving feedback!
4. Get Feedback
Feedback goes both ways. Receiving feedback from your recruiter can be just as effective as providing it. I encourage hiring managers to include recruiters in the interview process whenever they can – this can be a learning experience for both parties. It’s helpful to debrief after each interview, as well. There is always room for improvement.
It’s also crucial for hiring managers to be receptive to recruiter’s feedback, not only for their own growth, but also to be aware of market challenges, applicant expectations and your competitors. Hiring top talent can be an uphill battle – your recruiter’s job is to be the first to hear about what other companies are doing to attract talent, including compensation plans, employee perks, company culture, etc. Be open, listen and learn – this step will give you a key competitive advantage.