Recruiting advice for recruiters and hiring managers

On the same team: 5 ways to improve collaboration between recruiters and hiring managers

This is part 2 of an earlier article, Relationship advice for recruiters and candidates

It’s a notoriously rocky relationship: recruiters and hiring managers share the common goal of filling roles with exceptional talent, but often fall prey to lack of trust, poor communication and different expectations; not the recipe for success, nor what anyone needs in their already stressful workday. According to ICIMS Hire Expectations Institute research, 80% of recruiters think they have a ‘high’ to ‘very high’ understanding of the jobs for which they recruit, while 61% of hiring managers say that recruiters have, at best, a ‘low’ to ‘moderate understanding’ of the jobs for which they recruit. So, how can you do better? What does it take to get recruiters and hiring managers to play on the same team, with the same rules and expectations? Here are five tips for developing a strong, functional relationship:

1. Make the first move

Recruiters need to own this step, since the recruiter is engaged by the hiring manager to find great talent. As a recruiter, take the lead and verbally declare and commit to being open and transparent, available and communicative; establish clear expectations upfront around hiring needs and communication cadence. Follow up and do what you promised you would do.

2. Get clear on agendas and communication needs

All day, recruiters focus entirely on talent acquisition, whereas a hiring manager focuses on managing their current team and existing operations, fitting in hiring as they can. When hiring managers don’t hear anything from recruiters, they can easily assume that no work or progress is being made. Communicate clearly and often, even if there is no real progress to report. Hiring managers need to be kept informed in order to feel confident in their ability to report to others on the status when asked. 

3. Learn the background story

This part is so often completely overlooked. Recruiters need to find out what the hiring manager has at stake in regards to the new hire. Where does the hiring manager fit into the organisation and his/her department? What pressure is on this person to fill the role? If the role doesn’t get filled, or gets delayed, what are the consequences? Positions that earn the company money put a tremendous amount of pressure on the hiring manager, as every day the position is unfilled, the company is losing money. Talk openly about how much pressure the hiring manager is under, what big projects are in the works that may make scheduling interviews tricky, and make a plan to address and adapt to support the hiring manager as much as possible. Hiring managers need to feel confident in your abilities, so discuss how you have met similar challenges before.

4. Set realistic hiring expectations

Hiring managers often gather idealistic wishes from their team for what the new hire should or should not be. Gaps in other team member’s skills can also play into creating a ‘dream candidate’ that may not at all be realistic for the market, or the salary set for the hire. Talk through the job description and be truthful in reporting what is and is not realistic in the hiring manager’s expectations. Determine if there is salary flexibility to procure a more experienced candidate, if needed; and help the manager by providing concrete examples of actual hires within their market.

5. Ask for the feedback you need

It’s easy to get too routine in status updates. Keep the conversation alive and fresh by discussing what is being experienced in the recruiting process. Ask for the specific feedback you need, particularly after hiring managers have interviewed candidates. Ideally, you’ll get them to commit to providing feedback within a short timeframe, so you can keep adjusting your process to find the best candidate. When it comes to the hiring process, the relationship between hiring managers and recruiters is vitally important. By following these tips, you can start to see the real value of a successful recruiting partnership and meet your mutual goal: to find awesome talent

You can see the full article as it was orginally posted on Recruitment Agency Now here

Related: RPO, Recruiting best practices, Recruiter training, Recruitment innovation

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