Working closely with Hiring Managers can sometimes be the hardest part of being a recruiter. They don’t know what they want, set the bar too high and sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, they appear to hate you!
Doesn’t sound like a great working relationship, does it? But you’re both working towards the same goal of recruiting the best talent for their business, which will ultimately go a lot smoother if you’re both on the same page.
These top tips will help you to develop a strong relationship with those testing Hiring Managers...
1. Get all the facts before diving in
Pinning your HM down for half an hour to discuss the role is really valuable in the long run; it can save you a lot of back-and-forth and sets you up for success from the first foot.
Make it clear how much value you can add to the recruitment selection, saving time for both parties and giving them their money’s worth.
Coordinating time with a hiring manager is the bane of most recruiters’ lives. We all know how busy these guys are, so it’s all too easy to have a two minute chat on the phone, accept a job profile via email without much explanation and think of the fee. But this is not enough for you to do a good job and can risk future business.
If you shoot off that two minute call and go straight onto your database then chances are you’re not going to find the right candidate who will stick it out. You work hard enough for the fee so do you really want to have to work at filling that position more than once or giving back the money?
2. Get to know the team
We often spend more time with our colleagues than our family or friends so you don’t want the new addition to upset the harmony of the existing work family.
Instead, get to know what type of manager your HM is and find out about the existing team. Are there any quirky traits or strong characters that the newbie would have to fit in with?
Finding out all of these little nuggets will make your life easier and more importantly win you brownie points with your hiring manager. And as you seem to understand the culture, you’re more likely to win more business from them!
3. Manage Expectations
We’ve all had a job description through at some point that instantly makes you roll your eyes!
Talent acquisition isn’t usually your HM’s area of expertise - that’s why you got the gig! So when it comes to writing a job description, they can sometimes get a bit lost, listing the absolute ideal, perfect candidate, who doesn’t exist in their salary bracket…good luck finding that one!
This is another reason it’s really important to spend a bit of time with them before jumping in to search for that rare fish in a huge ocean.
4. Show them you're the expert they need
Educating your hiring manager on the state of the market their potential candidates are in is a great way to show them your value. If there are lots of jobs and few candidates they need to know that it may take a little longer to find the right person.
Or, they may need to rethink the salary, take a more detailed look at what their competition is offering - right down to how many tea breaks they get, as these are the kinds of things that could sway the right candidate.
And if you’re still struggling, it might be worth asking if your HM can re-jig and bring someone on board who is slightly junior and build in training. The value of this rework is that they get to mould that person to match the absurd job profile they gave you, and they can probably save a little bit of money too!
You’re an expert in your field, so share the information and set your HM up for a successful hire. Be honest with them, tell them if they're punching above their weight or if they can get more for their money. And don’t be afraid to say no! Making promises and not delivering is only going to make you look incompetent and you’ll not get any thanks (not to mention commission) for wasting your hiring manager’s precious time.
Whilst the recruitment process can be made pretty stressful when dealing with certain hiring managers, it’s best to remember that your HM’s are a busy lot, juggling many tasks at one time under a mountain of pressure. They might not always show it, but they do appreciate the value you add to the business, so keep these tips in mind and you’ll build a strong, positive relationship that will benefit both parties long term.
Louise is the Associate Director of Customer here at Firefish. She loves on-boarding new customers, cups of tea and dancing like no one is watching.