They’re supposed to be allies, but the relationship between recruiters and hiring managers can certainly feel adversarial sometimes. Both want the same thing: to fill job openings with the best talent. But because the roles approach hiring from different points of view, sometimes efforts can appear to be at cross-purposes.
Hiring managers have a finger on the pulse of the company. Recruiters have one on the pulse of the market. By working together, both sides will have a greater understanding of what it takes to get the job done and, more important, fill job openings efficiently and effectively.
Recruiters and Hiring Managers Have Different Angles
The hiring manager’s job is to winnow out the wheat from the chaff and hire the best applicant for the vacancy. A recruiter is the one who sends the wheat (and sometimes the chaff) to the hiring manager’s desk. From the former’s vantage point, it’s sometimes frustrating to have so many applicants who just don’t stand out as ideal. But recruiters aren’t psychic. It’s in their best interest to be as selective as possible, but they can only work with the information that they have.
Both the hiring manager and recruiter want to do their best job, but they’re dependent on each other. John Fleischauer of Halogen Software tells Recruiter.com that it’s all about creating an effective partnership. And according to Trevor Simm, both sides of the hiring process should approach each other as they would a candidate: interview each other to learn what both jobs are really about.
Hiring Managers: Make Candidate Requirements Clear
Recruiters only know what they’re told the about the position that a hiring manager is trying to fill. The more information they have, the better. When recruiters have more to work with than bullet points, hiring managers get better candidates.
They should start with a good job description, suggests hiring manager Rachel Weeks for The Recruiter Magazine. But they should also expand on that to let the recruiter know what the ideal candidate really looks like in terms of soft skills and the criteria needed for cultural fit.
Another important part of collaborating with a recruiter is feedback. When a candidate is perfect, recruiters need to know why. Likewise, information about a candidate who is all wrong for the job helps them refine their processes to get better results.
Recruiters: Explain the Current Candidate Market
ERE Media says that there’s a gap between what hiring managers know about job applicants and the realities of the market. They’re not sourcing candidates, and they probably have numerous other duties besides interviewing job applicants. It’s up to the recruiter to bring hiring managers up to speed on what’s changed.
It’s no longer an employer’s market. Candidates and even job applicants aren’t clambering for the chance to get an interview. So some of the hiring manager’s ideas on how to conduct an interview, being timely, and little courtesies such as follow-up might be completely outdated and doing him a disservice.
“Set them up for success,” says ERE Media. If they think they’ll get the top talent just because there’s a job opening, they need to know that top talent has to be wooed these days. If they really do need the best, a salary adjustment or improved benefits might be necessary to get it. And when the elite isn’t really necessary for the job after all, they might need to adjust their expectations and job requirements.
Hiring managers and recruiters might work for the same company or be completely independent of each other. Whichever is the case, the only way for each person to do their best work is by communicating. These jobs are opposite sides of the same coin, and collaboration benefits the whole.
Candidate sourcing and hiring evolve a little more just about every day. Sometimes the progress is difficult to keep up with.
But if you subscribe to Recruitment ADvisor, you’ll have the latest articles sent to your inbox.