Stephanie Mauney

3 min read


Hiring Manager Relationships

Recruiters and hiring managers do not always have a united vision when it comes to hiring practices. I’d go as far as to say that the relationship between them can often be strained. This can be seen posted all over recruiter-focused social media. I sought out a couple of social platforms to see exactly how recruiters are perceiving current industry relationships with their hiring managers. 

This video from viral HR Tik-Tok content creator, Nikki Jazz, shows the utter frustration of miscommunication between a recruiter and hiring managers concerning compensation negotiations. Nikki pokes fun at the amount of convincing it takes for a manager to increase pay to market level. When asked how to collaborate with and build a healthy relationship with hiring managers LinkedIn influencer and recruiter Dan Roth suggests, “wine and wine.” Of course, Dan is making a joke, but the underlining message is clear. It’s often difficult to work with them, leading to the occasional friendly bribe. 

Although many recruiters use their social platforms as comic relief, at the core, the majority of both internal and external recruiters desire to build long-lasting rapport with hiring managers to work in partnership on hiring successfully. Alexander Tsokos, Recruitment Business Partner at Adyen, suggests creating a mutually agreed upon written list of expectations initially to begin a healthy relationship from the start of a partnership with a hiring manager. Kristi Moose, a Client Success Manager for TalenTrust, says that she finds it helpful to meet with managers off-site and focus on making a genuine connection outside of operations. 

It’s important to keep in mind that both the recruiter and hiring manager likely have the same end goal. They want to meet company objectives by bringing on top talent and securing candidates who will convert into tenured employees. There are a few practical ways that recruiters can successfully partner with hiring managers.

Building the Hiring Manager Relationship

The first step to working well with a hiring manager is building a positive relationship. Both internal and external recruiters should understand that human connection often holds a priceless value in terms of meeting professional goals. Having strong relationships with hiring managers means effective communication, candid conversation, and efficient hiring can happen seamlessly. One way to build a positive relationship is to find ways to connect personally. Do you have any mutual interests? Are you living in a similar life stage? Perhaps plan a quarterly or bi-yearly lunch to step away from the stress of operations and have a planning meeting that can include a personal connection as well. 

Clarity of Expectations

Nearly all strained relationships stem from miscommunicated expectations. Treat your relationship with your hiring manager like a marriage. If an expectation is not communicated clearly in writing or out loud, do not have hope that there will be follow-through. Before beginning a new relationship with a hiring manager take time to discuss a realistic workload and the effects of the number of requisitions on turnaround time. Pull up analytics that shows time to fill and retention. Ask if the hiring manager is satisfied. Talk about the exact type of candidate they are seeking including the experience, education, and skills that are required for the job. Ask where their perfect candidate might be working right now. Creating clear expectations with hiring managers will certainly make strong headway for future hiring success. 

Training Hiring Managers

If open to the idea, hiring managers may need training in proper and legally compliant hiring practices. Providing reasoning and legal repercussions can give hiring managers context for the requirements behind protocols. Not all hiring managers may understand the intricacies of Affirmative Action, document retention, remaining unbiased, and compensation policy. For instance, to attract the perfect candidate, hiring managers may be willing to go above and beyond in offering a lucrative compensation package, but the internal recruiter may have to explain the repercussions of wage compression fur current tenured employees. Hiring managers should also be properly trained in the expected interview process and the importance of having an efficient process for the candidate as well as consistent interview questions. Have a conversation about how many interviews are appropriate for the hiring process, the importance of maintaining consistent communication with candidates, and being open to transferable skills. 

The potential for recruiters to build strong relationships with hiring managers is hanging on the ability of the recruiter to connect well and communicate effectively. The positive outcome of crafting and sustaining that relationship is well worth it. Give these tactics a try and see if you can turn around a strained relationship.

Stephanie Mauney is a freelance writer and content curator specializing in Human Resources.

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