Blog: Building hiring manager relationship

Talent Acquisition

Building hiring manager relationship

Here are some proven actions to consider for building a healthy relationship with hiring managers.
Building hiring manager relationship

Ever Since I began my career in recruitment, I’ve quickly learned that there is more to it than sourcing a profile which perfectly fits your hiring needs. The hiring manager plays a critical role in any recruitment search. Building a healthy relationship with hiring managers can provide many benefits including quicker turnarounds on feedback, improved candidate quality, decreased time to fill, improved sourcing efficiency, and if you’re corporate recruiter, these relationships can help you in convincing candidates and your brand building efforts.

Hiring Managers plays a vital role in your recruiting efforts. As per the latest LinkedIn report on Inside the mind of today's candidate, 66% of the candidates are more likely to respond if the hiring manager reaches out to the candidate. This revelation is phenomenal, and it has become imperative in today's competitive environment that hiring managers should play a pivotal role in the success of your recruiting efforts. The hiring managers’ impact on recruiting results is very high because they make the crucial decisions on who is selected or rejected. Hiring managers also have a significant negative impact when they don’t devote enough time to the hiring process. That slows the decision, and the resulting delay will mean that most top candidates will drop out before a hiring decision can be made.

Many recruiters find themselves in a situation where they are vying for the “love” of their hiring managers? Ever worked with a hiring manager that you would bet your life on it that you want to have a punching bag with hiring manager's picture on it? I bet the answer will be yes for most of the recruiters. Recruiters and hiring managers’ shared goal is to fill positions with top talent. So why do they often end up frustrated with each other? Most often, it’s because hiring managers and recruiters have different perspectives and approaches when it comes to hiring. So if you are a recruiting leader or recruiter who would be happy if your hiring managers devoted up to 30 percent more time to hire, I have some proven actions for you to consider:

Show hiring Managers how slow recruiting efforts can turn off top candidates:

As per the LinkedIn research report it usually takes 2 months to hire a potential candidate and on an average, there are 3 rounds of discussion which a candidate goes through. Now benchmark this against your recruitment process, If you are taking 13 rounds then you are potentially turning off top candidates, Google did this study and found out that after 3 rounds of discussion the incremental benefit which is derived from more number of discussions is negligible so instead of "Death by interviews" have a more structured approach to the interview process. So the first step that you should take is to make hiring managers aware that slow hiring directly reduces the quality of the hire only because most top candidates will drop out of a long protracted recruiting process. Recruiters have a huge role to play in setting up the hiring process along with timelines. By defining the numbers of interviews, interviewing panels and skills evaluated during each discussion can set a recruiter for success even before starting the search.

Educating hiring managers on the importance of candidate experience:

Latest LinkedIn research indicates that 44% of the applicants say that a bad interview experience can make them lose interest in the job, In consumer internet the results may be much worst , According to a study 23% of the candidates who have bad experience during interviews tend to move away from buying the product of that company. Much of the emphasis in recruiting is rightly placed on finding the best candidates. Considerably less thought is given to what it’s actually like applying for a job at a company. This disconnect is talked about in recruiting circles as "Candidate Experience" and is a great area of concern for all leading organizations. There are compelling reasons for fixing this and they stretch beyond good manners. Every hiring process turns up near misses and no sensible company can afford to lose these talented people from their pool of potential future hires. As a recruiter your job is, to ensure that hiring managers are briefed about the candidate's strength's and areas they need to probe before the interview, Setting the expectations with candidates and hiring manager goes a long way in providing excellent candidate and hiring manager experience.

Impress your Hiring Manager by creating Talent Pipeline : 

Most of the times Hiring Managers don't respect recruiters and there are historic reasons as most of the recruiters will qualify as paper pushers without adding much value to the entire process, Things have changed and now TA function is becoming more tech-savvy and metrics-driven. Technology can simplify the search and identify relevant profiles, Imagine a scenario wherein recruiters go to hiring manager with a slate having all the profiles mapped from the competitors with details like Median Salaries, Locations wherein most of the talent is available, demographics, Candidates from Top campuses and the list goes on. You are likely to impress the hiring managers and from a paper pusher you become a recruitment adviser or partner, creating a talent slate of pipeline is pretty simple, LinkedIn, IIMJobs Calculus and other tools can do this job in less than 10 minutes. Post the pipeline you can start segregating profiles based on guidelines provided in the job description. As a recruiter, I use to, rank the profile based on my understanding of Job Description and then ask the hiring manager to list them. Over a period of time, you build that rapport with hiring manager through this ranking and hiring manager asks for your recommendations while making a hiring decision. Also if you work on positions which are generally backfills and repetitive start spending 20% of your sourcing efforts in outbound hiring.

Building Hiring Manager Performance Metrics: 

Unfortunately, in the entire recruitment process, it's recruiter who is held responsible for success or failure of the recruiting function. Over a period of time recruitment function has evolved and there are a lot of matrices to measure the performance of recruiting function and recruiters. There are forward-looking predictive analytics models as well as traditional time to hire and source mix metrics to gauge the efficiency of recruiting function, but not much work has been done in defining the Hiring Manager Success Metrics. The goal of these metrics is to identify “Difficult or Problematic” hiring managers but it is also to learn and then share the best practices of top-performing hiring managers with all other managers in the organization. As recruiters, we face the interesting paradox of maintaining the cordial relationship with hiring manager but at the same time getting the position filled within the defined matrices which often are defined by recruitment team and has little or no impact on the performance of hiring manager. Often recruiters are in dilemma on how do they help difficult or demanding hiring managers help themselves on closing a mandate. How do they help candidates get past the somewhat brusque, authoritative, or tepid demeanor exhibited by some hiring managers? In addressing these questions, it is worth noting that as much as working with a difficult hiring manager can present real challenges, these situations also present a very tangible opportunity to bring significant value-add to recruiters. In particular, if recruiters can help a difficult or demanding hiring managers optimize his or her approach to engaging and interviewing candidates, or, if they can contribute to equipping them with a game plan that will yield a more efficient hiring process, recruiters are more likely to earn their respect, and may even be counted as a trusted adviser. But, how exactly, do we accomplish this? What can we do or say that will positively influence a hiring manager’s perspective and behavior towards candidate prospects. 

 Make Hiring Managers your Brand Ambassadors: 

Hiring Managers are sleeping giants whom you can use to build your employer brand. Most of the senior folks in your organizations have a vast network of people whom they know professionally. A techie will know 100 more techies, it's important for you as a recruiter to leverage on the hiring manager or one up( preferably a VP/CXO) network and build upon your branding strategy. How about putting together a networking event for engineers in your city where your VP of engineering talks about how they’re using data Science for Personalization? You setup the venue, and the VP’s team can help with promotion via their network of engineers in your city. This will also go a long way in building your personal rapport with the hiring manager and CXO's.

Final Thoughts:

In addition to these five key areas, open communication, establishing a mutual understanding of expectations, regular meetings, and above all, valuing hiring managers as human beings who are under a ton of stress and who appreciate support and respect go a long way to developing an active and fruitful partnership. Both recruiter and hiring managers are chasing the same goal to bring in the best candidate for the job. Make the whole process enjoyable, and you will probably add someone to your friend's list.

(This blog was published on LinkedIn)

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Topics: Talent Acquisition

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