Season 7 | Episode 7


On today’s episode of Recruiter Fuel, we held a roundtable discussion on building relationships with hiring managers. We sat down with Grant, Brittany and Scott to hear their take on this part of the recruiting process.

Why Do We Want to Build Rapport With Hiring Managers?

Grant opened up the conversation talking about why the relationship with hiring managers is so key.

“The reason why we want to build rapport with them…is to make sure that we are talking with them on their level around what it is that we want to accomplish for them. We’re on the same page with them. They want to hire the best individual, we want to help them identify the best individual for their team.”

“So that’s why, not only from a sales perspective, but from an internal recruiter perspective, building that rapport with that hiring manager is so key to that relationship because you both have the same goal in mind – the end goal is the exact same.”

“What Are the True Must-Haves?”

Scott agreed and talked about how it’s vital that third-party firms work to make sure the process isn’t transactional or limited to one-way communication.

“One of the best things to do is to take the time to understand not just what’s on the job description, but taking the time to understand what’s going on in the organization, what’s going on with the team, and what’s going on for that leader. A big part of what we try do and what everyone should try to do in terms of staffing or recruiting…is solve those problems and help alleviate some of those issues.”

“If all you’re doing is looking at the job description and saying okay they need x years of this, this many years of that, they need to speak this language or need this education…you’re never going to get to the root of what makes the ideal candidate.”

Grant agreed and said that a vital part of the process is working with the hiring manager to determine what the true must-haves are.

Brittany chimed in on how this is a big piece to touch on during intake calls.

“It stems from our discovery calls with our contacts…focusing on asking those questions, making sure that we’re aligning, because if we’re not delivering the results they’re looking for, there’s no point for them to come back and use us in the future.”

Not Letting Anyone Off the Hook

Scott brought up how an important part of digging into the needs of a position means not letting the candidate off the hook when they say “it’s all in the job description.”

Grant agreed and elaborated.

“They kind of use that as a fallback…whatever is on the job description is truly what’s needed. In a lot of cases that’s true, but it’s again learning about what’s really, really needed to find success for a particular position.”

Brittany brought up how success always goes past hard skills and points on a job description or resume.

“There’s so much that’s not on job descriptions…we need to know what the culture fit is, what their personality is.”

Scott reiterated how too many recruiters and hiring managers focus too much on skills rather than the whole person. We need to think about the head, the heart and the briefcase…not just the briefcase.

“As a recruiter, that’s important to me because yes I want to help the client find the right individual for the role…but I also want to make sure it’s the right fit for the person. The last thing we want is to have a misfire in terms of a placement…where six months in they’re looking to backfill that person.”

What About if the Hiring Manager Doesn’t Want to Talk to the Recruiters?

Unfortunately, not everyone immediately recognizes the importance of that recruiter-hiring manager relationship. Even when we ask nicely, you do run across hiring managers who are too busy to jump on our intake calls (or simply don’t want to).

There’s still steps we can take to try to rope them in. Grant brought up how it’s all about communication.

“It’s about making sure that they understand…that we’re in this together. This is a team. We’re trying to make sure we’re identifying the right talent, the first time. And we want to make sure that they are bought into this process just as much as we’re buying into their process.”

“We’re there to augment and help them. We’re there to make them look like rockstars.”

Brittany pointed out that investing time up front usually saves a lot of time later on.

“If we have to keep getting on call after call after call to understand the position…is that really getting their time back?”

Building Trust with the Whole Team

At the end of the day, successful partnerships are built on trust, transparency and open communication. That’s why it’s so vital for third-party recruiters to build relationships with not only the hiring manager, but internal recruiters as well. Our mission is to augment and support these individuals. We do that best when we earn their trust and establish open communication regarding their needs and goals. Success starts with the intake call!