Raise your hand if you’ve ever dealt with a problematic hiring manager 🙋.
Raise your hand if a hiring manager was A-Okay, but the recruiting process was directionless 🙋.
I don’t have to tell you that you’re not alone. The recruiter/hiring manager relationship is a notoriously sour one for a multitude of reasons. How about poor communication and mistrust; sound about right?
In any relationship, poor communication can be a driver of mistrust. If a communicative disconnect starts right off-the-bat from, oh, the intake session, you’re in for a rough recruiting process.
That’s because the intake session is the framework for the rest of the recruitment process. Get it wrong from the beginning, and the rest of your efforts will be wrong, too. You could avoid the pitfalls that come with wasted time and money if you come prepared, like seriously prepared.
What better way to come prepared than to have a list of hyper-targeted questions to ask your hiring manager?
Here are twenty-seven of them to help you get started.
Basic questions to ask your hiring manager
Before you hop on the call or enter an intake meeting, you should already know general information about the role, like job title and location. However, it’s good to start
- What is the job title?
- How many positions need to be filled?
- What’s the purpose
forthis role and what value does it provide to the company?
- Where is the position located?
- Are you open to remote candidates?
- Do you offer relocation?
- Who is the candidate’s direct report or is she an individual contributor?
- How is the team structured?
- What’s the history of this position? If it’s new, how long has it been open? Why was it created? If it’s an existing role, why did the previous employee leave?
- How long has the position been open?
- What advancement opportunities, if any, exist in this role?
- What’s the salary range, commission, and bonus structure?
- Will you provide visa sponsorship?
- What hiring data is most important moving through the process?
Candidate-specific questions to ask your hiring manager
Once you have those bases covered, it’s time to dig into the ins-and-outs of the ideal candidate, how to recruit for her, and how to make the overall process more seamless.
- What’s the biggest challenge the candidate will face in the first 90-days?
- What are the 3 primary objectives of the role for the first 6–12 months (SMART goals)?
- What’s a day-in-the-life of this role?
- How do you measure performance?
- What makes the opportunity exciting?
- What soft skills work best with the team?
- Describe your company culture and values.
- What are the must-have skills for this position?
- What are your like-to-have skills for this position?
- Can you describe what obstacles face the team? How will the candidate help resolve them?
- What are the company’s long- and short-term goals? How does this role influence those goals?
- What big project, if any, will the team take on once the role is filled?
- Bonus: if the role already exists and there are one or more counterparts, ask to speak to one of them. Sometimes hiring managers don’t quite understand the nuances that come with the role. This is especially true if the hiring manager(s) is in a managerial or director-level role and they’re hiring someone less senior.
Maybe those lists of questions to ask your hiring manager on the intake call are a tad overwhelming. If so, embrace it. That means the list is thorough and will guide you through a cohesive intake session and a smooth recruitment process. What questions do you find the most helpful on an intake call? Let us know in the comments!