Managing expectations takes skill, patience, tact, and- at times- a little mind reading. While some recruiters make a habit of complaining about candidates, the reality is that candidates come and go. There will be good ones and bad ones, and there are tons of recruiting tips out there to help you handle tough calls.
But hiring managers. Well, they don’t come and go so quickly, and if you have a difficult relationship, they can easily make recruiting much harder than it needs to be.
7 things you wish your hiring manager would say
Are you living that nightmare? Here are the eight key phrases you wish your hiring managers would say (and a couple of recruiting tips to help make them a reality).
1. “I’m available any time for an interview.”
If you spend your days going back and forth trying to decide on an interview time or if you have to chase down your hiring managers, you’ll dream of free schedules. Finding a good time between candidates and managers is always a struggle if you don’t have the right tools.
Recruiting tip: Make it easy to schedule interviews and eliminate the back and forth. You can use either a tool like Calendly or a scheduling function built into your ATS, like Scheduler for Recruitee. Scheduler will help you find time between your team’s synced calendars and allow candidates to select mutually suitable times.
2. “Yes, I know exactly what I want for this role.”
While some hiring managers may seem to say this on the outset, they may not always mean it. Sometimes the list of requirements grows as your candidate search progresses. Or candidates that were perfect according to the requirements somehow fall short on other unlisted qualities.
More than knowing what they want, success is about being able to communicate the whole picture.
Recruiting tip: Avoid asking only skills or experience-based questions during the job spec with hiring managers. To go deeper and get to the bottom of what they really want, you can ask questions like:
- Why are you hiring for this position?: This will help you gain context of why they’re looking to fill this role. Dive into why the last person left, or if this is a new position, why it is needed at this point
- What is their role within the team?: Gather information on the core duties of this particular function. Pay special attention to certain personal qualities that might complement these tasks.
- What kind of decisions will they be responsible for?: Outside of their daily tasks, find out for what business decisions this person will be responsible. Determine how much responsibility this hire will be expected to exercise.
- Who will they be interacting with most and how?: Understanding the dynamic of a team is important to help you find the right fit. Ask questions about communication preferences and styles.
- What is your team’s culture?: While you may have a good understanding of your company culture, every team is slightly different. Asking questions around the manager’s team may help you identify a better cultural fit.
These questions will not only help you better understand the role but may also help the hiring manager refine their expectations.
3. “This is a nice-to-have, not really a must.”
One of the most frustrating challenges is coming face-to-face with unrealistic requirements. When it comes to certain skills, experiences, or qualities, some hiring managers have a tendency to dig in. On top of that, recognizing the difference between nice-to-haves and musts can be hard without a trusting environment. Some may feel as if they don’t want to give up nice-to-haves for fear that the extra requirements will be treated as… well, extras.
Finding the right match will sometimes require flexibility. If you don’t have this, it can become a frustrating journey.
Recruiting tip: Resolving this particular issue starts with creating a collaborative environment with the hiring manager. Sticking with must-haves often stems from either a lack of awareness of the candidate market or lack of trust in you as the recruiter to treat nice-to-haves seriously.
Work with your hiring manager to go through the list of must-haves and nice-to-haves to assign priority to each. That way it blends both categories and assigns values to each.
4. “I have already shared the job on my socials.”
Half the battle of getting the right candidate is actually finding them. But sometimes it can feel like a very small search party… of one. From time to time you’ll get a niche job requirement, and while you’ve met with the hiring manager to discuss the role, you may still feel like you’re searching in the dark. Your network may be weak in that competency, or you may have to take to Google to find out where these kinds of candidates spend their time online.
Your hiring manager- and their team, for that matter- are the best resource for this kind of worry. This is why they should be involved in your social media recruiting strategy. They will likely have strong networks in their field, and sharing the job on their social profiles may help you reach the right people (maybe even a referral, too!).
Nevertheless, getting teams and hiring managers to share the job is not always easy. Some consider their social profile private- off-limits for work-related content- and others can be a little forgetful.
Recruiting tip: Make it easy for everyone to share the open vacancies on their social profiles and work them into your social media recruiting strategy. In Recruitee, you can encourage your team to use the easy share buttons in the jobs tab. Instead of creating a post for them to share, this will allow them to use their own voice on their social profile to promote the opening.
You may still need to send one or two reminders (or a link to the job), but removing the hassle of sharing will help facilitate the process and get them involved in social recruiting!
5. “What should the recruitment process look like?”
Do you have a hiring manager insisting on three face-to-face interviews? Or maybe a technical test for an entry-level support role? There’s a time and place for standardized or rigorous recruitment processes, but if candidates are scarce or the candidate market is moving quickly, these could make you miss out on great talent.
From time to time you’ll have a hiring manager that has a certain way of recruiting. And it can be tough to change old habits.
Recruiting tip: You’re the recruitment expert, but it takes a team to find the right candidate. Find a time to sit down with your hiring managers (maybe during the job spec) to discuss what the right recruitment process should look like.
This way you have the opportunity to map out the process with them, educate them on the market, and customize the talent pipeline with them. Giving your managers direct insight into how the candidate pipeline looks will help generate buy into the process.
6. “I’ll make sure to follow up with you on feedback after the interview.”
How many hours a week do you dedicate to trying to follow up with managers? You promised a candidate you would get back to them on Monday, and you’re still chasing the manager for a decision on Friday. This is not only bound to be frustrating for you, but delays may create a poor candidate experience and eventually lose you candidates.
If you have this problem, you’ll be wishing your hiring managers promised to follow up with you, rather than having to chase them. But more than promising to follow up is the actual follow-through.
Recruiting tip: One of the biggest barriers to hiring manager feedback often is time. Finding a good time to meet to properly go through the candidate’s pros and cons can be tough. And sometimes managers will need at least a night to sleep on it. Finding a good time to go over feedback properly can be difficult between two busy schedules.
Make it easy for hiring managers to independently leave feedback on candidate profiles within your talent acquisition platform or ATS. Additionally, send reminders to individual users to leave their feedback in the system. By making candidate profiles accessible to hiring managers, this can help alleviate some of the friction of arranging a time to give feedback.
7. “I trust your judgment.”
At the end of the day, successful staff recruitment requires team effort. And this requires a good deal of trust with your team and your hiring managers. As one might suspect, there’s no one way of building this trust with your hiring managers. But there are a couple of ways you can start encouraging better communication, improved collaboration, and ultimately develop a better hiring manager relationship.
Recruiting tip: Trust takes time. But if you haven’t already, invite your core hiring managers into your ATS. Tailor their roles within the system, so they don’t get overwhelmed but rather can appreciate what’s going on in the hiring process, in real-time.