10 Ways to Build a Better Relationship With the Hiring Manager

Last month, we had the local SourceCon Twin Cities meetup, and I was able to sit through two fantastic presentations on AI technology and talent sourcing tools. Luke Doubler did a great job explaining the vital role of a Talent Sourcer. It’s needed especially in such a tight job market across North America.

One, thing that stood out was that he highlighted the importance of building a solid relationship with the hiring manager. You could be the best sourcer or recruiter in the world and have the best tools available. But, if you don’t have a good relationship with the hiring manager none of that truly matters. Your job is to present various options for the hiring manager to review and proceed further with and get that one hire. If you don’t have respect and communication throughout the process, you will ultimately fail in your mission.

I’ve done some of my soul-searching and wanted to give some good suggestions on building a good relationship. Without further ado here are my recommendations on building a solid foundation of success:

Relate to them – Simple yet important

Start by asking about what’s going on in there life. What did they do over the weekend? Did they watch catch the NFL game? The more human you can be the better you can enjoy the conversation. Yes, small talk can help tremendously.

Understand their pain points – Asking the WHY question?

Make sure to understand why the position is open. Is it a back-fill or is the team growing? What pressure is the hiring manager facing and will this role being filled helped that problem? When you understand the reason for the opening, you understand the stress pressure, and you can relay how you will positively impact the situation. It’s learning how to see eye to eye.

Asking the right intake questions

Come prepared with a list of questions and research the required skills for the role. The more prepared you can be the better it will go.

Coming prepared with data

If you have time try and build out a talent map. You need to be transparent and honest with the manager about the market. It’s a very competitive market in niche fields. It will be good to highlight these issues and explain how to handle the hurdles. The more data you can provide the better you can build an understanding with your manager.

Setting expectations right away

Lay down all your cards. Set up your expectations. Create a weekly update meeting and talk about how you will present applicants promptly. The more you can stay organized the better it will go.

Educating them on the process

Maybe they are new to the hiring process. The more information about the process you can provide the better you will be able to address all there concerns.

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Over-Communicate

The more you can communicate either it is over email, phone, or text. I think that will help drive the process and build a substantial level of respect and trust.

Weekly Follow up meeting and emails

Staying consistent and building trust is essential. Present your submittals in an organized manner. Get them to commit to a weekly or bi-weekly meeting and make them attend it. If they start to miss meetings or other delines you will need to resolve those issues quickly. Respect and communication go both ways.

Present your data

Always come prepared with the data and facts for each update meeting. Maybe you didn’t get any submittals for the week. What happened? Is everyone above the comp range? Is our location difficult to find leads in? Come prepared to present your data and come with solutions to the problems. It’s all about problem-solving.

Working with your manager

If things turn sour, you can always turn to your manager. It’s about building honesty and transparency if you have an out of control manager who is unwilling to support you. You will need to call in others for help. We all want to get the hire sometimes we forget that we are all on the same team.

Overall, it does not necessarily take rocket science to build a relationship. Sometimes, it will take years of practice to be successful with this. I know most people are thrown into recruiting and it’s all done by trial and error. It’s the small things that you can improve today that will create a lasting impact on your future. I hope my ten recommendations help you started with this journey.

Did I miss any suggestions? Please add those additions in the comment section below!

Jonathan Kidder is definitely a super fan of SourceCon! He has 7 years of recruiting experience and has worked with startups and small businesses alike on their talent sourcing efforts. He blogs about talent sourcing trends on his own personal blog - WizardSourcer which focuses on the latest recruitment insights, extension tool reviews, recruiting startups, and interviews with industry leaders. 

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