Since I began my career in recruitment a short time ago, I’ve quickly learned that there is more to it than simply finding a great candidate. 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 on the agency side, these relationships can help you build your brand with customers and create lasting talent partnerships.
With all that being said, how do you go about getting your hiring manager meaningfully involved in the hiring process? First and foremost, you will need to create an environment for consistent communication between one another. Make sure they know what is going on in your search at all times and communicate through multiple channels. Cater to your hiring manager’s needs and communicate through a medium and cadence that suits her preferences. Are they out in the field all the time? Suggest text and cell phone communication. Learn your hiring manager’s schedules and preferred methods of communication. A general rule to go by is to make contact with them at least once a week, ideally multiple times in the week. In doing so, nothing will slip through the cracks, and the search will move in a timely fashion and at a quick pace.
As you get into your search and start conversing with candidates, take note of everything they say and use that information to your advantage. You can learn what is going on with the company you represent as well as learn about what’s going on with your client’s competitors. How are these companies structured? What kind of compensation package are they offering? What does the candidate know or think they know about your company? What companies are hiring? What companies are letting people go? Candidates are a fantastic source of information. The web is perfect for background research, but the phone remains your greatest asset. Not only will this information help you as you narrow your search, but you can also use this information to educate your hiring managers. In doing so, you will add additional value for your clients and become a trusted industry advisor for them.
Lastly and most importantly, give your hiring manager the option of receiving a pipeline report on a regular basis. This is your chance to showcase your sourcing activity. So much goes on behind the scenes with recruiters that hiring managers don’t see. If utilized correctly, the pipeline report can give them insight into your progress. Some baseline data that I prefer to cover are some candidate screens, scheduled screens, candidate submittals, and hiring manager interviews. Additionally, you can take note of candidates you have been in contact with and the companies they are employed with. Get your hiring manager involved and ask them their opinion. What do you think of Candidate A? Did they work with employee B at company C? What do you think of company C? Have you had success with candidates from Company C? Generally speaking, your hiring manager will appreciate your questions, and his thoughts will help you maximize your efficiency as you continue to source the market. Additionally, with pipeline reports as a part of your process, your hiring managers will be able to see all of the hard work you’re putting in for them which will likely increase their overall involvement with your search.
In putting all of these ideas into practice, give your hiring managers options and act according to their preferences. But, be sure to communicate why each aspect is important, and the value each will add. Ultimately, these are general practices that I’ve found to be useful in the searches I’ve conducted. But, what I find to be helpful might not be the same for everyone. However, increasing hiring manager engagement is and will continue to be an integral part of an efficient and successful recruitment process.