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Jul 8, 2019
This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.

As a recruiter, building hiring manager relationships is the key to successfully and efficiently doing your job. While a close working relationship is ideal, they are not always a possibility.

So what are roadblocks that may prohibit hiring manager communications?

Perceived time constraints

Hiring managers typically have a lot on their plate between managing meetings, their daily work, and managing employees. While not intentional, some hiring managers may limit communication due to scheduling conflicts or previously working with recruiters or sourcers that didn’t perform. Luckily, there are a few tips that can help improve overall communication and success working with hiring managers.

Make use of your time. Be concise. Gather information. Be informative.

When working around tight schedules, it is a good idea to host a kick-off meeting to introduce yourself to the hiring manager. This meeting is intended to gather information about your requisition that may include: job descriptions, endless working hours, disqualifiers, top skills needed for the role, and an overview of the interview process. Gaining this information upfront can improve the process monumentally and save you time (nothing is worse than starting a search over again because you didn’t do enough up front to make sure you were aligned).

Additionally, it is essential to identify how you and the hiring manager will best work as a team. This includes defining communication and also includes learning more about how the hiring manager has worked with other recruiters in the past.

As mentioned before, this provides an affirmative guide for you to reflect on in the recruiting process. It is also good to establish regular communication. It may be once weekly video chat combined with a mid-week email to check-in. It is vital to create a regular schedule and get it in the calendar if possible. At the meeting, remember, preparation is critical.

The meeting is yours to run so establish key talking points to convey progress and to gain additional guidance or strategy if needed. As a final point if you’re having a hard time with hiring manager communications, stress the importance of getting this position filled and how it will help their team in the long run.

In conclusion, busy hiring managers are more common than not. You must remain professional at all times and remember that hiring managers are your customers. It is up to a recruiting team member to creatively fill communication gaps and to learn to work collaboratively with managers. Knowing this, think deep on ways to be both concise and practical when communicating. This allows for healthy communication that is informative to you as a recruiter. I would love to hear more about useful communication tips, and please comment below.

This article is part of a series called Editor's Pick.