Hiring Managers Who Don’t Want to Talk to You

I gotta be honest; my favorite hiring managers started off our relationship by telling me to “F*ck off.” Two of them, and to this day they are both still some of my best-paying clients.

I remember very specifically when the President of a company said those two words to me and hung up the phone. To my surprise, he remembered too as he apologized to me a week later as we extended an offer to my candidate. Maybe that’s why he pays me the day the candidate starts, heck if I know. Either way, how did I go from an “F off” to an offer extended in a week? I hung up the phone and called the General Manager next and made the same pitch.

Sometimes you catch people at bad times. And us being salespeople at our nature (I hate it too) we live in a culture where salespeople are crapped on. When I spoke to the General Manager, I made the sales pitch of the candidate I was skill marketing, got the job order and an agreement agreed upon, interview set up and offer extended and accepted. This President doesn’t like recruiters, but he likes proof in the pudding so to speak; he was impressed with my candidate and therefore impressed with me.

The best way to get hiring managers to work with you that don’t wish to deal with recruiters is to prove your worth.

I’ve once annoyed a new client before they ended up hiring from me by asking too many questions. Halfway through the job order, he asked why I had so many questions. I calmly explained to him that it’s my process and I am not like other recruiters who take job descriptions and salary requirements and run with it; I must know what I am selling. The total initial time spent on the phone with him was 46 minutes. This was a manager in a large corporation I had been trying to break into for over a year, and it worked. I explained that taking a full “job order” with all the intangibles will help me sell the opportunity to passive candidates in the market, and if other recruiters aren’t doing the same thing then maybe that’s why he doesn’t see results.

Calling them on their bull crap sometimes works, other times being honest with why you do things works as well. My best clients have literarily told me to “keep calling even if I don’t answer” to force them to do their jobs. They know I am pushy, and they appreciate my pushiness. Don’t be pushy if you don’t have something of value for them though, only be pushy when you know you have a candidate for them or something of value to share.

Other times dealing with hiring managers who don’t want to work with recruiters, asking them questions such as, “How does your management style and communication affect your team or offer rejects?” Something to put them off guard and make them realize that maybe if they changed the way they dealt with people it would lead to a better working situation. It’s similar to asking questions to candidates about their skills and experience, and how amazing they are, then asking “Where do you lack experience or are faulty?” It’s a humanizing question; it makes the candidate realize they aren’t the best.

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Most recruiters don’t push back, and if you push back, you will stand above the crowd. That’s why when dealing with hiring managers who don’t want to work with you and pushing back, putting in a good faith effort to be of service, will make you stand out above all the other recruiters who say “OK” and slither away until the next phone call.

If you can’t get the hiring manager or the supervisor under them to want to work with you, move onto the admin. And when you get a phone call for how they don’t want to work with you so stop calling them, throw them off by saying, “Wouldn’t you like a recruiter/headhunter that is this pushy in finding the best talent in the market? That’s who I am, give me a chance and let me prove you wrong.”

Again, tenacity is what find to be best. This can be done through email too, but my favorite tool is the phone. If you can’t get a hold of them, leave a voicemail. They will either delete it not remembering you or remember you. And when they remember you, you can use that to your advantage to stand above the crowd by showing excellent customer service and not reciprocating the way they treated you back to them. When they don’t remember you, great, you get a new “first introduction” except this time you can try a new tactic.

In conclusion, get used to rejection. Prove them wrong with your ability and tenacity. Be kind and humble always, but don’t be afraid to put your foot down too. In the end, your time may be better spent with other clients, but you can get experience with every interaction; don’t run away from it.

Joshua William May is an Engineering & Technical Sales Recruiter, Entrepreneur, and owner of HireStrong since 2015. He has worked as both a Technical and Executive Recruiter specialized in engineering and manufacturing for oil & gas, chemicals, plastics, and other industries. He has been a headhunter in recruiting for over 7 years. He has recently become a part of the SourceCon community enabling him to collaborate with other industry professionals. Mastered with robust traditional recruiting methods he is always seeking to learn and grow and incorporate the new technological age, without ever sacrificing the professional relationships with candidates and clients.

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