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How to Improve the Recruiter & Hiring Manager Relationship


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For every available position, there are two people who are considered as the “key to a successful search” – the hiring manager and the recruiter. However, the two can also lead to a disaster, especially if they are not in the same boat.

In this scenario, the person who needs to adjust is you. Why?

  1. There is no way you can change the hiring manager. The change should start in you.
  2. Hiring managers are like customers. You should deal with them professionally.
  3. The hiring managers have more pressing issues that they have to work on. You are the expert and they expect you to do YOUR job. Their job is to guide you throughout the process and to make important decisions.

To prevent frustrations and to strengthen recruiter-hiring manager relationship, you can use the following tips:

Discuss the job description in detail

There should be an initial meeting with the hiring manager to discuss the details of the job description. Ask for 20-30 minutes of the hiring manager’s time and email an invitation based on his or her availability. You can meet them in their office or you can schedule a Skype interview. Discuss the requirements, the deal makers as well as the deal breakers. Make sure to know what makes them tick so that you’ll be able to find the candidate that they are looking for.

Put yourself in the hiring manager’s shoes

Try to understand their point of view. As mentioned earlier, hiring managers would prefer focusing on their core businesses and they expect you to manage the recruitment process.

To successfully fill the job, ask the hiring manager about the last person hired for the role. What went wrong? Why did he or she leave? What can they do to make things better? By asking these questions, you can come up with the ideal candidate that the hiring manager is looking for.

Of course, the ideal candidate is not easy to track down. There are times when you have to consider alternatives. In this case, you can re-evaluate the position to see if you can accept potential candidates or to research for strong candidates with the hiring manager to help him or her, realize the realities of the talent market.

Trust each other

Just like in any relationship, trust is very important in the hiring process. Hiring managers appreciate honesty and transparency. Give a walk-through of the recruitment process as well as your plans on how to source for quality talents. Don’t forget to build rapport with the hiring manager. These are one of the easiest ways to gain his or her trust.

Both parties should set clear expectations

Both the hiring manager and the recruiter have the same goal. But the way they do things are way different from each other.

Be transparent, honest, committed, decisive and understanding. Both parties should agree on a concrete plan in determining, contacting and evaluating prospective candidates. Provide the hiring manager with a clear set of expectations and vice versa. And most importantly, don’t just set it. Do it!

Communicate with the hiring manager constantly

Do not skip any possible opportunity to participate in a conference call for calibration. This will ensure that both parties are on the same page and can expect their desired results.

This is also helpful in identifying areas of improvement. If the hiring manager is not happy with the current status of the search, ask them how you can improve or provide solutions to the problem so that you can get approval right away. The more frequently you communicate with the hiring manger, the stronger your professional relationship will become.

Close the deal together

Once the hiring manager chooses “the one”, he or she should let the recruiter negotiate with the candidate to close the deal. First, the recruiter is very used to negotiations and candidates are more comfortable to discuss salary package and miscellaneous needs with the recruiter than with the hiring manager. Initially, the job offer should be discussed verbally with the candidate before sending the formal written offer.

Learn when to let go and move on

This is a two-way relationship. If the relationship is not mutual, meaning there is no reciprocation, this will result in a very unhealthy partnership. This would be your cue to cut the ties and move on with another company. It may be a difficult decision, but in the long run, it would be a wise one because it will save everybody’s time, effort and, most importantly, money.


This is not a popular practice. Most of the time, the hiring manager will say, “Congrats!” and the recruiter will say, “Thank you. Till next time.” Consider celebrating together! The search has been one heck of a whirlwind and both parties deserve to celebrate victory and have fun. Eat lunch or dinner together. Or buy each other a drink. This small gesture may seem insignificant to some, but it’s worth it. This will increase the bond between the hiring manager and the recruiter.

Do you have additional ideas as to how to strengthen recruiter-hiring manager relationship? Share your ideas in the comment box. We are very interested to know your thoughts about the topic!

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