7 Ways Internal Recruiters And Hiring Managers Can Get Along

By Paul Slezak - Dec. 19, 2022
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When recruiting, the relationship with a candidate is usually put above everything else. Because of this, the relationship between internal recruiters and hiring managers are often not checked as much and they could end up being negative.

Without a positive relationship between those two roles, the candidate is at risk of getting a bad experience. This could lead to losing a great candidate.

TO help improve the relationship, here are seven ways to help internal recruiters and hiring managers to get along.

Key Takeaways:

  • The recruiter and the hiring manager should sit down to discuss exactly what’s required and how the process will work.

  • Having two way communication is important during the recruitment process.

  • Each person should agree on who will be doing what task during the hiring process to avoid any confusion.

7 Ways Internal Recruiters and Hiring Managers Can Get Along

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7 Ways Internal Recruiters and Hiring Managers Can Get Along

  1. Set Expectations Up Front

    When a vacancy comes up in an organization of any size, it’s not just a matter of sending an email to an internal recruiter saying “please recruit an account manager to work on the XYZ account immediately”, or “we need another receptionist asap. Maggie’s just resigned”.

    The recruiter and the line manager should sit down or at least have a phone conversation to discuss exactly what’s required and how the process will work. This would include setting realistic timeframes, not only around when the candidate would need to start, but on when an initial shortlist could be provided as well as when first- and second-round interviews would be taking place.

  2. Ensure Two-Way Communication

    HR Managers expect their internal recruiters to operate at the speed of light. Meanwhile some line managers are expecting to see résumés an hour after they’ve sent out the job requisition … seriously.

    And yet when the internal recruiter does send through a shortlist of appropriate candidates, often days can pass before the internal recruiter will hear a peep from the hiring manager. The HR manager is then chasing the internal recruiter for a status update. And when the internal recruiter does finally hear back from the line manager it could even be a “none of those were suitable” email situation with no further explanation.

    Expectations around feedback need to be established up front. Service Level Agreements (SLAs) should be discussed around (for example) how quickly after a CV or résumé is shared will the line manager provide feedback; and then how quickly after interviewing a shortlisted candidate will the internal recruiter receive feedback, etc.

  3. Have a Standardized Interview Process

    More often than not internal recruiters will conduct an in depth behavioural based or competency based interview. They will share the candidate with their hiring manager who will then simply ‘sit down for a chat’ with the candidate and decide that for whatever reason “I just didn’t like him”, or “I just don’t think she’s what I’m looking for” – again with no further explanation.

    The interview process between the internal recruiter and the hiring manager needs to be streamlined so that at every step along the way the candidate is being assessed against exactly the same criteria.

    There’s no point in an internal recruiter benchmarking strictly against a series of competencies or attributes and then the line manager making the final call purely based on gut feel. That’s just a recipe for a recruiting disaster.

  4. Understand That it’s Not an Open Buffet

    Dear hiring managers, internal recruiters do not have access to an endless supply of candidates.

    If they send you a shortlist of 3 – 5 candidates that match the criteria you have (hopefully) discussed with them up front, then this literally means that those candidates meet your brief. It’s not simply the first 5 candidates in a never-ending supply waiting eagerly in the back room.

    Line managers need to trust that their internal recruiters have filtered and assessed all the applicants before submitting the shortlist.

    A shortlist is exactly that: a short list of the most suitable candidates. Not just the appetizer before another list to choose from for main course.

  5. Agree on a Proactive Approach

    Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but too often hiring managers fail to have a recruitment strategy in place or a hiring forecast planned out. Then the minute there’s a resignation, or a vacancy comes up, it’s über urgent and the internal recruiter needs to jump to attention.

    If possible on a monthly or at least a quarterly basis, the HR team (along with the internal recruiters of course) should sit down with each team manager to plan what recruitment might be coming up in the weeks or months ahead.

    Ads can be written and approved in advance; sourcing strategies can be implemented; and a recruitment strategy can actually be planned for a change. Last minute recruiting demands will very rarely result in a successful outcome.

  6. Agree Who Will Measure What?

    Imagine the following scenario: HR is looking at the cost of hire ratio; hiring managers are scrutinizing recruitment efficiency ratios; meanwhile the internal recruiters are monitoring the ratio between how many candidates they submit to the line managers compared to how many actually get interviewed.

    Basically there’s no common approach and all parties are just measuring what they feel is important for them without taking into account how it might impact any of the other metrics.

    Metrics must be established up front. At the same time exactly how the results are going to be interpreted needs to determined, so that everyone knows what they are accountable for.

  7. Talk to the Bread!

    Whilst my response to one of the delegates last week may initially have been seen as a cheeky play on words to the ‘jam in the sandwich’ analogy, internal recruiters must feel confident enough to raise their challenges with both their HR manager and their line managers.

    But perhaps more importantly HR managers and hiring managers need to make the internal recruiters feel comfortable in approaching them and discussing their approach to each individual recruitment campaign in an open and non-threatening environment.

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Internal Recruiters and Hiring Managers FAQ

  1. What are the seven steps in the recruitment process?

    The seven steps of the recruitment process are:

    • Planning

    • Analysis

    • Searching

    • Screening

    • Engagement

    • Selection

    • Onboarding

  2. How do you build a good relationship with a candidate when recruiting?

    To build a good relationship with a candidate, you should start with having and maintaining good channels of communication with them. Without proper communication you are not able to build trust with a candidate and you won’t be able to go the extra mile and exceed their expectations.

  3. Why is having a strong relationship between internal recruiters and hiring managers important?

    It’s important to have a good relationship between hiring managers and internal recruiters because it can help improve the candidates experience. If an internal recruiter and a hiring manager don’t have a good relationship, they might not be able to provide a consistent and concise understanding of the role to the candidate. This can result in the candidate moving on from the position.

  4. Why is it important to include the hiring manager in the recruitment strategy meeting?

    The hiring manager should be included in the recruitment strategy meeting so they can get a clarification of the job title, job responsibilities, and so they can set candidate qualification criteria. If they are not in the meeting they won’t be able to be on the same page when it comes to hiring a candidate. They won’t know the hiring stages and could give the wrong candidate the position.

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.

Author

Paul Slezak

Cofounder and CEO at RecruitLoop. I've been a hands on recruiter, manager, trainer, coach, mentor, and regular speaker for the recruitment industry for nearly 25 years.

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Topics: Building Culture, Elastic Recruiting, Employer branding, Hiring Humour