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Tips to Strengthen the Relationship Between HR and Hiring Managers

Your talent pool, your hiring practices, your recruiting technology – everything about talent acquisition is changing in today’s digital world. Except perhaps your hiring managers. They don’t live in the recruitment space, and they’re experts at running their unit, not sourcing, screening and interviewing. How can you bridge the growing gap between your hiring managers’ expectations and the realities of modern recruiting? Try these tips to strengthen your working relationships.

Tip #1: Be more relational, less transactional.

Recruiters are not just order-takers in today’s TA space. That’s an outdated perception unfortunately still held by some hiring managers. Overcoming it starts with signaling to your hiring manager that you’re interested in a deeper relationship that will help you provide more value to her business unit. Do whatever it takes to better understand her management style, the culture within her unit, and the traits and interpersonal skills candidates will need to be a valuable addition to her team. When you receive reqs from a hiring manager, insist on a few minutes with him to ask questions and round out the information you need to develop a stronger shortlist. Approach every interaction with a hiring manager with a relationship-building mindset.

Tip #2: Use information and education to adjust hiring managers’ expectations.

As a recruiting professional, you understand the tight talent market and appropriate minimum requirements for a role. Your hiring manager may not. Building a relationship and trust with your hiring manager will earn you the leeway to challenge unrealistic expectations. When a req comes through, prepare to talk with that manager about the state of the candidate pool for that position, and strategies that will work best to fill it quickly with quality talent.  

Tip #3: Translate TA terms into what matters to your hiring manager.

This is a simple tip about communication. The recruiting language you use with your team members may not mean much to a hiring manager. When you start talking about interview to hire ratios, your CRM, even sourcing, he may just tune you out. Make a conscious effort to ask questions and explain what you’re doing in a way that allows your hiring manager to understand the process clearly and partner with you to fill open positions.

Tip #4: Use technology to make their participation convenient and easy.

When hiring managers have an open position, it usually means they’re shorthanded and struggling to maintain productivity. Give them an easy, convenient way to review possible candidates or quickly connect them directly with potential candidates using an AI-enabled interviewing platform.

A single-solution platform like Modern Hire allows you to:

  • Share on-demand interviews with hiring managers to help them more effectively assess candidates
  • Provide questions right in the interview for live interviews and have the feedback captured automatically and available immediately
  • Use rating and review options to easily capture hiring manager feedback in a consistent way
  • Send automated reminders to hiring managers to share their feedback
  • Collaborate with hiring managers via video from any location on a mobile device, for intake meetings, sharing a shortlist, and discussing hiring decisions and extending the offer

Tip #5: Coach on interviewing skills and compliance

Many hiring managers, especially those who hire infrequently, have never had the benefit of interviewer training. Share your knowledge and skills in this area by inviting them to a coaching session on interviewing. You can cover the basics of interviewing, tips you’ve learned from your experience, information on compliance, and a big-picture view of the hiring process. Their takeaway should be confidence in their ability to conduct interviews that are more productive and provide a better experience for candidates.

Tip #6: Work towards forecasting hiring needs.

In a best-case scenario not too far in the future, you could take a very proactive approach with hiring managers. In some organizations today, recruiters come to their hiring managers with forecasts for future talent needs and projections for time to fill for those positions. They’re tracking turnover rates for positions over a period of years, researching how competitors are attracting the candidates, and evaluating sources for quality of hires. With highly proactive recruiting strategies, you could be in a much stronger position to engage and hire better talent and lift the burden from your hiring managers’ shoulders.

Tip #7: Don’t give up on change.

Some hiring managers may be faster to embrace the changes you’re putting forward than others. Be persistent in a respectful way as they adjust. All of these tips will help you provide higher value to your hiring managers and secure the best talent for your organization.

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