How to communicate with a hiring manager? Tips to improve the relationship I ITExpert

Recruiting 101: Comprehensive Tips for Better Communication of Hiring Manager & Recruiter

ITExpert team 27.12.2022
ITExpert Blog Recruitment
Recruiting 101: Comprehensive Tips for Better Communication of Hiring Manager & Recruiter

Properly built communication between a recruiter and a hiring manager is the key to success in hiring. Our many years of experience in an IT recruiting agency led us to the following conclusion: all problems in recruitment grow out of mistakes that can be generalized into the category of “misunderstanding”.

The recruiter is embarrassed to ask the hiring manager an “extra” question. In turn, the hiring manager is too busy to clearly articulate the criteria for finding a candidate. The bottom line is that you give an IT specialist false information about the company and the vacancy. Or you are looking for a “unicorn”—a person who can do everything and even more. But there are no such candidates on the market or they cost completely different money.

Hiring Manager VS Recruiter: Different Roles, Different Responsibilities

The recruiter and the hiring manager have the same goal: to find relevant candidates as quickly as possible and fill the vacancy. In a perfect world, their work is efficient and done without critical problems. In reality, the relationship between a recruiter and a hiring manager is often tense. Recruiters do not like hiring managers for long or unscheduled feedback, low priority on recruiting tasks, and lack of understanding of exactly who to look for.

In fact, no one teaches a hiring manager how to build a recruiting process, since his main tasks lie in other fields. Most often, team leads or project managers act as hiring managers, they may not have time to take part in the development of a recruiting strategy. At the same time, the main task of a recruiter is to search for candidates and build an effective sourcing process, which cannot be done without a hiring manager.

Typical Problems in Communication Between a Hiring Manager and a Recruiter

The hiring manager may make mistakes due to a lack of experience and knowledge of the labor market. The main rule for a recruiter in this case is to discuss them based on numbers and facts, and not on emotions or feelings. Explain how the exact problem affects the recruitment process and what risks it poses to the employer’s reputation.

We’ve analyzed the typical mistakes that most often occur in the process of interaction between a hiring manager and a recruiter.

Misunderstanding who is needed in the team

A hiring manager may not understand who needs to be hired, and what competencies a specialist should have. This leads to the fact that the position is constantly changing, the company receives too many irrelevant candidates and hiring periods increase. It’s like looking for a lawyer: a lawyer can specialize in the criminal, civil code, and more. Everyone has their specifics, and it is not enough just to say: “Hire me a great lawyer”—you need to make a clear list of requirements for the candidate instead.

Ignoring the market limitations

Imagine you are looking for a Data Analyst who combines the qualities and skills of an analyst, database administrator, developer, BI engineer, ETL specialist, and if you’re lucky, also a product manager. The set of skills is appropriate: SQL, BI, Python, R, and Java. In addition, the analyst must have experience with different products: Google Analytics, Search Console, Amplitude, Mixpanel, Hotjar, Google Ads, and DoubleClick.

Also, a deep understanding of building internal data warehouses (DWH), experience in A/B testing, and working with product hypotheses are important, as well as the ability to read HTML and CSS code, and an understanding of marketing funnels and advertising campaigns. Nice-to-have experience is in Data Science: building regressions, clusterings, correlations, and forecasts. And a high level of soft skills is required, the candidate should have stress resistance, business orientation, perception of criticism, and presentation skills… But there are no such candidates on the market or they cost endless money.

In order not to look for non-existent experts (or not to refuse those who are already few in the market), a hiring manager needs to consult with an IT recruiter. It’s like looking for apartments: when you want to buy a house and you have a certain budget, you open the website or contact a realtor. In the second case, you report your budget and wait for an answer about what you can buy for that kind of money. You don’t state a fact: “‎I have $50,000 and I want to buy a 3-room apartment in the very center with underground parking. Is it unrealistic? I’m sure it’s real, you’re just looking badly”‎.

You have certain must-have points and data from specialized websites or a specialist in the field. The more must-have points you have, the more the search narrows down and the fewer options you end up with for consideration. In this case, the task of a realtor (or, in the case of the IT sector, a recruiter) is to correctly assess the market and convey the real state of affairs on it.

Lack of quick feedback on the candidate

The hiring manager answers that the IT specialist is not your match, but cannot explain the reason? Due to the lack of feedback, the recruiter will continue to bring irrelevant candidates, because he does not understand the requirements for the position.

Tell the hiring manager about the importance of feedback. For example, create and approve a post-interview feedback form that he can fill out in the future. This will make the process easier, faster, and more convenient: you won’t have to sit in front of a blank document and think about what to write about.

Not passing feedback and changes fast enough

Follow the “one day rule”: a decision on the candidate should be made on the day of the assessment of the resume or interview. The hiring manager justifies his decision, and the recruiter, having agreed on the message, informs the candidate about it in a form that will not damage the employer’s reputation.

5+ Tips for Effective Cooperation Between a Hiring Manager and a Recruiter

The collaboration will be especially productive when the hiring manager treats the recruiter with confidence, listens to his suggestions and advice, and also remains flexible. The goal of the recruiter is to explain the limitations of the market: for example, a CTO for $5,000 is an unrealistic task. You can’t find a three-room apartment in the very center (including the Ukrainian capital) for $50,000. According to Flatfy, in the old fund, such an option with a street view in Kyiv will cost $265,000, and in the new one — $420,000 🙂

Communication with the hiring manager is really important: in the end, it can completely “reshape” the requirements for the vacancy.

1. Agree on job requirements

Both parties need to agree on the requirements for the vacancy and the candidate: to discuss which project domain, where the candidate is looking for; how a new employee will help in solving business problems; where the IT specialist will work; what hard/soft skills are important for this role; how work processes are organized; what are the opportunities for career and professional growth in the company; how is the recruitment process organized, and so on.

2. Conduct a proposal analysis

Do internal research. Answer the questions:

  • How does this team/department work in the company?
  • How has the team/department changed in recent years?
  • What are the short and long-term goals of the team/department?

Do some external research as well. Research the industry to determine the best candidate for a particular position, the set of skills they should have, and the average salary range for a similar position. You can use this data as a starting point and then add additional hiring manager requirements.

3. Refuse vague wording in the vacancy and check the text for errors

According to the international recruiting and HR company Hays, 57% do not respond to a vacancy without specifics. Wording like “Don’t waste our time if…” or “Why should we choose you…” repel candidates.

Hiring experts often copy the vacancy text from competitors or parts from similar vacancies in their company. This misses out on some really important information. For example, if you are looking for a PM or Team Lead, specify in the vacancy the size and roles in his future team. This information is critical for future candidates. 

4. Promptly report problems when searching for candidates

If problems arise during the search, it is important to convey this to the second party in time. Adjust the search process or change the requirements for the vacancy if needed.

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5. Provide detailed feedback after the interview

Simply “We didn’t like him” or “He is not our perfect match” makes it impossible to revise the job requirements and spend less time on irrelevant candidates. If the hiring manager is very busy, it is better to arrange certain days when the recruiter contacts him for feedback. You can also arm yourself with analytics and show the hiring manager the problem, its digitized consequences, and possible solutions.

Last but not least: decide on the candidate as soon as possible—senior candidates do not stay on the market for a long time, they are often poached by competitors.

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