How to Win Over and Influence Your Hiring Manager

Learn more about Comeet’s collaborative recruiting platform. Click here to register to join our upcoming demo.

One of the most important relationships in the hiring and recruiting process is that of recruiter and hiring manager. Even though they share the same goal – finding the best candidates for your company – the relationship isn’t always an easy one. That’s because it’s a relationship that requires a lot of trust and clear communication, things that all business leaders strive for but don’t always succeed at extending. Recruiters just like every employee and organizational leader can’t do their best work if they’re overmanaged, second-guessed or don’t have the right information to get the job done.

A helicopter hiring manager is a manager who is overly engaged, but not always well informed, and constantly hovering over you to fill your open reqs. The constant check-ins that a helicopter hiring manager requires, scheduling status meetings and dropping by your office, are frequent but not always consistent. This erratic but well-meaning behavior check-in, distracts you from doing your best to fill the role and from managing the other reqs that are on your plate.

That’s the challenge because as a recruiter you are likely juggling multiple hiring managers, their expectations, and their specific and targeted hiring needs. I remind myself it’s part of the reason I like being a recruiter because the job is always changing and the people do too. However, it’s also part of what makes the role so challenging. You are a project manager of people and their individual recruiting and hiring processes.

Getting the Recruiter and Hiring Manager Relationship Right

We all know about those pesky communication problems that sometimes happen between recruiter and hiring manager. They can cause bottlenecks that will slow your hiring process to a crawl, and even drive away top candidates. Bottlenecks typically crop up around key decision points like deciding who the ideal candidate is, collecting candidate feedback and interview notes, choosing who to interview and who to hire. Slow decision making at these points allows candidate attention to waiver and makes it harder for recruiters to take a second look at your company. It doesn’t send a professional and united message to the high-profile candidate you have spent all this time, money and effort attracting and courting.

How to Win and Influence Your Hiring Manager by Establishing a Process

But there’s an even more pernicious communication problem which can dog the whole hiring process from start to finish, and that’s over management. While some hiring managers are hands-off about the recruiting process, most are interested in regular updates and giving feedback, and even suggesting candidates. Then there are the helicopter hiring managers. The ones who want to know everything about your work in progress, be right beside you throughout the whole recruiting process or even micromanage you. In the words of Sweet Brown, “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”

Managers don’t hover because they’re suspicious of you and your work, but there is a critical lack of trust and confidence in the relationship. This lack of trust probably has nothing to do with you and your work as a recruiter. They may have been burned by another recruiter sometime before. Like helicopter parents, these hiring managers just want to help you do your best so they can do their best in their own jobs.

The first step in building that trust is communication, and for that, you need to put the right communication tools in place and develop a plan for managing and setting job seeker expectations. Getting that part of the hiring process right goes a long way to building trust between recruiters and hiring managers.

Being able to demonstrate the work you’ve done and still have in progress will go a long way to building confidence with your hiring manager. But remember those decision-making bottlenecks I mentioned? Comeet can help with those too, by creating a clear timeline for the process and areas of responsibility. Not only can hiring managers see the work that recruiters have done, they can also see how important it is to hold up their end of the recruiter-hiring manager bargain, acting quickly on top candidates.

Recruiting and Hiring Transparency Builds Trust

Recruiters and hiring managers are partners, not adversaries, and the future of your company depends on the relationship being a productive one. Try to understand the underlying reasons why helicopter hiring managers can’t seem to stop hovering and address the root causes. Be upfront with your recruiting process, provide timely follow-up, seek feedback and encourage collaboration and involvement to establish a solid working partnership and relationship.

Take time to reflect and analyze why your stakeholders might be uncomfortable with things being out of their direct control. Are they concerned you aren’t keeping their objectives top of mind? Or sincerely just trying to help? In most cases, the underlying cause is their prior experience in the collaborative hiring process and the underlying experience with poor communication. Transparency throughout the hiring process builds trust and confidence. Being able to see that the work is being done, and done well, and knowing right away when one of your partner’s needs your help makes the hiring and recruiting process quicker, cleaner and more accountable.

Learn more about Comeet’s collaborative recruiting platform. Click here to register to join our upcoming demo.