On paper, recruiters and hiring managers should be sweethearts. They both ultimately want the same thing for their company but somehow this partnership is characterised as being less than smooth…When it comes to the top talent crunch, frustrations and tempers can run high. What it all comes down to is simply a difference in perspectives and approaches. Yep, these love stricken talent star gazers are both after the same thing - recruitment's match made in heaven.

So, as a recruiter what can you do to steer the ship clear of rocky waters? Well, first things first, how about you decide on a truce. Two heads are better than one and there’s a lot you can bring to the hiring table to help out your new buddy. So, take a deep breath and let’s dive in!


Tip #1 - Walk a mile in a hiring manager’s shoes.

Before you pass the buck and play the blame game, do know what it means to be a hiring manager? It’s tough, very tough. Hiring managers have a lot of plates to spin and, unlike you, their day is about more than the big prize - the perfect candidate.

So, what are the realities of being a hiring manager? What are their daily bugbears and stress points? Here’s a rundown;

  • I need someone who will help me reach my business goals - This can be a decision less based on the room for opportunity along the journey, and more about ticking the bigger picture boxes. As a recruiter, you’re more inclined to consider the potential and possibilities for personal development. Why not help them see these.
  • I’m trying to keep my eyes fixed on my current team and projects at the same time as hiring - Managing and keeping a keen eye on your present situation is a rare talent. What you have now can affect what you look for in the hiring process. Be a help not a hindrance recruiter! Lend them a hand by profiling the current team and pointing out any gaps that are missing. One less job for the old HM, one great exercise for you.
  • I need to uncover what went wrong with the last guy and what needs to go better with the next - This isn’t an easy task. There’s a few shades of grey when it comes to recruitment and, generally speaking, recruiters might have a better grasp on the the wider market. Be a nice recruiter and help your HM pal see what market factors might have lead to their previous employees’ performance. Did they get a better offer? Is there better incentives out there? Were you paying and motivating too little?


Tip #2 - The couple that learns together, stays together.

Recruiters don’t know it all. Being market-savvy is one you your greatest tools against the fight for talent so everyone involved in hiring should be a master observer.

Embarking on this challenge as a twosome, rather than opting for the solo mission, is a winning idea.

All researching starts with Qs. As a team, compose a list of key questions that you can both refer to throughout your hiring adventures.

  • What do I want in a candidate vs. what do I need? - This is the biggie. It’s something that hiring managers can forget when they get a whiff of the talent they think they want. What do you truly need?
  • What needs to feature on the job description? - Too many job ads try to tick too many boxes. And this leads to the right talent being scared off. Asking for too much means you’re creating a talent monster! If you want someone who can sell like mad, who speaks 5 languages and has experience in marketing and graphic design, you’re going to need to pay big bucks.
  • How has the market affected my talent hopes? - Do you know what your competitors offer? Do you know what the new names for roles and positions are? Do you know what skills your employee will need in the coming months to cope with looming trends? Yeah, until you know the answers, don’t post a single ad.
  • Do you know how to make a first impression? - Recruitment has changed. There’s no line at the door. In fact, you’ll be lucky to find one person who has the complete talent package! Both hiring managers and recruiters need to master the art of making that first impression. If your applicant is any good, they’ll be getting offers left, right and centre. Make your mark from that first handshake / phone call.


Tip #3 - Be the king/queen of your Employer Brand.

Selling not only the company’s, but your, winning points as reasons to join the team is recruiting 101. Some hiring managers struggle with the concept of the employer brand and aren’t sure how they fit into the whole affair. The truth is your employer brand isn’t reserved for social media and branding - this needs to run through everything a company does, and that includes the hiring process.

As a recruiter, help your HM get to grips with the company’s employer brand. How can they trade in this? What opportunities do they have to shout it from the online rooftops? First thing first, they need to look at what they project and expect from candidates.

  • What makes you a good boss? - Why would a candidate want to work with you? Know the answers before you ask them. Ask your recruiter wingman what they think, do your ideas align with company-wide messages?
  • Why would candidates want to be part of the team? - Do you know what makes your team a desirable prospect? Well, you should! Talk to your recruiter about the strong points and weaknesses in your team, were there any past candidates that just fell short that might be a great addition now?
  • Be natural - Ditch the interview script and opt for a conversation. It brings the best out in them and you.

Acting as a team will bag you better talent. It’s that simple. You both know what it takes to attract and retain so pair up and power up your efforts. Developing great recruitment practices will keep you a force to be reckoned with, that takes more than one approach or perspective.


Establish a few new routines and practices that encourage that weekly chit chat.


Just checking in with each other for a coffee will do wonders. Keeping expectations managed and communication open is a winning recruitment formulae. So, grab an extra muffin on your way to work today and be nice!


These are just my thoughts, but I’d love to hear yours. Just drop me an email here! Roy Hills



This entry was posted in Recruitment, Tools & Tips