Best Practices

How to Manage Hiring Manager Expectations

Catharine Riddick
January 5, 2022

Recruitment is one of the most important aspects of a business. Your people make your business a success, and it’s imperative to get suitable candidates when looking to fill specific roles.

The critical thing to remember is that the candidate is king here. If your recruitment process is hazy, disorganized, and drawn out, the chances are that a strong candidate will lose interest in the available role and given the current landscape,will lose that candidate to another company. This is why the relationship between the recruiter and the hiring manager is vital.

Aside from the competitive hiring landscape, it’s no secret that one of the most severe challenges for recruiters is managing the expectations of their hiring manager.

According to HR Daily Advisor, more than half of recruiters think that hiring managers don't understand their recruiters' workflows. What's more, almost two thirds of hiring managers expressed that their recruiters don't fully understand the needs of the roles they're hiring for. Clearly, there is a disconnect between the recruiters and hiring managers which can only impede hiring. Those are both significant percentages and show a gap in miscommunication between these two parties.

So, as a recruiter, how do you close the gap?

Understanding the process from the start

January is one of the busiest times of the year for organizations. They’re planning a workflow and understanding what positions need to be filled for the entire year. This plan goes further than just a one-hour meeting in the boardroom. It involves key stakeholders: executives, recruiting, and finance teams.

Once the hiring plan is completed, it is shared with the Recruiting Lead and their recruiters. This team is now responsible for executing the hiring plan using an effective recruiter workflow. They must also work very closely with hiring managers to make sure that recruiting understands the key qualities that hiring managers are looking for in  candidates..

The problem

The planning phase sounds extremely well-organized, and the truth is that it often is. But the issue comes in on day one of executing the hiring plan.

That’s right. Once the hiring plan is locked down, and recruiters are ready to start the seeking process, the plan changes! Yes, hiring managers suddenly alter their ideas about their needs and want to hire a different type of employee for the role.

This causes an inevitable back and forth between the recruiter and hiring manager before the plan is executed at all. The result?

Constant emails or Slack messages from hiring managers to recruiters. These messages include changes to their hiring briefs, edits on profile specifications, and more.

This results in a blurry candidate profile and means that recruiters have less time to do what they should be doing; sourcing, interviewing, and hiring candidates.    

The solution 

If the recruitment process is more organized and communicated effectively, then hiring managers and recruiters will always be on the same page about the status of hiring candidates. With TruePlan’s approval chain feature, recruiters and hiring managers are able to see every step taken in the hiring process from approval of the role to hiring of a candidate. 

Having a systematized recruiting process is much more than just a Google Sheet. You should schedule weekly hiring manager meetings, share progress on candidates, and collate data in an integrated recruitment software.


Tips for creating a more cohesive relationship with your hiring manager:

Get off on the right foot

As we’ve seen, the most formidable challenge can be maintaining a good relationship with the hiring manager. The key here is to get off on the right foot. Try setting up an in-person or virtual kick-off call. This is where the hiring manager gets an opportunity to chat with the recruiter about their recruiting bandwidth, the hiring plan, candidate qualification requirements, and outlining responsibilities for each team. You can also use this time to discuss past success candidate stories.

Lead with a solid brief 

When you receive the hiring brief – as a recruiter, you must ensure that you read it, reread it, and confirm that all your questions are answered upfront. Too often, briefs are skimmed over and are very vague. As a result, candidates are sourced that may not be ideal in a hiring manager’s eyes. It’s important to dig below the initial brief and get as much information about the ask as you can. Discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the existing team. Ask what the new candidate should be bringing to the table to overcome those weaknesses. Before any work begins, take time to discuss and agree with the recruitment process, actions, and timelines.

Work cohesively using recruitment software

According to an article on G2, 94% of hiring professionals believe that using recruitment software improved their hiring process. Recruiters reported that recruiting software  speeds up the recruitment process, which is one of the most significant tests that recruiters are faced with today. Recruiters also mentioned that the software allowed them to complete capacity planning, reduce administrative tasks and keep track of job applicants in one space. 

Constantly communicate

Most importantly – communication is the core to a successful relationship with a hiring manager. Recruiting software helps with improving communication by putting everything headcount related in one place. You can easily crowdsource the data from hiring managers directly within the platform instead of attempting to collaborate outside the recruiting tool.

Recruiter software – The future of an integrated hiring process

In the 21st century, there’s no time for mundane Excel spreadsheet maintenance or email and resume sorting. There is a better way! Recruiting leads need to show your leaders that you have your recruitment bandwidth and implementation processes in tip-top shape.

Innovative and professional recruitment software is the perfect tool for building this process. Say goodbye to working across waves of files on your laptop – TruePlan offers you one dashboard that holds all your information and shares that with your hiring managers.

This dynamic headcount planning software helps recruiters plan and share recruiting progress with financial teams, hiring managers, and recruiting leads. The software allows for teams to approve or reject roles in real-time. This way, everyone is aware of any updates at any given time. ATS integration lets hiring managers review the status of current jobs seamlessly.

Manage hiring managers’ expectations the right way

Communication is the key to your success as a recruiter working with hiring managers. It’s time to use the right tools to save you time and stay organized and structured with your hiring manager.

Learn more about TruePlan and we can help you better manage your hiring manager’s expectations today.

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