In some ways, being a successful recruiter is like being on Survivor, the popular reality TV show where castaways vote each other off each week for the chance of winning a million dollars. Granted, in recruiting you’re not eating bugs and (hopefully) not walking around in a skimpy swimsuit, but you’re still part of a team. And, just like on Survivor, being a success in the recruiting landscape means your team sees as you a valuable contributor worth keeping around.
Once your team considers you a vital asset, your job as a recruiter becomes significantly easier — and you won’t get voted off the island! During my career as a recruiter, I’ve developed a surefire process to make every hiring manager my ally.
Here are three steps you must take:
1. Set the Strategy
Whether you are dealing with a newly promoted manager or a seasoned hiring pro, they both will take great comfort in knowing you have a plan. After the intake meeting, follow up with an email that lays out your plan of attack (e.g. niche job boards, targeted sourcing techniques, display advertising campaigns, etc.). This will not only give your hiring manager peace of mind, but will also tout that you are a proactive and creative recruiting partner. Translation: if you can present a solid plan, you’ll be seen as a force to be reckoned with.
2. Set Realistic Timelines and Deliverables
Always remember that you are the recruiting expert, not the hiring manager. You are the one with intimate recruiting cycle knowledge and understand that candidates do not magically appear just because a job is posted. Plenty of time and hard work goes into recruiting, and hiring managers shouldn’t expect to have a dozen phone screens set up within 24 hours. It’s important to set extremely realistic expectations during this process and let your hiring manager know when they can expect phone screens to start showing up on the calendar. Also let them know what a realistic number of applicants for this type of role would be.
In this step, data becomes your best friend. Let your hiring manager know how you plan to reach out to X number of candidates per week, and how many candidates you expect. Data is king and will help you set realistic expectations so managers aren’t unrealistically expecting hundreds of applicants.
3. Stay Top of Mind & in Their Face (Literally)
Let’s face it, most people are visual and busy, so they need reminders. One tip I give to recruiters on my team is this: if a manager doesn’t follow up on résumés, skips candidate feedback or misses your hiring update meetings, cruise by their desk or office. Even if they’re in a meeting and all you do is catch their eye, this will signal that you’re being proactive and the ball is in their court. You’d be surprised at how successful this step can be!
Remote Management Tips
Now that I work remotely and manage a team from afar, I’ve learned tips and tricks to manage my hiring manager’s expectations. If you’re working with hiring managers remotely, be sure to still have those weekly check-in calls to review activity, candidates in the pipeline, internal changes within the team, etc. Setting aside this time each week ensures that you have quality time with your hiring manager where these issues can be addressed.
If you have a hiring manager who continually misses calls or check-ins, IM, email or text them — whatever they prefer. If you can quickly shoot them a text to remind them to jump on a call or get the answers you need, your relationship will be much easier.
It’s All About Communication
Like any good relationship, the recruiter/hiring manager one is all about communication. Don’t be afraid to over-communicate and get creative when it comes to contacting hiring managers. As a recruiter, it’s your job to step up to the plate and handle these relationships like a pro. Happy hiring!