This post is a first for RecruitingInbound.com with respect to writing for recruiters. Posts to date have been focused on the candidate experience – don’t fret I’ll be back to this soon! However, I felt it time to finally address my community of fellow recruiters. This one’s for you. The good ones, the ones that truly care about developing strong relationships with candidates and hiring managers alike.
Below is a distillation of my thoughts and practices that have proven successful at establishing, maintaining, and most of all, cultivating lasting relationships with hiring managers.
1. Think like Hiring Managers
This point seems obvious, a no-brainer. But how many of us really practice this? Thinking like a hiring manager involves thinking about ramp-up time or time-to-optimal productivity, risk of bad hiring, cost of bad hiring, etc. All of these anxieties culminate to a perfect storm of too much money and too much time spent on an employee that will never work out. Further exacerbating the risks of a bad hire are the time it takes to discover that the bad hire is, well, bad. Abstractly, this all makes sense. But next time, try starting your next hiring engagement by asking your hiring manager to tell you about the last bad hire experience they had.
Nothing places you directly in the shoes of your audience than listening. Asking questions like, “can you tell me about the last bad hiring experience you had?” or “what was is like identifying, interviewing, and hiring your best employee?” can uncover hiring managers’ priorities, anxieties, and keys to successful hires. At the very least it helps you to begin to identify with what matter to your hiring manager. The sooner you can identify with your hiring manager the sooner your hiring managers identify with you. And let’s face it, whenever you can get a hiring manager to identify with a recruiter, it’s a win.
3. Your Hiring Manager is Your Customer
Notice, I didn’t say treat your hiring manager like your customer. That is because they are your customer. It is simple logic, without a hiring need, there is no need for a hiring manager, thus no need for a recruiter. This point is easily lost to recruiters experiencing booming times in bullish markets. And particularly lost on corporate recruiters [of which I am one] who get a paycheck regardless to whether or not they have a distinct hiring quota. This is a dramatic point but one that helps us stay honest. This final point helps recruiters in that it keeps us connected to our customer at all times and really good recruiters are usually a hybrid salesperson, account manager, and HR rep. Good recruiters realize that their customers are both the hiring manager and the candidate at the same time and these recruiters are obsessed with the customer.
The best recruiting, is team recruiting, and the best team recruiting looks like this: the CEO cares about the candidates, hiring managers, hiring goals, and most of all what talent represents to the growth of the company and its culture. This type of leadership trickles downstream from hiring managers to their direct reports all the way down to the recruiter. Great recruiters foster this type of attitude, cultivate it, maintain it, and make it grow.