3 Huge Keys to Effectively Working With Hiring Managers
As recruiters, we don’t work in a vacuum — internally or externally. And while our success is largely predicated on how we communicate with candidates outside of the organization, the conversations we have with internal stakeholders are just as important. Because really, at the end of the day, outreach and recruitment initiatives hinge on effective onboarding conversations with hiring managers. But how can recruiters ensure successful conversations across such a diverse range of personalities, professions, and profiles?
Effective onboarding conversations start with the relationships we build with hiring managers.
Just as important as onboarding conversations are the relationships we build with our hiring managers. Successful relationships with hiring managers are based on two-way communication and collaboration — you’ll get nowhere with one-way conversations. This is true for several reasons:
Collaboration Leads to Clarity
Let’s face it: Hiring managers don’t always know what they want or how to communicate what they need. By structuring your intake conversation, you‘ll ensure that you cover all of the bases regarding the role and candidate profile. Your questions help the hiring manager get clarity on exactly what they need and expect, because, chances are, they haven’t fully thought through it yet (even if they think they have). Don’t be surprised if a hiring manager has to pause and think about the questions you pose. This process helps them AND you dial it in — it’s okay to ask questions and you should.
It Takes Two to Tango (and Create a Job Description)
Hiring managers don’t inherently know how to create a job description that clearly states objectives, necessary work, etc. It’s our job as recruiters to help them distill what they think they’re looking for into clearly stated wants, needs, and requirements, while also being written in a way that inspires candidates to apply.
Conversations Define Hiring Realities
Hiring managers may have no idea as to what the current state of the talent market is. They may be approaching purple squirrel zone with their expectations of the ideal candidate profile, causing them to ask for everything plus the kitchen sink. The intake conversation is a two-way street, and treating it as such means being able to gently bring internal partners back to reality if they’re expecting too much.
Effective Onboarding Conversations Have Tangible Benefits
After an effective conversation, both parties leave with an accurate, thorough understanding of the role that needs filled and the ideal candidate that needs targeted. If we facilitate the conversation right, we as recruiters will understand why the potential candidate would want this job. That understanding should shape outreach to candidates — it gets to the heart of what incentivizes them. Understanding the role properly also means we’ll be more helpful and accurate when discussing the opportunity with potential candidates.
So, how do we ensure effective intake conversations with hiring managers?
Effective conversations are a product of preparation, planning, and using the right frameworks to create a solid foundation. One such framework is the four steps below:
Getting Ready for the Conversation
If you’ve received the job description prior to the meeting, take the time to read through it and have notes and questions prepared. Think about the upcoming outreach messages you’ll write and the conversations you’ll have with potential candidates. Based on this job description as it is, ask yourself whether or not you have enough information to be able to address the following:
If you can’t answer these questions on your own, make sure to discuss them in the meeting with the hiring manager. Even if you can pull answers from the job description, make sure to confirm those answers when you meet with them.
Structuring the Conversation
Launch the conversation by laying the groundwork for this role:
Applying the Contextual Interview Method
1 Ask the initial contextual interview question, but aimed at the hiring manager’s point of view.
2 Follow up with additional questions in the contextual interview format with your hiring manager conversation, using the 5Ws as the basis of you questions:
Nailing Down the Interview Process
Once you’ve gotten a full understanding of the role you’re trying to fill and the type of candidate you’re looking for, take a few minutes to nail down the interview process. You want this for your own planning, but it’s also something that you’ll share when speaking with potential candidates.
Apply what you’ve learned
Now that you have a cohesive understanding of what the role is, the type of candidate you’re targeting and how the interviews will progress, it’s time to apply what you’ve learned to your recruiting process. Update the job description to reflect the goals of this open position and the work experience sought. Highlight the reasons this role is compelling when crafting your outreach messages.
When interviewing candidates, share what you learned during the contextual interview with the hiring manager to ensure that the candidate has a good understanding of the role and how they will be able to succeed in the role.
The more effective you are with your hiring manager conversations, the more effective you’ll be with your candidate searches.
CONTINUE YOUR LEARNING
What we’ve just covered is merely the tip of the iceberg. We’ve created a handy Tech Cheat Sheet to be an additional resource for you. Our Tech Cheat Sheet goes more in depth on what tools engineers are using, definitions you should know, and how to apply your new tech know-how in conversations with candidates. Download our Tech Cheat Sheet and start making better tech placements today.
About Recruiting Innovation
Recruiting Innovation is an industry-leading online tech recruitment training platform. Focused on teaching the technical concepts and key roles in the software development lifecycle to tech recruiters and sales teams, Recruiting Innovation’s online training programs help teams make better tech hires, faster.