How The Best Recruiters Build Relationships

Let’s face it – when we get hired as a recruiter, they expect us to be the staffing solution for their hiring managers. 

We help with:

i) scoping out the role — i.e. creating job descriptions,

ii) performing market research such as comp salaries and titles, and

iii) providing recommendations on who to hire and how to conduct interviews.  

As talent acquisition specialists, the more varied the rolls we help fill are, the better our recommendations become.

One of the most frustrating things to a talent acquisition professional is when the requirements of the role change during the search.  One way to avoid this is by building a strong relationship with your hiring manager and flushing out the entire recruiting process before getting started.  Here are a few suggestions on how to develop strong relationships with your hiring managers.

1) Interview Hiring Managers Up Front

This might be incredibly obvious, but we all know recruiting is a people business, and building relationships is the key to success.  Don’t open any role without first sitting down with the hiring manager to understand how the opening came about and what role they expect the future employee to play on the team.

Having face-to-face communication up front is the key to stronger bonds especially when prolonged openings occur.  This will also help to break the ice and gather insights to screen candidates.

2) The Art of Listening

Recruiters often make the mistake of talking more than listening.  A good recruiter treats meetings with hiring managers and candidates as opportunities to get more data points to inform their decisions.  

Each role has some nuance for requirements — for instance some hiring managers look for future leaders and some are looking for functional players.  It’s the details that matter for your process; so make sure you are asking the right questions and listening carefully to the answer.

3) Develop an Opinion and Then Make a Recommendation

The job of any recruiter is to be an expert in hiring.  While we may not have the ability to assess technical ability we should have an opinion on culture fit or how a given background fits with the rest of the team.  

We should have an honest and impartial opinion about candidates so that we can maintain a trusted advisory position with hiring managers. As part of the decision-making team, we must share an informed opinion about the candidates.

4) Be to the Point and Concise

As a recruiter, you need to be in constant communication with your hiring manager. Two-way communication is a good starting point; there’s another element: conciseness.  

Have a recommendation, stay on point, and communicate clearly to help the hiring manager understand their choices and your preferences. Stay strictly on-topic and avoid ambiguous statements.

5) The Final Word

There is no doubt that you should build strong relationships with your hiring managers.  This will have a positive impact on the team and your process. Most importantly, it will improve the quality of personnel that you hire.  

This is easier said than done and our advice is to continue to hone this skill.