The Step-by-Step Guide to Building Lasting Relationships with Hiring Managers


by vested

Let’s face it, recruiters often act as consultants for hiring managers.  

In fact, check out all the consultant responsibility recruiters have: i) project scoping — i.e. creating job specs, ii) market research — i.e. salary and title bench-marking, and iii) making final recommendations — such as who to hire.

One of the most frustrating things for a recruiter is when the hiring manager shifts the direction of a search.  Recruiters can avoid this frustration by building strong relationships with hiring managers before getting started.  

Here are a few suggestions we’ve complied on how to avoid those frustrating recruiting resets.

1) Interview Hiring Managers Before Starting a Search

This might be incredibly obvious, but recruiting is a people business, and building relationships is the key to success.  

Receiving a half-baked job description does not mean a search is live.  Set the precedent that a face-to-face (or video chat) with a hiring manager is the 1st step to opening the search. 

In this meeting, you’ll want 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 roles remain open for an extended period of time.  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 each meeting with hiring managers as opportunities to get more data points to inform their decisions.

There’s some unwritten nuance for each role that you can uncover in these meetings.  Some hiring managers are looking for future leaders and some are looking for functional players.  These details matter for your search; so make sure you are asking the right questions and listening carefully to the answer.

3) Make a Recommendation

Recruiters are by nature experts in the craft.  The number of roles you have recruited for at a given point far outweighs that of most hiring managers.

Recruiters should have an opinion on which candidates are better fits for the role and company.  Once you develop that honest and impartial opinion about candidates, make sure you have solid evidence-based reasoning to justify your position.  If you do this, you’ll be able to maintain that trusted advisory position with your hiring managers.

4) Be to the Point and Concise

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

To avoid ambiguity (and difficulties in the search) make sure you stay on point and communicate clearly to help the hiring manager understand their choices and clear next steps. 

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.  

Vested believes the external recruiting model is broken.  We see an opportunity to do things better.  Vested significantly reduces the cost associated with agency recruiting while provide à-la-carte services, full transparency branded jobs, and a suite of assessments.


Vested also offers a free, no risk trial of our candidate sourcing services.  Please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

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