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When it comes to recruitment, the relationship with a candidate is often put above all others. But without a positive relationship between hiring manager and recruiter, the candidate is at real risk of disappearing into a black hole or enduring a poor candidate experience. Either one of these outcomes may result in them terminating their application, refusing your offer, or refraining from purchasing your product or service in the future.

Here are 7 tips to improve the relationship between hiring manager and recruiter:

1. Get Off to a Good Start

Start your relationship on the right foot with a kick off call or in-person conversation where the hiring manager (HM) and the recruiter can get on the same page. During the meeting, the hiring manager and recruiter can list candidate qualifications, outline team responsibilities, and review past successful candidates for similar roles. With the Avature ATS feature Find Similar, recruiters can search your database using the characteristics of 10 previously successful candidates.

After determining your search criteria, map out an interview plan together (interview stages, particular areas of focus, and follow-up), along with a sourcing strategy – Where should the search be focused? What companies have the kind of candidates we’re looking for? What job boards specifically target those roles?

2. Work Together

Relationships are a two-way street, and require a lot of collaboration and responsibility. Make sure you finish your kick off meeting by setting deadlines and Service Level Agreements, i.e. the tasks that must be completed by both hiring manager and recruiter to move the process forward. This may seem a bit formal and over the top, but it allows both parties to keep each other accountable and make sure the process hums along smoothly.

With the intuitive workflows and flexible conditions of today’s advanced technology, you can automate many tasks and reminders. This takes out the heavy duty of remembering to carry out actions, plus have the added benefit of meeting compliance recruiting requirements. For example, you can restrict moving a candidate forward in the recruiting process until either the recruiter or hiring manager have completed a task, such as providing a disposition reason.

3. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

Just as in any relationship, love between hiring manager and recruiter relies on communication. Make it your mission to become a proactive communicator, even at the risk of “over-communicating.” This doesn’t have to take all of your time. It can be just a brief email or quick note at key milestones, e.g. invite to an intake session after x hours of requisition, email with a screening summary of proposed candidates, follow-up call after interviews, or updates on candidate offer status.

In Avature, communication is made easy. Every engagement with a candidate is recorded within the journal of their profile. In addition, recruiters have their own overview dashboard where they can easily see the status of their communications with both candidates and recruiters – providing constant visibility of their recruiting activities.

4. Be Realistic

A good recruiter can occasionally pull the perfect candidate out of a hat, but they’re not actually magicians. HMs should prioritize skills and qualifications, and shouldn’t set unrealistic standards for potential candidates.  Try sitting down at the beginning of each search to decide on 3 must-have skills/personality traits, plus 3-5 “nice to have.” If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at the HM’s current team and consider what core skills have made past candidates who weren’t 100% perfect to begin with a great fit in the long-run.

5. Build Trust

The old relationship adage still applies here – trust is everything.  As a recruiter, be honest with your HM in terms of what you are capable of. For example, if you don’t feel you have the technical knowledge required to adequately interview a head programmer, let your HM know from the beginning – they can then be present during the interview to probe for the necessary information, or provide the technical training so you or another team member can conduct the interview properly. If you’re recruiting for hard-to-fill roles, and they require more engagement time than usual, being open and honest from the start will enable you to build a strong, fruitful relationship.

Honesty continues to be crucial throughout the process, especially when it’s time to provide feedback. HMs should keep in mind that honest feedback on candidates will give the recruiters the information they need to be more successful in the future.

6. Stay Consistent

Your hiring process should run like a well-oiled machine. Begin every search by defining key knock-out style application questions that will help identify top potentials more easily. Then, during screening phases, require screening forms to be completed before a candidate can be passed to an HM, ensuring that the HM has all the information they need to move the candidate forward.

Make sure both your recruiters and hiring managers are adhering to the same standardized interview process, from bench-marking candidates against the same criteria across the board, to providing the appropriate message at the appropriate time to candidates. Smart automation can help with the latter by sending custom messages to candidates at certain milestones – such as a pre-interview preparation email or an interview follow-up for top candidates.

To further refine your process, harness your automation to send post-interview feedback forms so that candidates can help improve both recruiter and HM performance, as well as demonstrate areas for improvement overall.

7. Lend a Hand to the Ones You Love

Every relationship requires a bit of effort, but the right tools can make a world of difference. Leverage technology to remove the grunt work from the process and allow recruiters and HM to easily communicate and collaborate. Remove the stress out of the recruiting process through the use of intuitive workflows. For example, once candidates are initially screened, a hiring manager could be automatically informed of top candidates, or when an HM finishes an interview, they could receive an automatic prompt to give feedback.


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