The unemployment rate in May fell to 3.8%, the lowest since April 2000, which means saying we are in a candidate driven market is an understatement. The talent shortage has led to a surge in companies seeking outside recruiting assistance.  That’s good news for our industry of course, but with that comes an added responsibility to source and find the right people (who are not always readily accessible) for the job.

Successful recruiting means genuinely understanding a client company’s needs and being able to find the best possible person to fill that need. From the nuts and bolts of a given job such as technical skills, experience and education requirements, to the company’s culture and individual nuances. This is not always a fast and easy process, but there are certain ways to accomplish this most effectively and one of those ways is to establish a strong relationship with the hiring manager.

Gaining access to the hiring manager isn’t as easy as one may think.  Even though we have received a job order and are working a search, oftentimes the hiring manager is kept out of reach for various reasons.  What we would like to convey in this article is that at the end of the day, if it is possible for us, the recruiter, to have a genuine conversation with the hiring manager, the symbiotic relationship will ultimately lead to more successful recruiting and hiring.

I asked a few of our recruiters why they feel it is so important to speak directly to hiring managers and here are some of their responses:

  • Hiring managers have the most information about what skills would benefit their team both in the short and long run.
  • Without getting to know the hiring manager it is difficult to represent the team in the most realistic light as well as talk about who that person is as a manager.
  • Often hiring managers think of things during our conversations that are very important to the process and search that may not come up in conversations with internal team members like HR.
  • Hiring managers can tell you about team dynamics – who is part of the team, what personality fits best into the team.
  • The hiring manager understands and can convey what accomplishments are expected within 3-6-12 months from the new employee.
  • Hiring managers can tell you about the specific challenges that come with a position
  • Hiring managers can give you a better idea of what the expectations are
  • Hiring managers will provide you with some insight on the company culture
  • Candidates ask us about the hiring manager and we need to be able to answer their questions. By knowing more about the hiring manager, candidates feel better prepared for what lies ahead in the interview process and ultimately within the company itself.
  • Having access to the hiring managers also gives candidates the feeling that they are important to the process and not just resumes being pushed through HR.

The bottom line is that hiring managers have in depth knowledge on very specific information which extends beyond the job description.  Many times, our HR contact may not have access to the details or the experience to find out many of the questions that can be quickly addressed by the hiring manager.  This is where going directly to the source, can save time and generate a much more thorough understanding. Ultimately, this relationship between external recruiter and the hiring manager, will lead to an increased likelihood that we will be able to better provide what is wanted/ needed in your next new hire.

Written By: Angie Barnes, The Q Works Group.  Connect with her on LinkedIn