The Conversation Every Recruiter Needs to Have With Their Hiring Manager

April 7, 2015

Here’s a troubling stat for those in talent acquisition: 80 percent of recruiters believe they have a good understanding of the jobs they’re recruiting for. Yet 61 percent of hiring managers disagree with this, according to a Deloitte study. In other words, there’s a disconnect.

Making it worse, the most important factor for a successful hire is the relationship between the hiring manager and the recruiter, according to that same study by Deloitte. In fact, this single factor was found to be four times more important than any other.

Bottom line, the miscommunication that too often occurs between recruiters and hiring managers is squelching the hiring process.

So, what can recruiters do to remedy this?

Bring on the data.

Or, more accurately, use data to communicate better with hiring managers. And that all begins with a conversation.

Understanding what’s causing the disconnect

Entirely too often, hiring processes go like this: the hiring manager meets with a recruiter and tells them that they want the purple squirrel – the employee who has a very specific skillset, will accept a less than adequate salary, put in long hours, and of course, remain enthusiastic.

In a few weeks, the recruiter brings back a list of names – almost none-of-whom meet these nearly-impossible requirements. The hiring manager is left shaking their head, thinking the recruiter didn’t really understand what they wanted.

How to fix it

The good news: this destructive dynamic can all change with the right data, communicated effectively. After the hiring manager gives the recruiter an outline of the person they want, the recruiter can respond with clear data on how realistic that is.

By using tools in LinkedIn Recruiter, the recruiter can easily show the the size of the talent pool that fits the hiring managers criteria. From there, they can present a sourcing strategy and, using trend data, give a realistic number of candidates to expect.

This conversation accomplishes two things. One, it gives the hiring manager a look into the talent pool so that their expectations are properly set. Second, it allows the hiring manager to alter their requirements, if necessary. For example, if the analysis shows a talent pool of one or two people, perhaps the hiring manager can drop a few non-essential requirements to garner more applicants.


For example…

Say a hiring manager wants a software engineer with at least seven years experience in the Boise, Idaho area who is an expert in SharePoint. From there, the recruiter’s analysis via LinkedIn Recruiter shows that there are only four people in all of Boise who meet those requirements, and all are gainfully employed.

Then the hiring manager has two options: either instruct the recruiter to try to poach one of those four people, which will likely mean a more protracted hiring process and potentially require a higher budget. Or, the hiring manager could drop a non-essential requirement, with options presented by the recruiter. For example, the recruiter could propose allowing the employee to telecommute, removing geography as a limitation, which would increase the talent pool to over 100 people, based off an analysis.

Conversely, if the talent pool is exceedingly large, the recruiter could actually recommend listing more requirements in the job description. Yes, that will shrink the talent pool, but it should improve its quality and make for a faster hiring process.

A case study

Don’t think it will work? Well, Brigitte Kearny, a staffing specialist at Qualcomm, followed the exact procedure outlined above.

Here’s her experience, in her own words:

“The hiring manager was frustrated because he felt it was an easy role to place. I felt that it was a difficult role that would take some time. Finally, we sat next to each other to look at LinkedIn Recruiter’s search insights. The hiring manager said, ‘Wow, your job is really hard. I have no idea how you do this.’

Originally he wanted to fill the role in a month. Now, he agrees that the position will take up to six months to fill. He also adjusted the criteria from one year of experience to include those with 3-5 years of experience to expand the talent pool.

When the hiring manager empathized with how hard our job is, I got excited. Hiring managers don’t usually understand how in-demand and small a talent pool is, especially with quality talent.”

Bottom line: presenting the right data early is crucial to the recruiter-hiring manager relationship. Not only does it put both people on the same page, it fixes any problems earlier on in the process.

For more tips on improving your recruiting strategy with data, download our Data-Driven Recruiting eBook.

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