Warning Signs the Hiring Manager Doesn't Respect You

April 27, 2017

Recruiters, regardless of level of experience, seem to share a lot of similar issues. No matter what new tool, new concept or latest “thought leader” (I just threw up in my mouth) says, a lot of our common issues lead back to the core fundamentals of what makes a recruiter successful.

It is not mastery of the latest sourcing tool, nor is it a Twitter following or number of likes on your Pulse post that makes a recruiter great. Nope – from when I started 20+ years ago to current day, the same types of folks who were successful then are the same ones who are successful now – the ones who get what recruiting is all about: selling to, marketing to and dealing with people.

The fundamentals matter, and learning from the ground up is the true path to success in our world. Tools come and go, but your core skills as a recruiter will remain the constant.

Along with my colleague J.T. O'Donnell we have created RecruitHUB - where recruiters go for elite-level courses, coaching, and community. In our community, we get lots of great questions from all levels of recruiters. We will be sharing some of these questions and also some advice around how to deal with these all too common concerns moat of us share. Our first question is as follows:

“I have a particular Hiring Manager that I think doesn’t respect me. He doesn’t give me feedback on candidates and never seems happy with the people I present. This individual is making my job much harder. What can I do and what are the signs I am being disrespected as a recruiter?”

As far back as our profession goes, this problem has existed. Even the best recruiters face this challenge at one point or another. First let’s address the “warning signs” that your Hiring Manager (i.e. Customer) may be thinking you are not exactly “killing it”:

1. Working around you

Has your hiring manager gone rogue and been contacting candidates in their own? Maybe they are interviewing people without your knowledge? No respect city – big time.

2. Not following process

If your hiring manager is running their own show and doing things outside of the process you have outlined, then you may be entering No Respect City – population: You.

3. Not valuing your input / feedback / advice

If you hiring manager doesn’t listen to your advice, value your input or feedback on candidates or how to engage with the candidates then that could be a BIG warning sign that you are really an admin for his/her recruiting efforts and nothing more.

4. Not responding

Silence is not a good thing in a hiring manager/recruiter relationship. This could mean a lot of things, but one thing it means for sure is that they don’t respect your time and efforts if they cannot even take a moment to respond to your emails and calls – especially after repeated attempts.

What you should do about it

If you checked the boxes on one or several of these signs above, the question is: what can you do?

Establish a service level agreement

When I was running recruiting teams, I installed a mandatory 48 hour response time from our Hiring Managers. We made their roles a priority, but if they cannot do the same then we need to re-assess.  My rule was that if they did not respond within 48 hours (outside of vacations or other extenuating circumstances) the requirement was put on hold until they were better able to make it a priority. Let’s just say that this policy helped a lot with timely communication.

Let them see “behind the curtain”

Hiring Managers, no fault of their own, have no clue what we actually do. Show them. Let them know what you are doing, how you are doing it and what your plans and activities are. This will give them a better understanding of your work and also give them valuable insight into the challenges their role may face and what to expect up front.

Have a conversation instead of emailing

Email can be great, but when you are in a situation where respect is being called in to play, a conversation is 100% of the time the best way to get things moving in the positive direction. Email can be a very tone deaf communication medium, and is also forever. Conversation is a great way to start this dialogue in a more positive way, and my advice here is to not schedule this conversation either. When you schedule these meetings a lot of thought, preparation and “defense systems” start happening before you even start. Drop by unannounced or call and do the same. Also – do not be defensive in this convo. Be collaborative and accept some of the blame too. After all, you both got things to this point.

These are just some of the warning signs and things you can do to rectify your relationship with your Hiring Manager. Here are some more thoughts in this video:

For more Coaching, Courses and Community – join us and many more recruiting colleagues at RecruitHUB

*Image by clement127