Understanding your hiring managers like no one else

Like any relationship on planet earth, the one between a hiring manager and recruiter needs effort, motivation and communication.

Hiring managers and recruiters come from two very different worlds. The former runs a team and looks for a candidate when the necessity arises. The latter’s entire day revolves around looking for great candidates and turning them into star employees. Yet they share one common goal: Finding perfect candidates.

A recruiter works with multiple hiring managers and can often have trouble navigating their expectations. Here are some ideas to help recruiters build an unshakable understanding with their hiring managers and in the process give them what they need –  the best candidates in the market.


All understanding begins with empathy. Coming from two different worlds, your problems, challenges, pains, emotions, accomplishments can all be very different from each other’s. So it’s important that you put yourself in your hiring manager’s shoes and understand how your work impacts their goals.

  • Why are they pressing for quality?
  • Is their expected time-to-fill realistic?
  • What drives their motivation?
  • How willing are they to be involved in the hiring process?


Stick to reality

Hiring managers can have unrealistic expectations of quality, time to hire, source, etc. Given that, they are farther away from the candidate market than you, it becomes your job to keep them grounded in reality by communicating facts – this could be time to fill from other teams, other companies, industry standards, etc. In fact, you can also show them the work that goes into hiring a candidate and what happens in the process and invite them to give you feedback.

  • Communicate your constraints
  • Understand their deal breakers
  • Present an external research 
  • Be open to feedback


Introduce them to better ways of doing things

Just because your hiring managers are willing to be involved in the hiring process, it doesn’t make them the best at it. They are going to need help.

  • Involve them while creating your hiring plan
  • Show them how they can leverage their network
  • How they can make better interview plans
  • Confront any bias you spot during the interview process
  • Pass any wisdom you find from one hiring manager to another
  • Train them in selling – teach them how to sell a job
  • Show them how they can make their candidates comfortable


Show appreciation

Nobody wants to do a thankless job. Nobody.

You can get them involved, expose them to reality, motivate them to be engaged, yet the only thing that will sustain their involvement is knowing that their effort is seen, heard and appreciated. There are a million ways to do it. Here are a few:

  • Send out an email when you achieve something together
  • Write them an attractive LinkedIn recommendation
  • Make hiring contributions a part of performance evaluations
  • Prioritize hiring managers that invest themselves in the process
  • Tell them why they are good so they can keep doing it


10 questions that will help you see what’s beneath your hiring manager’s job requisition


  1. What is the purpose of the role you are hiring for? 
  2. Is this a new position or are you looking for a replacement?
  3. What problems do you plan to solve by hiring a candidate for this role?
  4. What will be the key performance indicators on this role?
  5. What do you expect from your new hire in the first 60 days?
  6. When will you or your team be available for interviews?
  7. How do you plan to interview the candidates? Will there be any assignments or presentations involved?
  8. What’s the biggest problem in your team right now and are any other team’s impacted?
  9. How will the new hire impact your biggest problem?
  10. Will they have any training to start with?

We hope this piece keeps your thoughtfulness ON and leads to brighter days at work If you have any other great ideas that have worked for you and your favourite hiring managers, tell us about it.


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