All recruiters may not be created equal, but when it comes down to it, many do share one common lament: getting hiring managers to respond to active candidates. While many factors come into play in perpetuating this barrier to talent acquisition and solving them often feels outside the recruiter’s domain, the right strategies can help you sidestep this all-too-common Catch-22.


Let’s count down five techniques aimed at facilitating better relationships between recruiters and hiring managers.

1. Collaboration is Key

While recruiters and hiring managers can sometimes feel like they’re working against each other, the truth is that they share a common objective. Maintaining a collaborative mindset can help you overcome obstacles in order to enjoy a functional relationship. The sooner both parties accept that it’s not about finger-pointing and instead about teamwork, the more efficient and effective the process will be.

2. Set Expectations

While recruiters may feel the most heat when hires don’t happen, the organization as a whole takes the hit. One way to ensure that both sides meet their objectives? Set realistic expectations about everything from budget to timelines to requirements. Establishing these expectations together ensures that you’re on the same page while preventing misunderstandings and resentment along the way.

3. Talk the Talk

Setting expectations is only part of the picture. Also critical? Following up. If one party falls short on goals, open lines of communication are key — not just in terms of holding the appropriate party responsible, but also to get back on track. Establish a schedule for touching base. Routine weekly calls and email updates build trust while supporting the search process. Regular debriefings after every interview, meanwhile, can help close loops which might otherwise linger.

4. Give and Take

Lack of feedback can be counterproductive to the hiring process. Offering feedback and welcoming it in return helps both parties stay apprised of the latest challenges and developments — pertaining to individual candidates as well as overall objectives.

5. Make It Personal

While you may have plenty to offer a hiring manager, taking a different approach can yield favorable outcomes. Consider making your hiring manager your mentor instead. Mentorship offers many sharing and learning benefits for both mentor and mentee, but the benefits go beyond that. The mentorship dynamic takes your relationship to another level of teamsmanship, establishes vested interest in mutual success, and by nature fosters a culture of responsiveness.

Bottlenecks in the hiring process are not only frustrating to recruiters and hiring managers alike, but can also stand directly in the way of meeting your organizational objectives. These five tips can help HR professionals overcome obstacles and work together towards success.

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