2) Talk less, listen more
The biggest mistake I see recruiters make is talking more than they listen. To do our job well we must first listen to the hiring manager
to understand what they need, and then listen to the candidate as they tell us who they are.
Sure, you’ve hired 100 people into the company and think you know exactly what the manager wants. Maybe that’s true... but if you don’t
listen you’ll never know for sure.
Each role has some kind of nuance or detail that makes it critical, and if you don’t pay close attention you could miss it. For instance,
maybe a hiring manager needs someone who can grow into a team leader in the future, or has a niche skill set for a new project. It’s these
types of details that make the role critical to the team’s success, yet they are easy to miss if you aren’t asking the right questions and
listening carefully to the answers.
3) Have an opinion, make a recommendation
Our job as recruiters, is to hire people. We are the experts. That’s right...we are the professionals. As the experts in hiring, we must have
an opinion on our candidates if we expect to earn the trust, appreciation, and respect of our hiring managers.
Some of the best hires I’ve made (or not made) happened when I shared an informed opinion on the candidates with my hiring manager. Whether
it was a quick “oh, you’ll love this person’s personality” or “ugh, that person was not a good culture fit,” made all the difference.
The fact that I evaluated the candidate and shared my insights with the hiring manager, helped the team move beyond the qualifications of each candidate,
to understand whether they would actually be a successful addition to the team. Because I take the time to bring actionable insights on different
candidates to light, my opinion has been the deciding factor on countless hires throughout my career.
Ask yourself two things as you form your recommendation:
- Is my opinion based on something I’m qualified to evaluate? If not, then make sure you focus on criteria for which you’re able to create an informed opinion.
- Am I taking notes that I can share with the hiring manager to illustrate how I developed my recommendation? If not, make sure you know which criteria you want
to evaluate ahead of time, and organize your notes into thoughtful feedback.
4) Be a partner, not just a service provider
A lot of recruiters miss this point and think of hiring managers as their “client.” Instead, think of them as a partner - it’s a subtle but important difference.
Your relationships with your hiring managers should be strategic partnerships that help them reach their goals and get their jobs done well and efficiently.
Remember, their job is NOT to hire someone...it’s to deliver a product, increase sales, save lives or something else not necessarily related to hiring. In order to
partner, you must communicate how your process works, make recommendations on how to make things easier, and ultimately deliver the talent that makes everyone more
successful. That’s it.
5) Be concise
Finally and most importantly...keep your communications brief and to the point. Our hiring managers have jobs to do. Yes hiring is part of that job, but it’s far
from all of it. Stay on point, deliver the information they need to make sure they are evaluating each candidate consistently, and hire the best possible candidate
you can for each and every role.
Building strong relationships from day one with your hiring managers is one of the most effective ways you can increase your impact on the team and accelerate hiring
(and your career). It can also often be one of the most challenging parts of our jobs as recruiters. But if you’re able to follow these 5 principles for earning trust
and building rapport, you will set yourself up with the optimal team dynamic to be able to attract, interview and hire the best talent on the market.