Do you have a turkey on your mind? Is it a hiring manager you’re working with? If so, let’s see if we can fix that so you can focus on the real one coming up later this week.
My firm often works alongside internal recruiters. These are the hard-working people in HR that often go unnoticed but are generally the reason great companies are full of great people. And they endure a lot. They usually have a heavy load of roles to fill for various managers. These hiring managers don’t usually mean to be difficult, but they also have a good deal of responsibility and are relying on you to help them reach their business goals.
Yes, there are actual turkeys. I was once in a meeting with a hiring manager and internal recruiter when the manager looked over at the recruiter and said ‘I want 5 people by next week. Now go get them’. You know, that closet where we keep all the top-ranking candidates who want to quit their amazing jobs at companies they love.
More often though, managers are great people who also have the company’s best interest in mind and are more than willing to partner together to help bring in the best people possible as they build outstanding teams. It’s the pressure in getting there that can result in either a collaboration or conflict, but you have the opportunity to steer things in the right direction by using your most valuable tool - communication.
I believe that the key to all good relationships and business success for that matter, is communication. Clear and honest communication. And a lot of it.
Here’s a few things you can do to build a rewarding and effective partnership with your hiring manager:
Suggest weekly meetings.
Ask to schedule a regular 15-30-minute time to connect weekly. Let them know you want to give updates. Use this time to fill them in on your progress. Share highlights of the actions you’re taking, ask clarifying questions and get advice. And if you’re having a tough time finding just the right fit, strategize direction. I’ve never had a hiring manager turn me down and while it seems like another meeting to fill up your calendar, the amount of information you’ll get and convey will make your search all the more efficient.
Send update messages in between.
Of course, a qualified candidate submittal is the best message for a manager to get but at the beginning it serves to show them you have their back, and that their opening is a priority for you. For example: “Wanted you to know we’ve connected with 7 candidates this week who look to fit your qualifications. Stay tuned!”
Offer data or intel.
This can be part of your weekly update or a quick message. If you use Slack or another instant message app, it’s a way to offer small bites of information that gives them assurance and builds their confidence in your work. “We learned that X company is moving out of state and so we’re contacting their best people”.
We’re thankful for the hiring managers we work with. Without them we have no purpose and it is our greatest joy to both advise and serve them. So why not do all we can to foster great partnerships and build teams to be grateful for?