3 Steps for Overcoming Hiring Manager Roadblocks

Misalignment is inevitable in the workplace. This especially holds true to recruiting and hiring manager relationships. To help solve this, Greenhouse and Glassdoor have teamed up to share strategic tips on how recruiters and hiring managers can successfully unite and accomplish a common goal: hire the best talent possible.

It sounds simple, right? If you just talk to your hiring manager, you will be fine.

However, as any recruiter knows, trying to find a strong candidate is incredibly challenging. No matter the role, the fluctuating market, or the time of year, there is a lot of work and resources that go into making that hire. Then, once you add another key stakeholder into the equation, you begin searching for a purple squirrel or unicorn—aka a candidate that just doesn't exist.

So what’s the solution and how can you overcome these hurdles? Here are 3 steps that will help you and your hiring manager get on the same page:


Download our eBook, The Definitive Guide to Recruiter & Hiring Manager Partnerships here!


Step 1: Define the roles

At Greenhouse, we like to think of recruiting as a strategic partnership. Recruiters have a pulse on the talent market. They’re the ones speaking directly to candidates and can provide insight into the recruiting process at any given moment.

The hiring manager, on the other hand, understands the business needs for the new hire and knows which specific goals the new hire will accomplish in their first 30, 60, or 90 days. In the end, the hiring manager is the decision maker of which candidate is extended an offer.

Making a point to clarify what each role is responsible for will help establish accountability—and further work to create alignment—from the get-go. It’s important that both parties understand that they must effectively collaborate and leverage one another to get the end result they’re looking for—a great hire.

Step 2: Define the problem

It tends to be a broad statement when a recruiter says they don’t like working with a particular hiring manager. What, exactly, don’t they like?

Make sure that when those feelings of stress or frustration come up, you’re pointing to a cause. It’s never just a person, rather a situation. In order to come up with a solution for these situations, you have to pinpoint the real issue. For example, is your hiring manager hard to reach? Do they think that interviewing is solely a recruiter's responsibility? Or, perhaps, do they fail to provide useful feedback to you after interviewing a candidate?

Any of these have the potential in creating a roadblock to finding and securing the best talent, which isn’t something that either party wants. So, your goal should be to dig deep and find that core issue—and then work to address it, as explained in step 3 below.

Step 3: Find a solution

First and foremost, make sure that you do not dismiss any obvious issues. Don’t think: “It’s not that bad—I can make do.” Though it may seem like the simple thing to do, it actually results in more work! Brushing the problem aside also pushes your job aside—you’re not able to find and keep the best candidates, because, perhaps, you’re lacking feedback from your hiring manager.

It often takes setting up a meeting to address issues. If you do set up a meeting, make sure that you have some data ready to go. For example, if your hiring manager has canceled interviews do to a heavy workload and is unhappy that candidates aren’t coming through, you can go back and share how many candidates you’ve sourced and screened and how rescheduling the interviews put a halt in the recruiting process.

For other situations where you may be hiring for engineering roles, it’s a great idea to sit in on those engineering stand-up meetings and start exposing yourself to the language and culture of the team. Then, you can speak to this when interviewing. Sitting on these meetings also is a great opportunity to have your presence felt and your voice heard, giving you a platform to convey how important referrals are or what the pipeline looks like in terms of a new hire for that team.

Lastly, if your hiring manager is just hard to reach in general, take that extra effort to find them in the early morning, perhaps showing up at their desk with a coffee and donut and asking if they have 10-15 minutes to get aligned and work on some quick but timely action items.

If all else fails and you’re still feeling like there is a big disconnect between you and your hiring manager, speak with your director and ask them to connect separately.

Creating recruiting and hiring manager alignment is a work in progress. But creating a strong foundation upfront will allow you both to work as a cohesive team—and that’s what’s needed. In the end, it all comes down to that common goal you’re both aiming for: making that awesome hire.


Want to learn more about how to take your recruiter-hiring manager relationship to the next level? Check out Greenhouse and Glassdoor’s joint eBook, “The Definitive Guide to Recruiter and Hiring Manager Partnerships." Simply click the button below.

The Definitive Guide to Recruiter & Hiring Manager Partnerships
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Casey Marshall is Partner Marketing Specialist at Greenhouse. She teams up with Greenhouse partners and customers to tell a story and share insights into ways companies can improve their recruiting. She loves that this job allows her to build relationships with thought leaders and showcase how innovative companies are changing their recruiting approach. Connect with Casey on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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