Fostering a vibrant hiring culture: 4 steps to building recruiter and hiring manager partnerships

Group of celebrating coworkers

In order to emphasize the importance of recruiting to an organization’s long-term success, companies must look to foster a recruiting culture. This means that every person in the company understands the value that recruiting and making the right hires brings to an organization.

One aspect of developing a great recruiting culture is rooted in the relationship between recruiters and hiring managers. This relationship serves as a barometer of how the rest of the organization views recruiting.

However, in most organizations, this relationship does not function optimally. Tell me if this sounds familiar: a new product is being rolled out, and there’s pressure to obtain enough manpower to launch it by a certain date. The hiring manager urges the recruiting team to hire in droves, concerned more with filling seats than with, say, the overall culture fit of any one person being hired. But as a recruiter, you know this is not a scalable approach. It will only hurt you in the long-run—these people will negatively affect your culture…and they’ll leave the company sooner, resulting in decreased retention rates.

At last year’s Greenhouse Summit, Jason Medley, Director of Talent Acquisition at Imgur, highlighted this common battle: the hiring manager expects roles to be filled—and quickly—but doesn’t exactly show respect for the recruiter’s work or the process. The thought and detail that goes into recruiting is not recognized, and as a result recruiting fails to get recognition as a strategic arm of the business.

But Jason has a solution to this common situation. Read on to learn his 4 strategies for successfully partnering with hiring managers and growing a dynamic recruiting culture as a result:


1. Hold collaborative kick-off meetings before every role is hired

Even if it’s the fifth time that a role is being filled, still bring all stakeholders into the room—needs may have shifted, and new needs must be brought up and incorporated into the hiring plan. Showing your hiring managers that each and every req really is that important will make an impression on them and spur their active and eager participation in the process.


2. Don’t jump the gun on writing the job description

Wait until after the kick-off meeting to write the job description—in other words, don’t write it by yourself beforehand and then present it to the stakeholders for review, which is a common method. You need the input of the hiring manager to write an accurate job description, and the hiring manager needs your input to make sure it’s thorough—you’re the one with hiring expertise who can help guide the hiring manager to think about aspects of the role they may not have thought of on their own. By collaborating on the job description, the hiring manager will become more invested in making the hiring process work—and ensure the hire is the right fit for their team.


3. Attend the hiring manager’s team meetings

Human interaction is key. When you have those really tough hiring managers (you know who I mean), you may want to hide behind email—but don’t. Speaking to them in person is much more effective. In fact, you should look to attend the hiring manager (or department’s) weekly team meeting or daily standup meeting. This way, you will learn more about the team—the dynamics, the challenges, the projects, and more. You will get a better understanding of the role and how to sell it to prospective candidates. By becoming an honorary member of the team, the hiring manager will recognize your investment in getting to know them better and the two of you will become more connected in the process.


4. Meet with the hiring manager once per week, no matter what

To further grow your partnership, schedule a recurring meeting on the calendar with all hiring managers once per week, whether they have reqs open or not. Take this time to ask them what has changed with their team since the last time you talked, which projects their team is working on, etc. Also make a point to ask who their high performers are. Why? This is a good opportunity for you to zone in on other people, besides the hiring manager, who can help you learn more about the team and what it takes to be successful. Again, the hiring manager will commend your efforts to really take a deep dive into getting to know the team and its needs.