Win Over Your Hiring Managers

In a large or small organization, there is a need for a recruiter to take charge at times. Below are scenarios that occur in almost every organization. The key steps underneath will improve your time to fill, relationship with the hiring manager, and establish yourself as a trusted advisor.


Hiring manager is new to the company and has jobs to fill. They keep emailing you for next steps and you remind them to revert back to your initial call with them on what you instructed them on earlier that week.  

First of all, did you give them anything to revert back to in an email on steps, or a website to review in your company intranet? Did you take time to walk over the steps with them over the phone and make sure they didn’t have any further questions? Did you create a presentation with screen shots of how to disposition the interviews in the system (if you allow them to do that in your system)? Most all questions new hiring managers have can be solved with this simple solution. Saving you and the manager time and effort in just making sure they are educated on the process.


Hiring manager has been in the company for years and there are new processes in HR.  They are fighting this ’till the last soldier is standing. what do you do?

It sounds like you need to establish trust with your relationship with the manager. As soon as that is established, change is much easier for them. Try calling them and explaining why the change in process. If that doesn’t work, try face time if they are not local, and if they are nearby meet them for coffee.  Establishing common grounds and working together for the common good will always win in the end.


Hiring manager already has someone in mind they want to hire. They haven’t interviewed anyone and they are ready to make an offer! What do you do?

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Besides the legal implications, did you speak with the manager about your company HR process and guidelines? How about having a backup candidate? What if this person rejects the offer and counteroffers since they know they are a “shoo in”? Make sure you take time to speak with the manager about best practices. Not only are you letting them be a red flag for an audit, but you are setting your company up for failure if this candidate is not the right fit after all. It takes courage to stand up for what is the right thing to do vs. the easiest, but do you want to be an order taker or a trusted advisor?


Hiring manager is “too busy” to get back to you on candidates. It has been a month and you have no idea who they want to interview, if any, of the ones you sent to them.

Did you speak with the hiring manager about expectations when you posted the position? Do they understand the implications of waiting too long before making a decision? Are they aware of staffing changes in the organization that you are not? Before pointing fingers, maybe you failed to tell them when you expected to be updated. Make a weekly call with your hiring managers who need a little more attention; not only will it alleviate them from ignoring your emails/call, but it will establish a rapport and improve your hire-to-fill ratio.

Being a trusted advisor is so important whether you are in an agency or a corporate environment. Try these solutions and see how it impacts you and your organization.

Jennifer Morgan has been a recruiter for over 10 years in agency and corporate environments. Her passion is improving processes in recruitment organizations and mentoring others. Her contact details are



2 Comments on “Win Over Your Hiring Managers

  1. Great question Andrew!
    First I would sit down with the hiring manager in person if possible and listen to their concerns.
    First: Are they doing this for budget reasons? Some managers prefer to not add head count but just have a contractor depending on what finance approved for their head count for the year. The hiring managers don’t always tell the recruiter that information so be sure to ask.
    Second point: What has been their past experience in filling that role? Sometimes all they know is what they are used to doing: did they use agencies until up to this point?
    Third: Value proposition: List the services agencies provide to the hiring manager. Now list the services you provide the manager. Are the lists comparable in services provided? For instance if the agencies make the manager’s life easy by booking the interviews and all the manager has to do is show up, are you easy to work with also? Or is it twice the work for the manager if the manager goes in-house?
    Sometimes when the managers are short staffed they just want to cut corners where they can. And sometimes that’s ok, depending on the situation and value proposition. So the reality of the situation may or may not be what you had in mind. I suggest meeting them again and make sure you understand what the manager is looking for in the realistic candidate and in a perfect candidate. Then start sending them both with timelines and action items with decisions. If the manager still wants to use an agency then make sure you choose the agency so you can manage all of the candidates and charges. But I would ask for a month of sourcing first before going the agency route and hopefully winning over the manager while you are buying that time. Good luck! -jenn

  2. I agree with you Jacob that setting timelines is crucial. Thank you for the great response that I think many reading this article will also find useful.

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