Relationship Goals: How Recruiters and Hiring Managers Can Become BFFs


It’s pretty common for recruiters and hiring managers (HM’s) to not have the best relationship. If there were a Facebook relationship status to define this union, it would be “It’s Complicated”. From the outside in, it looks like recruiters and HM’s do the same thing… they hire people. Well, it’s not that simple. Recruiters are hired by the company the HM works for to find the ideal candidate fit for the position. Unfortunately, some HM’s have been burned by recruiting agencies in the past, so there is usually tension between the two.

According to a Deloitte study, 80% of recruiters believe they have a good understanding of the jobs they‚Äôre recruiting for. However, 61% of HM‚Äôs disagree with this. There is a clear disconnect.  What causes such disconnect? I sat down with one of our very own Kinetix recruiters, Adam Eltarhoni, to figure out why this happens and what can be changed to make the relationship more of a partnership. Adam is known for his fun, outgoing personality and his ability to make even the toughest of clients and HM‚Äôs feel at ease.

“Lack of knowledge. Lack of information the HM tells the recruiter. They usually have distrust in the recruiter… they don’t have confidence in them as they would a colleague,” says Adam.

To nurture a partnership with an HM, the most important thing is to make them feel comfortable, have open lines of communication, lay all candidate qualifications down on the table, and build that trust.

A typical relationship between a recruiter and HM is a lot different than what the ‚Äúideal‚Äù relationship would be.  The HM usually views the recruiter as someone who is working for them and not with them to fill the needed job. Ideally, you want there to be collaboration and partnership to work together to find the best candidate. It should be a symbiotic relationship‚Äîfeeding off of each other to get the job done.


What can recruiters and HM’s do to ensure a healthy relationship?


HM’s can help by explaining in more detail what they are looking for in a hire, versus just spitting off a list of bullet points. Adam said, “Giving an example of a current employee, or a former employee, that fits the mold of what they are looking for. Or tell me an off the book personality trait that would be a fit with the company. Any insight that goes beyond the job description.”

Recruiters can improve by asking more questions and digging deeper into what the HM is looking for. Not asking questions and not fully understanding what the HM needs causes a huge disconnect.  As mentioned above, HM‚Äôs are typically wary of recruiters‚Ķ gaining their trust is huge. Tell them how you can support them and what you can do for them. Let them know you are working together and you‚Äôre not just trying to fill a seat with a warm body.

Follow up often. With any healthy relationship, communication is key. Communicate with the HM often. Even simple statements letting them know what you’re working on, updates, etc. If a manager doesn’t hear from you for a few days or a week, they don’t think you care and they are forgotten.


Strengthening the relationship between recruiters and HM’s can also improve vital talent metrics—like reducing cost-per-hire by simultaneously reducing time-to-hire. Working together and knowing exactly what the HM wants will help the recruiter find the highest quality candidate.

The war for talent is brutal, and you can’t do it alone. Becoming BFFs with your recruiter or HM will make the fight quick, easy, and painless.

The BFF Breakdown:

  1. Get to know each other
  2. Ask deeper questions
  3. Frequently communicate
  4. Be a team and work together
  5. Build trust

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