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Hiring Best Practices

3 Steps to Set Hiring Manager Expectations – Tech Recruiting Learning Series #4

Written By Jessica Miller-Merrell | January 2, 2015


Regardless of the industry, it is extremely challenging to present qualified candidates that suit your hiring manager’s needs. The competition in technical positions makes setting expectations one of the most important responsibilities of a recruiter in this industry. Seasoned recruiters will tell you that expectations are, first and foremost, the most important part of the job. They set the tone for the recruitment life cycle of that individual requisition and for future openings.
The challenge for recruiters lies in the fact that they interface with multiple hiring managers. Most corporate recruiters juggle responsibilities to recruit and fill a handful of requisitions and openings at a company. The solution to managing a hiring manager and filling your job openings quickly starts with three critical pre-recruiting activities.

1. Schedule an Intake Call

An intake call is a meeting with the hiring manager where you ask questions and understand the hiring requirements, culture expectations and skills needs for the position you are hiring. It can be formal or informal, depending on the process and relationship with the hiring manager for the position you are recruiting.
Intake calls often use a set intake call form. Recruiters ask a series of pre-planned questions to better understand the hiring manager’s needs. Common questions during the intake call include, “What is the role you are hiring for?”, “What is involved as part of the interview and hiring process?” “What skills or qualifications are most important?” The intake call sets the tone for all interactions between recruiter and hiring manager for the particular job opening.

2. Discuss a Realistic Timeline

Setting expectations among hiring manager and recruiter is one of the most important steps to ensure success in sourcing and qualifying the right candidate. Since recruiters are managing many different job openings, it’s important for them to set and discuss expectations with the hiring manager. Most importantly, what date and timeline do they, the hiring manager, have in mind to fill the opening?
Work with your hiring manager and set a realistic time to fill date. Commit to meeting with them weekly to discuss your progress and manage the expectations of hiring.

3. Discuss Their Commitment to Being Responsive

Often, key skills and other important qualifications are uncovered as critical, sometimes after the first round of candidates is presented to the hiring manager. Just like a real estate agent, the recruiter is learning, understanding, and working towards presenting the best candidates. However, sometimes the hiring manager doesn’t identify a particular skill set or qualification as important until after viewing or interviewing a handful of prospective employees. Timely feedback and follow through by both parties help recruit the most qualified candidate for the role in a reasonable amount of time.

Equally important in meeting hiring deadlines and expectations is having a conversation with your hiring manager about their personal commitment to working with you and being responsive when presenting candidates and seeking feedback from him/her timely. Presenting a candidate is often a learning process between both parties. Hiring managers need to understand that recruiters are managing the expectations and communication of not only the hiring manager but also with the candidates they are presenting and considering.

Above all, communication between candidate, recruiter and hiring manager is the most important part of the hiring process. A small amount of purposeful effort starting with an intake call helps to ensure critical job openings are filled quickly with the best possible new employees.

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