3 Ways Recruitment Tech Helps Recruiter/Hiring Manager Relationships
If there’s a pair that needs to come together as a power-duo to make any given hire happen, it’s the recruiter-hiring manager (HM) pair. The hiring manager is the expert on the role. They know the skills and disposition required to get the job done; they’ve got an intimate window into team dynamics; and they can speak to the role’s day-to-day functions and what kind of impact they expect the new hire to have. The recruiter, on the other hand, brings expertise on the labor market. From salary information, to market dynamics, to competitor insights, recruiters help hiring managers know what’s realistic in terms of the pools of available talent, likely time-to-hire, and what strategies to use to nurture talent and convince them to apply.
These are different roles with different strengths and sets of expertise—which is why recruiters and hiring managers should be working together to plan sourcing strategies, align on expectations, engage and interview talent, and see candidates smoothly through the hiring funnel. In fact, research has shown that the biggest driver of talent acquisition performance—by a long shot—is strong recruiter/hiring manager relationships.
This makes sense: the hiring manager and recruiter are the two biggest points of contact a candidate will have while in the hiring process with a company. When they’re out of sync, candidate experience suffers, which impacts the company’s brand, outreach efforts, and overall hiring success rates. Candidates may drop out of process, reject your offer because they perceive that you aren’t a well-run company, tell their friends and write negative reviews on Glassdoor, or even refuse to buy your company’s product or service down the road.
Industry surveys have shown that poor communication, miscommunication, and misunderstanding each others’ roles are among the top factors complicating the recruiter/hiring manager relationship. The great news? Recruiting technology exists that helps solve for all of these dilemmas—whether recruiters work in the same office as their hiring managers, or whether they’re remote. Here’s how it helps support that partnership:
1. It Empowers Both Recruiters and Hiring Managers
If you’re a recruiter, you’ve probably experienced the sense that your hiring managers have no idea how much work goes into sourcing candidates at the top of the funnel, or how misguided their expectations are. If you’re a hiring manager, on the other hand, you’ve probably experienced a sense of desperation that no one is walking in the door for interviews yet; and you’ve wondered why the whole process isn’t moving at triple-speed. We’ve seen it often: frustration from both sides at a sense of powerlessness. And that sense of powerlessness typically comes from a lack of visibility into each others’ processes and a lack of data to point to the work being done.
With recruitment technology, recruiters now have data at their fingertips to show how much work happens in the background before hiring managers even see a candidate, or how many candidates need to be in process in order to see a hire, or why recruiters’ time-to-fill expectations are what they are. Talent CRMs contain historical data from past hires that allows recruiters to make their case. How many Product Managers did they have to reach out to, how many phone screens did they have to do, how many onsites had to take place, and how many offers had to be extended for the team to make a single hire the last time the role was open? How long did it ultimately take to fill the role? This data gives hiring teams better visibility into the kind of lead time and leg work required to fill any given open role. When hiring managers have access to the metrics that talent teams are using to forecast hiring pipelines and outcomes, they won’t feel as disappointed by the apparent sluggishness of the process. On the other hand, talent partners won’t feel as though they’ve had unrealistic expectations heaped on them.
Technology also empowers recruiters by helping remind hiring managers how important their attention to the process is. Solutions that offer Pipeline Analytics, for example, show passthrough rates, which allow hiring teams to observe bottlenecks where process improvements could be made:
Are candidates not moving forward because hiring managers haven’t completed the necessary tasks to move them through to the next stage? Recruiters no longer have to feel like they’re nagging their hiring managers for not moving quickly enough on a candidate: the data is right there for hiring managers to see themselves. Recruitment software also acts as the source of truth for the reasons candidates withdrew from process or rejected offers. Recruiters can simply offer up the data, which does the heavy lifting of proving their points for them.
From a hiring manager perspective, HMs get to enter the hiring process with full visibility into what’s happened at the top of the funnel, and can therefore proactively step in and help out with the full context in front of them. For example, with a sourcing solution that displays all of a prospect’s or candidate’s historic activity, hiring managers don’t have to worry that they’re stepping on recruiters’ toes if there’s someone they want to reach out to. They can see all prior touchpoints and follow up with appropriate context, offering a seamless candidate experience and representing the company in a unified, professional way. This is crucial for your talent brand:
Finally, technology empowers hiring managers to feel like they’re part of a process they can see and understand. They have access to dashboards where they can easily observe the status of all communications between recruiters and candidates. They have ongoing visibility into the activities happening at all stages of the funnel for that open role they so desperately want filled. They can better understand why they might be asked to be more flexible on certain qualifications, or why it takes so many phone screens to get a candidate onsite, or why candidates are dropping out of process after onsite interviews, or why they have to offer a better compensation package than they’re offering. And so on.
2. It Deepens Recruiter/Hiring Manager Communication and Collaboration
Because it holds the historical data for every touchpoint and action, as well as the data for candidates currently in process, recruiting technology acts as the source of truth for both hiring managers and recruiters. It’s also where they go to communicate and collaborate—even, and perhaps especially, if they’re working remotely—leaving a trail of data points that helps optimize each next hiring process. Here are a few examples of how technology mediates that relationship:
Hiring manager review. Recruitment tech features such as Gem’s Resume Review allow talent teams and hiring managers to calibrate on profiles from the very beginning, so recruiters can better understand what their hiring managers’ ideal candidate looks like. This is crucial, given that, while 80% of recruiters think they have a “high to very high” understanding of the roles for which they recruit, 61% of hiring managers think otherwise. With resume reviews, the picture becomes clearer for recruiters, because hiring managers are asked to articulate what they’re looking for or why something is not attractive from the beginning.
Gem allows recruiters to download PDF resumes of prospective candidates on LinkedIn. They can then share batches of resumes with their hiring managers, who can flip through them and select buttons to approve or reject as they go, leaving more detailed notes on particular prospects if they wish. Those notes are logged in the prospect’s Activity Feed in the Gem extension, so everyone else on the team can also benefit from that context the next time they’re on that person’s profile. This way, sourcers and recruiters quickly land on a clear picture of their hiring managers’ expectations. They can then sort the reviewed prospects by review outcome, adding everyone that received approval (or a star, indicating a highly qualified prospect) directly to an outreach sequence:
Send-on-Behalf-of (SOBO). Sending on behalf of a hiring manager has been shown to double response rates for email sequences. (In fact, some of our customers have seen tripled or quadrupled response rates with SOBO.) SOBO allows recruiters and hiring managers to collaborate on outreach to whatever degree the HM wants to be involved. With Gem, there are two ways for recruiters to send on behalf of hiring managers (or C-levels, or anyone else in the company, for that matter). They can create an alias and set up email forwarding (in which case, the message looks like it comes from the HM, but replies go directly to the recruiter), or they can request “Send From” access (in which case, replies go directly back to the HM, who then takes charge of the correspondence). With Gem’s SOBO functionality, the recruiter is notified when the prospect replies, and can follow up with the hiring manager accordingly.
Many of our customers set up sequences to look like there are different senders per stage, which also increases response rates. When prospective candidates know there are two people on the team who are excited about them, they’re all the more likely to reply.
Shared projects. Recruiters can share entire projects with their hiring managers by simply copying the link to that project from the project page. Once the project is shared, hiring managers can add candidates from the project to one of their own projects, start a sequence with the candidates in that project, leave notes on candidates, or jump into candidates’ LinkedIn profiles. They can also track the project to see how many prospects have been contacted and how the outreach efforts have fared in terms of open rates and reply rates. Talent teams can also use shared projects to give visibility into talent pools, and even as another way of running ongoing calibration with hiring managers.
3. It Improves Processes—Leading to Faster, Better Hires
For one, recruitment technology allows talent teams to build talent pools: databases of candidate profiles that would be a great fit for the organization, all stored in their talent CRMs. Why keep active talent pools? Well, 54% of recruiters say that hiring managers expect them to hire for hard-to-fill roles more quickly than is possible. Meanwhile, 42% of hiring managers say they wish recruiters would have a warm talent pool for future open positions. A talent pool shortens the time it takes to convince someone to commit to a phone screen: they’ve already been sourced and nurtured, and they already know about the company. From the hiring manager’s perspective, there won’t appear to be a “delay” early in the funnel, as though recruiters aren’t putting the effort in. What’s more, hiring managers can recommend their own industry contacts for the pool. (So we’re back to the benefit of collaboration.)
The collaborative and communicative features we discussed above mean a ton of time saved on calibration or debriefing meetings, which means candidates move through process more quickly… and we probably don’t have to tell you how quickly candidates lose interest if they aren’t hearing back from you. But beyond efficiency gains, good recruitment technology helps you pinpoint where candidates are falling out of process or where they get stuck in frustrating holding patterns. Pipeline analytics give you a sense of where you’re losing candidates, so recruiters and hiring managers can work together on optimizing that part of their hiring funnel.
Because Pipeline Analytics gives teams ongoing visibility into activities happening at all stages of the funnel, it alerts individuals to who “owns” the next step—which means recruiters don’t have to ping their HMs reminders all the time. Gem’s Talent Pipeline, for example, allows you to see all active candidates at a glance in a color-coded kanban board. Not only do recruiters and hiring managers get to see all the active candidates in process at once; they also get to see which candidates require actions—whether by the hiring manager or by the recruiter. Gem automatically surfaces candidates to the top of each stage based on urgency (red, then yellow, then green):
From the candidate tiles, users can click to open the candidate in Gem or directly in their ATS so that they can discover what action needs to be taken to restore the candidate to a “green” state. The more efficiently you move candidates through process, the more likely they are to say “yes” when that offer letter arrives.
Empowerment, collaboration, optimized processes, faster hires—and ultimately, more offer-accepts. These are some of the biggest benefits recruitment technology can get you when recruiters and hiring managers both have their hands in it. Not a bad combination, if we do say so ourselves.