Recruiter vs. Hiring Manager: Who is responsible for hiring?

Jan Tegze
5 min readJun 11, 2019

Hiring managers and recruiters have a shared goal: to hire the best people and fill the role as fast as possible. Having a common goal and working in the same company should theoretically turn hiring managers and recruiters into best buddies.

Yet the reality is too often otherwise — in many cases, there is friction in their cooperation caused by different expectations from each side, and one doesn’t always understand the other’s role in the process. At times, this can make cooperation difficult.

While they are both trying to fill the position as soon as possible, hiring managers’ expectations are sometimes not aligned with the reality of the market. Hiring managers often expect their role to be prioritized by the recruiter, even if the recruiter has other open roles to fill. For example, a hiring manager may expect the recruiter to find dozens of great candidates and fill the role in three weeks because that’s what happened last year, but just because it happened once doesn’t mean it will happen every time.

These misunderstandings can pile up. So what can hiring managers and recruiters do to establish a good partnership and ensure they’re on the same page?

Set the expectations early on

Setting expectations early on could remove much of the friction from the recruitment process. Recruiters should always bring the data to the table for their first intake meeting and discuss with hiring managers factors such as how big the candidate pool is and how quickly this type of role is usually filled. That data could also provide additional insights, such as why hiring a senior candidate for a position could take five months but hiring a slightly less-experienced candidate could shorten the time to fill the position and increase the pool of potential candidates.

Another way recruiters can set expectations for hiring managers is to include them in the first part of the hiring process so they have a better understanding of how it all works. For example, recruiters can provide hiring managers with a list of qualified candidates and ask them to approach these candidates via email. Then check in every few days to see how your hiring manager is doing in terms of replies.

Jan Tegze

Author of bestseller “Full Stack Recruiter”, #Recruiter, Dream Chaser, Creator of impossible, #BlackBerry fan (probably the only one).

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