What Your Recruiters Should Do When a Hiring Manager Doesn’t Want to Interview Submitted Candidates

Kris Dunn Hiring Managers, Negotiation, Recruiting, Talent Acquisition, Working With Recruiters

Let’s talk about hiring managers. The good kind, the bad kind, and everything in between.

Your recruiters do good work. Let’s assume that. Also, let’s assume that on the req in question, they’ve done good work and submitted candidates that the hiring manager should reasonably consider.

But wait!! That’s a loaded assumption, right? Let’s talk about how you know as a TA or HR leader that good work has been done. Here’s some things to confirm:

1–The candidates submitted are a good match with the Intake Call for KSAs, compensation, non-negotiables and more. If your recruiter didn’t do a quality intake call, then you probably need to be more systematic in your TA/recruiting operation related to that before you do anything else.

2–You submitted enough candidates. Our data at Kinetix shows that the sweet spot related to recruiting funnel is 6 submittals. 6 submittals turns into 3 interviews and 1 offer on average (6/3/1). If you don’t provide enough choice (even if you found the perfect candidate on day one), your hiring manager will feel like they need to see more.

3–You were clear in what would happen after you presented a slate. Clear expectations – I’m going to submit a slate, then you’re going to tell me who you like, we’ll get them scheduled and away we go – are critical. Mind games, my friends – tell them how it’s going to work.

4–You unapologetically stay active to get the feedback and didn’t hide. You told them how it was going to go and started reaching out for feedback 24 hours after you finished the slate – and you stayed on it. Recruiting is sales, and part of sales is hammering the prospect gracefully until you get an answer.

OK! Did you (or your recruiters) do those things? If not, this post is done for you – go do those things!!

If you did all those things, you have candidates who are a good match in your submittals (back to match with intake). That means there’s some tough love your recruiters should be prepared to serve up to that hiring manager who’s ghosting you or is just plain, “meh” to what you’ve been cooking (shout out to The Rock).

Simply put, your recruiters should be prepared (and trained as needed) to do the following things, many of which may appear aggressive:

1– Ask for a meeting with the hiring manager and go back through their intake notes and go through the candidates one by one for feedback. We don’t do this enough, and if done correctly, it doesn’t have to be adversarial. Better long term relationships with the TA team will actually result. There’s accountability on both sides with this.

BTW, you shouldn’t work on the req more until you get this time with the hiring manager.

2–Show your market knowledge by providing an estimate of when it’s actually going to get filled if they’re looking for something more than the match you provided with the submittals. Again, we’re assuming you did good to great work with your submittals. If that’s the case, saying something like, “OK – there’s a 75% chance this goes past 90 days open if you’re looking for “X” and will only pay “Y”.

The recruiting world is a marketplace. You should tell them how long it’s going to take and introduce the uncertainty you feel to the hiring manager. The accountability is shared, but unless you use this simple negotiation technique, the hiring manager may not understand that’s it’s shared.

3–Don’t get left holding the bag. Communicate to your TA/HR leader the status of the req, your concerns and check in with them on the need to communicate up the chain on the Hiring Manager side. I hate it when a req moves past 90 days and the organization starts flipping out.

Communicate challenges early and often. Make sure everyone knows there’s a difficult req/HM in play and QUALITY WORK HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE. Call me if you want me to write that communication for you.

4–Reporting helps you win in the court of public opinion. If you’re not sending reports to departmental leaders related to simple recruiting funnel stats across all open reqs, raise your reporting and transparency game. If you don’t report, you’ll never get credit for quality submittal volume. My personal fav is to report on applies/sourced/screens/interviews/hires on each req, with space to the right of each row for notes!

The recruiting life is hard. It’s even harder when you don’t take credit for quality work that has been done – even if it doesn’t result in the interview volume you expected.

Not everyone is going to love what your recruiters are cooking. But if you step back and can be proud of their work, your total TA systems and process should back them up and help them get unstuck.

Good luck out there with those hiring managers!