The latest thinking, news and events from the world of Recruitment

The Changing Roles of Recruiters and Hiring Managers


Over the last few years, there has been a preoccupation with cost reduction, time reduction and just about every other form of ‘reduction’ imaginable in a bid to streamline organisational operations. Human resource professionals for their part have had to find ways by which their departments can respond to the dual challenges of making the human resource function more efficient, whilst being more effective at the same time. But this has prompted a changing role for HR.

In a survey conducted by the Economic Intelligence Unit in 2012, 59% of respondents stated that as the ‘people agenda’ gains increasing prominence, along with a greater appreciation of its business-critical implications, so too will the strategic importance of the HR function be regarded within the organisation.

But critical to this growing influence, according to 81% of respondents, will be how HR adopts the most effective talent management strategy and new technology solutions that will enable the organisation to achieve competitive success. The most significant of which being the way in which data is gathered and analysed.

Making sense of the data available to recruiters and human resource professionals can mean the difference between a continuation of costly recruitment methods or the adoption of a streamlined form of candidate attraction which has a direct impact on the organisation’s bottom line.

For instance, the ability to analyse previous hiring activity enables recruiters and hiring managers to accurately anticipate future recruitment needs in accordance with the organisation’s overall objectives. This in turn helps to facilitate greater collaboration between internal hiring managers and external recruiters and will help to overcome the somewhat fractious relationship that often exists between the two partners.

The roles of recruiters and hiring managers have been inextricably linked since time immemorial, yet there has often been a disconnect between the two – largely the result of a mis-match in expectations or a non-alignment of each other’s’ understanding of the requirements on a given project. To counter this, it is important for the recruiter to be positioned as more of a business ‘partner’ rather than business ‘provider’.

Indeed, through the sharing of information and ensuring that recruiters understand the metrics that are most important to measure, hiring managers and recruiters will have a clear picture of which elements make for a successful (or unsuccessful) recruitment strategy. This will see both parties working closer with one another to source candidates more strategically, in addition to providing crucial intelligence on how the competition is performing in terms of their recruitment efforts.

Collaboration is key. As BC Forbes famously said, “Any business arrangement that is not profitable to the other person will in the end prove unprofitable to you. The bargain that yields mutual satisfaction is the only one that is apt to be repeated.”

In other words, a successful working partnership is one in which the hiring manager has confidence that their recruiter of choice understands what their requirements are and can rest assured that their vacancies will be filled by the best available people; thereby, demonstrating the recruiters’ worth to the organisation. Again, this is where technology can play a huge part.

For example, most organisations have encountered those hard-to-fill roles at some point and frustratingly, these are typically the roles that have the greatest impact on the overall organisation. By implementing and constantly updated the talent pool within your ATS, you can seamlessly build a database of suitable candidates.

More than that, you will also be able to identify those organisations who employ the sorts of roles you are struggling to fill. This information can be shared between hiring managers and recruiters so that when the next round of recruitment comes around, hiring managers can take ownership of approaching previous candidates which sit within their existing talent pool, whilst recruiters can employ a more proactive approach by targeting those in similar roles in other organisations to effectively ‘sell’ your vacancy.

This approach can also be used if your organisation is involved in high volume hiring. To ensure that you receive a steady flow of suitably qualified candidates, sharing the information stored in your ATS with your recruiter will make substantial cost savings in addition to dramatically reducing your time-to-hire and the process of sifting through a plethora of CV’s.

But of course, none of the above can work unless two things take place. First, you need to have an ATS which is flexible and adaptable to your specific requirements – only then can you gleam the critical information that you need to help formulate your recruitment strategy. And second, it is imperative to have a good working relationship with the external recruiters you partner with – one that is built on a clear understanding of your expectations, goals and objectives.

Once this has been established, the relationship between recruiter and hiring manager will enhance your relationship, increase the recruiters image in the eyes of the organisation and their added value to it, and drive the delivery of a successful recruitment campaign.