8 ways Founders and In-House Recruiters can work well together | Talent Heroes
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8 ways Founders and In-House Recruiters can work well together

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8 ways Founders and In-House Recruiters can work well together


Many in-house recruiters will feel as though they are trapped between a rock and a hard place when working with hiring managers.

Most of the time, Founders and stakeholders have a long list of demands when looking for new talent. It would probably be easier if they wrote ‘everything’ on a piece of paper.

But, while hiring managers may often be difficult to collaborate alongside for your recruitment requirements, they only want the same thing as you – the very best talent.

The fact you are in this together should be the first building block in any hiring manager and In-House Recruiter relationship. But how else can you work well together?

  • Mutually Agree Expectations

First and foremost, hiring managers and In-House Recruiters must mutually agree on respective expectations before bringing in new staff. This avoids a single line of dialogue from the hiring manager asking the In-House Recruiter to go and get them suitable talent.

“The recruiter and the line manager should sit down or at least have a phone conversation to discuss exactly what’s required and how the process will work,” says Paul Slezak, Co-Founder and Head of Marketplace at RecruitLoop.

  • Two Way Communication

By agreeing to set some mutual expectations, the ball is already rolling with two-way communication, which should continue throughout the talent acquisition process.

This can speed-up and streamline things too. There are several instances when In-House Recruiters won’t hear from hiring managers for days on end about potential candidates, which are then instantly dismissed anyway. This calls for Service Level Agreements (SLAs) on both sides.

  • Standardise The Interview Process

Whereas In-House Recruiters mainly favour behavioural, or competency based interviews, hiring managers often prefer informal chats. This battle between objective and subjective can lead to problems further down the line, which calls for standardised interviewing.

“The interview process between the internal recruiter and the hiring manager needs to be streamlined, so that at every step along the way the candidate is being assessed against exactly the same criteria,” Slezak recommends.

  • There’s No Talent Wishing Well

It’s time hiring managers realise that In-House Recruiters can’t throw pennies into a wishing well to generate a steady stream of candidates. Any shortlist will likely be the very best talent for the role, not the first to have applied or be identified.

“A shortlist is exactly that: a short list of the most suitable candidates,” argues Slezak. “Not just the appetiser before another list to choose from for main course.”

  • The Need For Speed

As soon as there is a resignation or termination, hiring managers get themselves in a frenzy and project this urgency onto In-House Recruiters. But this need for speed can be avoided with a recruitment strategy, or hiring forecast.

“If possible on a monthly, or at least a quarterly basis, the HR team (along with the internal recruiters of course) should sit down with each team manager to plan what recruitment might be coming up in the weeks or months ahead,” says Slezak.

  • What Are The Success Metrics

Another way in which hiring managers and In-House Recruiters differ is their respective success metric choices. Hiring managers look at recruitment efficiency ratios, while In-House Recruiters compare candidate submissions with how many applicants get interviewed.

“Metrics must be established up front,” Slezak warns. “At the same time exactly how the results are going to be interpreted needs to determined, so that everyone knows what they are accountable for.”

  • Agree Issue Resolution Process

Just like every other aspect of the talent acquisition process, you’ll need to come up with a framework where issues can be resolved easily and amicably.

This is where previous steps such as mutual expectations and two-way communication will help, as you’ll both have a solid understanding of how each other goes about their work.

  • Review and Iterate

The relationship between hiring managers and In-House Recruiters should be an ongoing thing, which constantly aims to improve and grow stronger. Help things along by reviewing a particular recruitment campaign and use it to inform future activity.

This should also be supported by regular (every 3-6 months) review points to tweak and optimise processes as well as reviewing new trends and technologies. Constant iteration will keep you ahead of the competition.

Food for thought

Always remember to KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid. Creating dozens of metrics and monitoring them all can be a false economy. Unless you draw insight from them, don’t use them.

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