Recruiters: Step Away from the Computer and Get in Front of Your Hiring Managers

September 29, 2014

At this point, there’s no denying that technology and software have changed the hiring process for the better. Tools like LinkedIn make it easier to source, engage, and vet top candidates, while total recruitment marketing platforms optimize your brand’s presence, educate top candidates on your opportunities, and allow you to generate greater value from your recruiting efforts.
I’m a big fan of that technology and other tools — like email and applicant tracking systems — that make recruiters and hiring managers’ jobs significantly more efficient and effective. But as great as those tools and technology are, they aren’t a complete replacement for what I think has become a forgotten component of the hiring process — regularly scheduled in-person status update and debrief meetings.
Too often, corporate recruiters rely primarily on email or recruiting software as a means for managing every step of the recruitment process – including their interactions with hiring managers. While those tools can optimize each phase of the hiring process, it is still important for recruiters to establish an in-person relationship with hiring managers.
Even at a startup — where recruiters might sit 20-feet from hiring managers — it’s still crucial to establish a rhythm of scheduled, in-person meetings so that you can set expectations, discuss the status of the searches you’re working on, and coach hiring managers on how to best manage top candidates throughout their interview process.

4 Key Benefits of In-Person Recruiting Meetings

Why are in-person meetings with hiring managers so critical? Aside from the obvious reasons I mentioned above, in-person meetings between recruiters and hiring managers provide a great opportunity to:

  1. Educate hiring managers on the recruiting process: When you meet in-person, it’s far easier to discuss how the process works and what the hiring manager can do to improve the speed and quality of new hires. These meetings are also a great forum for coaching managers on how to interview and present offers to top candidates.
  2. Learn more about the role: Even though most recruiters have a kickoff call to start a search, details about the role are often limited during that call. Follow-up meetings give you the chance to learn more about a role’s key responsibilities and qualifications, and keep up with any changes to the candidate profile.
  3. Get creative about how you find candidates: When you meet in person, little details tend to come out that put the role — and the hiring manager’s needs — in greater context. Where are the best candidates? What do they read? What are they interested in? Why should someone want to join the company in this particular role? Hiring managers will know these details better than anyone.
  4. Leverage the hiring manager’s network: You can’t always assume that a hiring manager will tap into their network on their own. When you meet in-person, make sure these managers are using their networks and their team’s networks to help identify hard-to-find A-players. 

Above all, in-person meetings with hiring managers are a great opportunity to build your relationship with them. You’ll learn more about who they are, what makes them tick, how they manage, and what they’re looking for. That kind of information almost always leads to better communication and, subsequently, better hires.

Striking the Right Balance between New Technology and Old-School Technique

Of course, all of this isn’t to say that email, ATS, or total recruitment marketing platforms don’t have their place — they absolutely do (just look at our recent investment in SmashFly).
But that technology should not replace traditional in-person status update and debrief meetings, which provide a fantastic forum for educating hiring managers on the entire recruiting process, making tweaks to the profile you’re targeting, and acquiring feedback on candidates throughout the hiring process.
Ultimately, the more recruiters and hiring managers are on the same page about who they’re targeting and how to best manage the recruiting process, the better the chances are that the company will attract the right talent for the right positions.

Turn Your Hiring into a Science

Download our free eBook guide to developing a lean, productive recruiting function:

Image by Office Now

VP, Human Capital

<strong>Diana Martz</strong> is Vice President, Human Capital at<a href="">TA Associates</a>. She was previously the Director of Talent at OpenView.