Recruiting 101: How to Engage Hiring Managers & Build Trust

how to engage hiring managers

If you’re a recruiter, you’re likely more focused than ever on the candidate experience. In fact, this is crucial amidst The Great Resignation and increased competition for top candidates. However, with candidates taking center stage, it can be easy to lose sight of another crucial stakeholder: hiring managers.

report from Deloitte found that developing strong relationships with hiring managers is the biggest driver of talent acquisition performance. But how do you make that happen? Read on to learn best practices for building successful recruiter-hiring manager relationships.

Tip #1 for Engaging Hiring Managers: Learn Their Needs Right Away

After a hiring manager asks a recruiter to hire someone, find out their needs. Seems obvious, right? What we really mean is know their needs better than they know their needs. After all, 51% of recruiters say hiring managers “should do a better job communicating what they are looking for in a candidate.” That’s why you need to ask a lot of questions.

So here’s what you need to do, step-by-step:

  • Send an email or make a phone call to introduce yourself to the newly assigned hiring manager.
  • Offer your availability to meet 1:1 with them, whether in-person or via video-conferencing. This is key for hiring manager engagement.
  • Ask relevant questions, such as:
    • What are your needs for the position?
    • Who will this person primarily work with?
    • What will the person’s day-to-day be like?
  • Find out the best way to communicate with the hiring manager. Do they prefer email, messaging, texts, or calls?
  • Offer to set up a weekly or bi-weekly check-in call or email update.
  • Most importantly, follow through with whatever is agreed upon.

Tip #2 for Engaging Hiring Managers: Be Open & Communicative

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be a proactive communicator, even if it means risking being an “over-communicator.” Here are some tips for communicating:

  • Be up front about any limitations, such as not having the technical expertise to interview programmer candidates.
  • If the hiring manager has unreasonable expectations, be honest and let them know.
  • Ask them if there are questions they’d like you to ask candidates during interviews. Your goal should be to allow the hiring manager to get into the more technical questions with candidates.
  • Let the hiring manager know you’re there to maximize their time!

Tip #3 for Engaging Hiring Managers: Learn From Them

Hiring managers will appreciate you wanting to know more about their goals and the work they do. Ask them if you can:

  • Shadow a team member and join a department meeting. This will help you understand team dynamics and paint a picture for prospective candidates.
  • Sit in on a few interviews as an observer. This is a great way to learn the hiring manager’s interview style and understand what they’re looking for from candidates. You’ll also learn how to present candidates to hiring managers.
  • Ask them questions about their area of the business. How does their team contribute to the company’s goals?

Tip #4 for Engaging Hiring Managers: Educate Them

The term “hiring manager” is a bit inaccurate. Many hiring managers end up in the role without knowing what’s required, and they’re only “in” the role while their team is hiring. As a result, they may not know as much as you’d like about the recruitment space. Here are a few items to educate them about:

  • The Recruitment Process: Explain the basics of the process, from identifying the hiring manager’s needs and sourcing talent to shortlisting the best candidates.
  • Job Descriptions: Many hiring managers make mistakes when writing job descriptions, such as including gendered wording. Teach them best practices for removing gender bias from job descriptions.
  • Virtual Hiring Events: Most hiring managers will be used to the traditional recruitment process (i.e., candidates filling out job applications), but they may not be aware of new recruiter tools, such as virtual hiring events. Educate them about the benefits, like increased efficiency, lower hiring costs, and a better candidate experience.

Tip #5 for Engaging Hiring Managers: Include Hiring Managers at Virtual Hiring Events

Hiring managers generally want to hire quickly. That’s exactly what virtual hiring events offer.

Rather than wading through hundreds of applications and endlessly scheduling interviews, candidates can simply join an event. Next, the recruiters will sift out the best ones and then instantly connect them to hiring managers — all within the Live Recruit platform. No more back and forth to schedule interviews. Hiring managers can even make hires on the spot.

Wrapping Up: How to Engage Hiring Managers in 2022 & Beyond

Hiring managers are fundamental to the recruitment process, and building relationships with hiring managers will go a long way in hiring top talent and impressing your boss. Follow the above advice and you’ll knock it out of the park each time you hire a new employee.


  1. (2020). Bersin by Deloitte Examines Biggest Drivers of Talent Acquisition Performance. Recruiter.Com.
  2. Campbell, J. (2018, July 30). The 5 BIGGEST Challenges Modern Recruiters Face. Linkedin.Com.

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