Hiring Managers Are Human Too!

by | Oct 18, 2022

Hiring Managers; They’re Only Human!

Sitting between the candidate and the hiring manager can feel like being in an uncomfortable tug of war. And not the best place to be as a recruiter!

But it doesn’t need to be. Hiring managers and recruiters can work well together.

This week in The Collective, my mentoring group for recruiters, we were talking about hiring managers and discussing the importance of getting behind the superficial to the real cause of their behaviour. Because it’s super easy to just accept whatever is happening, even if it causes frustration, than address it.

Obviously, these are not the scenarios discussed! They inspired this though. 🙏🏻


Hiring managers are human.

At times you may even consider your favourite hiring manager as less than human. You may find them temperamental, demanding, difficult, contrary, frustrating and a whole host of other sentiments. But what if you got curious about their actions instead of frustrated, defensive, distraught etc.?

Let’s consider a few common scenarios.


Got anymore applicants?

Hearing this from hiring managers typically leads to angst, right? You’ve been looking far and wide, finally found the very few people interested, managed to woo them into the hiring process and now this! The hiring manager has seen two of the best people you could find but…. 😫

So what’s behind it? What prompted the hiring manager to ask this?

  • Did you show them a live search during your intake strategy session? Did you show them how few people have the skills they seek? Did you look to reduce the must-haves?
  • Does the hiring manager know how you acquire applicants and that the CVs don’t fall out of the sky?
  • Did you share the stats for this role with the hiring manager? ‘There are x number of people with this skill in this region/country, and frankly, we cannot compete against z due to… We will need to move fast & decisively.’
  • Did you benchmark the salary against industry standards and explain how your company’s (client’s) salary compares?
  • Does your company have a blame culture and therefore your hiring manager is secretly scared of making a mistake? Could you help them feel confident in their decision?
  • Are they a new hiring manager and inexperienced at interviewing? Could they need a confidence boost? Would they benefit from some extra support or coaching? Could you create hiring tips for managers?
  • Do they trust you? Have they had a bad experience with a recruiter before?
  • Did you ask them how many recruiters approach them each week? This is a great way to remind them how busy your marketplace is.

See how it can be more than delusion that there are people a plenty? 😉 (Easy to fix when recruiters and hiring managers partner; consider a workshop if they won’t!)


This role is high-priority

In they come, stomping their feet, demanding you drop everything to work on this role, right now! So you push your other hiring managers aside. Find the equally scarce people to those mentioned above. Send over the CVs …and crickets 🦗😫

So what’s behind this behaviour?

  • Did you conduct a proper intake strategy session or let them get away with ‘I’m too busy, just get on with it. It’s urgent!’?
  • Have you established trust with the hiring manager? If the role is that important, do they trust your skills and experience enough to let you book the interviews right in?
  • Are they dismissing people based on their inability to write a CV and overlooking your screening notes?
  • Would they prefer a different communication style? Perhaps email doesn’t work for them, maybe they want a Twitter DM. Ask them!
  • Because it will help you in candidate conversations, have you asked them what makes this role so critical? Their reply can be telling as to just how critical it is to the team and the bottom line.
  • Have you looked at the impact on the team while the role remains open? Is this something you can use in conversation when chasing for feedback?
  • On that, how have you and how many times have you tried to get feedback? Perhaps you need to corner them while they’re making coffee?

And I could go on and on and on. (But I keep the best for The Collective 😉)


So do you see what I am doing? I am asking countless questions to dig deeper into your hiring managers’ behaviour! And I am asking you to use your curiosity and compassion.

Because there is only one person’s behaviour that you can ever change.


If this got you thinking, imagine what working with me would be like. 😊


Part of the Recruitment Isn’t Broken newsletter. For more, be sure to subscribe below, grab Edition 2 of The Robot-Proof Recruiter, check out The Collective, book a workshop or listen to The Hiring-Partner Perspective.

Edition 2 is out! 🥳

Fully updated for 2022, The Robot-Proof Recruiter

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