The relationship between hiring managers and recruiters has traditionally been a tense one, but if an organisation wants to improve their Quality of Hire, that needs to change.

According to Bersin by Deloitte, strong relationship between recruiters and hiring managers is the top contributing factor to TA performance. So why are so many working relationships still so strained?

Attitude, attitude, attitude

Unfortunately, the first thing that must change is the collective mindset of the hiring team; easier said than done! A lot of recruitment teams are thought of as nothing more and nothing less than “order takers” – this is something I am told repeatedly by TA managers when discussing how to measure and improve Quality of Hire.

It takes a lot of courage from HR and TA leaders to position their recruiters in this different way. It’s a real change management challenge and won’t always work first time. However, if you want your recruitment in your organisation to be of strategic value, rather than an operational issue, recruiters need to mature from being viewed as a supplier to becoming a partner, and finally a trusted advisor.

Hiring process change required

Top performing hiring teams have great relationships with their hiring managers built on trust and mutual understanding. Hiring teams need to bite the bullet and accept that major improvement to the hiring process will normally involve reengineering the relationship between recruiters and hiring managers or risk being left at the bottom – there’s a strong correlation between hiring team performance and the strength of this relationship.

Oftentimes the breakdown in this relationship occurs due to misaligned expectations or perceived ‘failures’ on the other’s part. For example, recruiters are often measured on time to fill, but they have no control over how quickly a hiring manager responds to their requests to set up interviews or review shortlisted candidates’ CVs. Developing a strategy for getting recruiters and hiring managers on the same page should feature improved communication as a high priority.

Implementing change

The main aim for organisations considering improving this relationship should be to build mutual accountability into the recruitment process – it’s not all down to the recruiter; the hiring manager is equally if not more responsible for the results of a recruitment process.

Secondly, measure and report on the effectiveness of your hiring managers – visibility of performance is a great driver for improvement and change. Introducing team-focused performance bonus is a great way to focus minds and demonstrate how important the initiative is to the organisation.

Finally, furnish your team with accurate, useful Quality of Hire data that they can use in their dialogue with managers. For instance, the characteristics of candidates that have been successful in the role they are recruiting for is a useful tool for evidencing decision-making strategies.

If you’d like to know more about improving your recruiter and hiring manager relationships, send me an InMail or reach me at

Do you want to improve your hiring manager relationships? Find out how Talenytics could help.

Howard Flint

Howard Flint

Chief Strategy Officer

Howard has worked in the HR and Recruitment sphere for almost 20 years. He is dedicated to providing his advice and expertise to global HR leaders to help improve Quality of Hire.