When we think about hiring new people, most of us may first think of a recruiter who is responsible for finding and interviewing candidates. And that's correct. However, without close and constant cooperation with the Hiring Manager (HM), this process can be significantly hindered, or even completely impossible to implement. It is crucial to know who is the decision-maker for my recruitment (especially since there may be more than one during the entire process).

Initial Meeting between the HM and the Recruiter

In my opinion, cooperation should start with organizing a joint conversation between the Hiring Manager and the recruiter. When we conduct another recruitment in a row for a given person, it is certainly easier. However, if this is the first time, such a conversation will give the recruiter immense value.

I particularly remember working with one of the HMs and must admit that I found it very fruitful. I'll start by saying that the HM immediately proposed a meeting at the start of our cooperation so that we could get to know each other and talk about the recruitments I would be conducting. He clearly presented his expectations of the candidate, was responsive in communication, and invited me to a technical conversation so I could better understand the role and hear the questions the technical team focuses on. This certainly helped me in further process and finding the right person. The HM always provided feedback, and it was not standard. Always personalized, appreciating strengths, sometimes highlighting shortcomings, but also giving tips for growth. Together, we could hire many talented people to the team, surpassing our set target.

When planning the first conversation with the decision-maker for our recruitment, it's worth preparing well. This means: thinking about the questions we want to ask and how we want the conversation to go. The initiative to organize such a meeting can come from either the HM or the recruiter. It is a space to gather requirements and establish what is key to our cooperation. The decision-maker for our recruitment may expect a specific goal to be achieved within the nearest month or quarter and periodic reports on our activities. Assertiveness and the recruiter's engagement are extremely important during such a conversation, as the HM may set goals that are impossible to achieve. Based on market analysis and our recruitment experience, we can assess whether such goals are realistic and, if not, discuss them assertively.

Developing Candidate Requirements

The next step is a detailed description of the role. The recruiter should thoroughly ask the Hiring Manager about the requirements that the potential person they want to hire should meet.

We can divide these expectations into several ranges:

  • in terms of years of commercial experience in the position,
  • used technologies,
  • soft skills,
  • level of foreign language,
  • issues such as availability to work in the office or fully remotely.

It is important to know which requirements are key, which the candidate must meet, and which skills will positively influence the final evaluation.

It may be that the HM does not fully know who they are looking for at the beginning of cooperation. This can affect our actions both positively and negatively. On the one hand, if we do not have defined key technologies, we have more opportunities and a larger pool of candidates to contact. On the other hand, this may prolong the recruitment time and make it difficult to finally find and hire such a person.

Availability of the Hiring Manager for Technical Interviews with Candidates

The availability of HMs for conducting technical interviews with candidates can depend on many factors. Among them, it is worth distinguishing such as: the size of the company, the workload of the HMs, and the time and degree of demand (e.g., whether it is a need to build a whole team from scratch or finding someone to replace someone). However, it is worth noting that technical interviews should take place as soon as possible after the first interviews with the recruiter.

Starting the search for someone for a position, we must realize that the speed and quality of the conducted process will affect the evaluation of both our company and that of the client. Even in the case of rejecting a candidate, a well-conducted recruitment process influences maintaining their interest in the organization and returning to it in the future.

The recruiter's role in scheduling technical meetings is also extremely important. Hiring Managers - due to the number of duties in their position - may block many time slots in the calendar. On the other hand, they can set specific dates in the week as available for conducting technical interviews. The recruiter can then inquire whether this busy slot is movable and whether it is possible to schedule an interview with the candidate if other hours are already occupied.

Currently, when many companies have flexible working hours, some hiring managers may be available for an interview during non-standard working hours, such as early morning or late evening. This will work to the advantage of candidates who cannot appear for an interview during standard working hours due to activities in their current company.

The recruiter should also assertively communicate that a candidate's longer wait for a technical interview does not positively influence the process. People participating in our recruitment can receive offers from other companies at any time or simply resign from looking for a new job. Considering that most interviews are currently remote, finding the right date and availability should be easier. We don't have to spend time commuting to the office or booking a free room to organize the meeting.

Technical Interviews

During the technical interview stage in IT, the candidate usually meets with the Hiring Manager and an additional person, e.g., a Tech Leader or a programmer from the team. The Hiring Manager has a huge influence on how this conversation goes. Many factors can affect the candidate's perception of the meeting, such as:

  • the atmosphere at the meeting,
  • the preparation and quality of the questions asked by the company's team,
  • the length of the conversation,
  • the opportunity for the candidate to ask questions and the quality of the answers.

The evaluation of the interview is also influenced by the form of checking technical knowledge: whether the person participates in just the conversation, additional live coding, pair programming, or has to perform a test or conceptual tasks. The HM can also ask other questions related to motivation and development plans during such a conversation - unless we plan to organize a separate stage concerning culture fit.

It is important for the manager to provide answers that allow the candidate to leave with complete information and make a final decision in case of receiving an offer. After the conducted conversation, the HM often consults their impressions with the second person and issues a final assessment. How technical interviews are conducted, who appears on them, and their form usually depend on the company. The most important thing, however, is that they are conducted professionally, allow for checking the candidate's technical knowledge, and leave a good impression.

Quality Feedback

I think I don't need to emphasize that feedback is an extremely important element in recruitment. First of all, our feedback should be based on facts. It is worth ensuring that the feedback after the technical interview is qualitative, that is, provides value for the candidate. If the technical conversation went well, then giving feedback is a bit easier. But what to do in a situation where you have to reject the candidate? Then the feedback provided should be especially valuable to the person receiving it and show areas for further work.

At this stage, the responsiveness of the hiring manager, who conducted the technical interview with the candidate, is crucial. It is the manager who is able to pass on to us information about what went well and what knowledge was lacking (and here specifically: which questions the candidate answered well or poorly). The content of the feedback provided is usually well received when it contains additional tips on where the candidate can acquire the knowledge they currently lack. If we have such an opportunity, we can indicate specific tools or training that will help support the further development of this person.

We should focus first on the candidate's knowledge presented during the interview. Let's try to be objective and not focus on our own feelings. Let's consult our assessment with the impressions of other people who also participated in the technical interview.

Moreover, let's also be regular in giving feedback, regardless of what the processes and conversations look like. Providing feedback should be an integral part of recruitment, and it is the role of the recruiter to ensure that the candidate eventually receives it. However, managers should focus on providing the recruiter with as much relevant information as possible, based on which they will be able to build a message for the candidate. Of course, HMs can independently provide feedback to participants in the process. However, always remember that it should have the greatest possible value for the recipient.

There is nothing worse for both the recruiter and the candidate than a lack of feedback from the manager or their non-responsiveness on this topic. This negatively affects not only the personal branding of the recruiter but also the entire organization - both the recruitment agency and the target client.

Remember that a lot can depend on the feedback given: a positive candidate experience can influence that the candidate will gain the necessary knowledge related to the position we are recruiting for and will gladly return to our recruitment process in the future.

Offer Stage

I believe many will agree with me that extending an offer to a candidate after a successful recruitment process is a lot of fun and the most enjoyable task in our job.

At this stage, I have encountered various practices: sometimes preparing and presenting the offer is the recruiter's responsibility, while in other organizations, the hiring manager handles this stage. Undoubtedly, cooperation and responsiveness between these two individuals at this moment are extremely important. The recruiter can prepare the offer letter, but needs information from the manager, such as the salary the candidate will receive.

Unfortunately, during my work, I have also encountered situations where the lack of responsiveness on the part of the manager negatively affected the prolongation of the offer stage (which should not happen). Each party should be interested in hiring the person to the team as quickly as possible (or according to the initial assumptions). Remember, we are often not the only option for the candidate, who may receive other collaboration proposals or a counteroffer from their current company at the same time. Organizations that more efficiently handle the offer stage can win over us in hiring.

If we decide in the process that the recruiter is to make the offer, it is worth having the hiring manager also directly contact the candidate before or after this contact. This can positively influence the candidate's perception of the entire process and help build a better relationship with the person who may soon join us.

The offer stage often involves negotiations about salary, start date, or benefits. Here again, the responsiveness of the manager, as well as their negotiation skills or flexibility, can positively influence the achievement of an agreement and satisfaction on both sides.

Onboarding: Smoothly Entering New Duties and Functioning in the Company

The onboarding process should start with a proper welcome of the employee and introducing them to the rest of the team. The hiring manager should ensure a warm and supportive atmosphere during such a meeting. Often, a lot of stress accompanies a new person at such times. During subsequent meetings, the hiring manager should clearly present the range of duties of the new person, their expectations regarding the work performed, and the results achieved. The company should provide the necessary tools and access. At this stage, the employee should also receive a series of information about the organization, its structure, and the nearest and long-term strategic goals.

If there is a need to organize training necessary for effective implementation into the scope of duties, this is also the best time to plan it.

Onboarding is also a good time to focus on building a positive relationship based on mutual trust. Each of us is different, so it is worth finding/building a common language of communication that will affect further years of cooperation. Some of us need more autonomy at work, while others will appreciate more frequent interest from their superior.

In addition to presenting expectations, the hiring manager should find time to monitor progress and regularly provide feedback, which makes further development in the position possible. Moreover, it is worth encouraging employees to give and properly receive feedback and treat it as an opportunity for growth, not a chance for criticism. The hiring manager is the point of contact between the board and team members.

The recruiter's role in the onboarding process is smaller than in the recruitment itself. They can support the candidate in the area of communication with the company when there are questions about onboarding or potential problems. The recruiter can also send necessary documents needed to start cooperation or answer questions that often arise from the new employee.

The recruiter is a person who can be additional support and a source of information access. They should also take care of examining the employee's satisfaction level with the onboarding process and satisfaction with work in the first weeks or months of cooperation. Then it is also the moment to verify if everything is going according to the agreements and expectations that were conveyed during the recruitment process. How the hiring manager and recruiter handle the onboarding process of the candidate will affect their final impressions of the company.



I believe that both sides - recruiters and HMs - should care about the successful conclusion of the recruitment process and the hiring of a new person to the organization. The unresponsiveness of either side can be a blocker in recruitment and lead to unnecessary delays in actions or prolonging processes. It is worth focusing on mutual communication, seeking solutions, and establishing common cooperation principles from the very beginning.

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