High-Performance Talent and Hiring Manager Relationships

Remember that feeling? You’ve found the perfect candidate, someone who checks all the boxes and promises to do amazing things for your company. But then, somewhere between the interview and the offer, the magic fizzles. They vanish into the ether, leaving you wondering what went wrong.

In the whirlwind of talent acquisition, it’s easy to point fingers and blame ghosting candidates or a competitive market. But what if the real culprit is a disconnect between Talent Acquisition (TA) and Hiring Managers (HMs)?

“Don’t let another great candidate slip away,” declared Amit Bhatia, Co-Founder and CEO of Datapeople, in the recent webinar “High-Performance Talent and Hiring Manager Relationships” Harry Dannenbaum, Head of Recruiting at Coda, echoed the sentiment, sharing his experiences in leading “smarter, easier investment in the hiring team relationships that make a difference.”

Creating great relationships is difficult and can be time-consuming, but it always starts with recognizing the immense power of a synergistic talent acquisition and hiring manager partnership. When these two parties align, the result is a talent magnet, attracting and landing target candidates your company needs to shine. As Harry spoke about his experiences, he recounted “…a partnership on both sides where you are contributing more on both sides, you’re just going to reach your goal faster.”

Learning 1: Make the Case for a Partnership, not a Service Model

With each hire, talent acquisition and hiring managers are on a journey. Some of this journey will be known or can be anticipated, and some of it will be a new experience. To position for success you need to pull the best from both partners. As Harry put it, “…if recruiters are just taking orders or if they’re just, the folks on the transactional, then you’re just missing a whole chunk of what they’re actually capable of.” To maximize hiring outcomes, they need to trust each other’s experience, value their perspectives, and collaborate. Here’s how to build that bond.

  • Understand the strategy. Don’t just focus on the specific role, learn the business strategy to anticipate and propel progress when a role is opened.
  • Banish the checklist. While it’s important to ensure progress is made, anchor meetings on actions to drive progress.
  • Embrace the lookback. Engage your hiring managers and hiring team when hires go well and when they don’t. Establish a common structure for quarterly business review-like meetings and other look-backs that share data-driven insights and offer a chance to actively listen and solicit feedback. By seeking to actively learn, we can banish future candidate struggles like ghosting

Learning 2: Build the Right (Symmetric) Foundation

Picture this: productive and equally participative conversations focused on ideas not attributing blame. That’s the power of the right partnership and hiring process foundation. As Harry put it, “I do believe that a good partnership has to start with the foundations of the infrastructure and the mechanics through which it’s running because those serve as the reminders checkpoints, to keep everyone on track.” Here are some tips to build a proper (symmetric) foundation. 

  • Ensure all documentation is symmetric. Often hiring process documentation, like SLAs are one-sided. Break this historic mold to create shared commitment. Datapeople offers a symmetric SLA downloadable template to get you started. 
  • Share responsibilities. Outline the responsibilities TA has to the business, and those the business, in this case, represented by the hiring manager, has to the hiring process. 
  • Actively listen and engage. Encourage open dialogue, address concerns promptly, and ensure both parties feel heard and valued.

Learning 3: Standardize the Journey, Together

Consistency is king in a world where candidates juggle multiple offers. By standardizing the hiring process, you create a smooth, predictable experience that impresses top talent. As Amit shared, “…having a very, very high fidelity process that is standardized…the standards start with a shared partnership. It’s not just a service model.” And Harry clearly stated, “If you’re going to treat the internal recruiting team for an RPO, you may as well use an RPO.” Here are a few short tips to focus standardization on the most important areas. 

  • Structure new hire intake. By moving away from the checkbox mentality, the New Hire Intake Meetings can quickly secure alignment, boost efficiency, and improve your ability to land the best talent. 
  • Establish a shared language. Hiring Managers are not steep in hiring terminology; ensure you meet them where they are with the language you use. Unleash the power of collective wisdom by making it natural, and valuable, for hiring managers to work on problems collaboratively. 
  • Deploy collaborative tools. Remember the first time you experienced true collaboration, the type that Coda offers? That feeling of inspiration and shared vision is now available for hiring teams. Datapeople, as an example, offers a single collaborative workflow platform, immersing all participants in the candidate journey, market insights, and accessible and actionable metrics to propel hiring success. 

Learning 4: Good Hiring Processes Are Good for DEI

Whether we focus on diversity or skills-based hiring, the make-up of our talent pipeline and the hiring it delivers will strongly influence business outcomes. But ensuring the business sees it this way is critical. Harry reminds stakeholders “…why diverse teams are extremely effective,” and that “…diversity comes in so many different shapes, sizes, forms, mindsets, etc.”. And fortunately, good hiring practices deliver better DEI experiences out of the box. As Harry continued, “strong relationships and sound hiring standards and process inherently deliver for DEI…fundamentally, if you’re doing recruiting well, it should be DEI friendly…things that are good for everyone are good for your hiring process as well.” Below are the most important reminders for maintaining good hiring processes that support DEI.

  • Standards that bake in DEI. The application of standards, including measurement, allows you to move quickly to address opportunities or imbalances. M-AAA experienced the upside of DEI baked into the process with Datapeople
  • Identification of common failures. While talent acquisition may have the benefit of pattern recognition, hiring managers do not. Thus it’s important to help them understand common failure points, how to recognize them, and options to mitigate them. 
  • Deploy a single scorecard. In recruiting, we have both too many and not enough metrics. Simplify to the few that matter, even apply a red-yellow-green assessment to zero in on roles and steps that require improvement. 

Investing In Your Future Success

Investing in the Talent Acquisition and Hiring Manager partnership is an investment in your company’s future. By building trust, mastering communication, and standardizing the hiring process, you’ll attract and retain the best talent, leaving the days of lost candidates and missed opportunities in the dust. 

The benefits of standardization and securing strong talent acquisition and hiring manager relationships extend far beyond just the role. As Amit described, you’re adding repeatability, and measurable expectations, to TA team hiring. “You’re ramping your recruiting team with a lot more consistency or at a minimum, you have very good early warning signals that someone’s not ramping at the rate that you want them to.” As Harry put it “the more you can standardize, the more you can begin to quantify the qualifiable thing. The easier you can see those those – divergences or when people aren’t ramping – you can kind of clamp down on it.” 

In closing Harry poignantly highlighted why we invest so much in the talent acquisition and hiring manager relationship. “It’s about if you can take the thirty-three percent of failed recs that are happening at your organization and cut it in half, suddenly the lift and capacity across your org goes up tremendously.” 

Watch the Webinar to Learn More

Learn from TA experts how to build the right relationships with hiring managers

Ready to dive deeper? Watch the Datapeople and Coda Webinar On-Demand to join Harry and Amit as they dig further into the relationship that will become a catalyst for your hiring success. Learn from their valuable insights and practical tips on forging a winning Talent Acquisition and Hiring Manager partnership. You’ll discover even more strategies for building trust, streamlining processes, and landing the desired talent your company needs to thrive.

Don’t let another great candidate slip away. Click here to watch the webinar and start building your dream team, together.

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