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Tips to Get that All-Important Launch Meeting with Your Hiring Managers

We’ve all been there as recruiters. We have a new requisition, and now it’s time to get additional information from the hiring manager so we can write a compelling posting and do a great job on this search.

It would seem intuitively obviously the better the information up front, the more successful the entire search will be. Yet so many times the hiring manager will not spend the time it takes to give the recruiter what they need. Even worse, letting the hiring manager duck the upfront meeting may be setting the stage for how the entire search is going to be.

I’m not in favor of any bashing of hiring managers. If they aren’t working with you in the way you feel they should, let’s change that. The amazing thing is that when you make some simple changes, you will change the relationship with your hiring managers.

As recruiters, we could easily (and legitimately) say “It shouldn’t be necessary for me to make a business case about why the hiring manager should spend time with me at the beginning of a search.”

But if you’re waiting in vain (and frustration) for hiring managers to agree to meet with you, let’s try something different.

There are two keys to success here:

One: you to feel and sound confident. You’re not asking if they want to; you’re asking when they want to. When you are committed to making this conversation a part of your search process, that will come across.

So make the request and then one of my favorites: stop talking and wait for their response.

When you don’t give reasons until they ask, you actually sound more confident. And if they didn’t push back, no need to keep talking at this point.

Only use success key number 2 if you have to.

Two, explain in a conversational way how it will be in the hiring manager’s best interest to spend this time with you. Here are some samples to get your ideas flowing. Feel free to mix and match and create.

If they say: What is the reason the job description cannot be used as the posting?

You could say: I wish it could. But to be competitive today, we need to really give the candidates a sense of what the position is, what’s great they will get to do, why it’s a cool opportunity, etc. I have the questions all ready to go when you are.

If they say: How come we need to do this when we didn’t do it last time?

You could say: True, and it’s my experience this will make the search even better this time. The better the posting and the clearer I am about what you are looking for, the faster the search will go. Plus we increase the odds that the candidates we want will want us.

If they say: Other recruiters don’t ask for this.

You could say: I know though I think you’ll see how important this is as we talk about your position. It’s not fair to you as the hiring manager or to the candidates not to get this information up front. A powerful posting makes for a more successful search. Unfortunately we’re not the only ones looking to attract great candidates, so let’s do everything possible to make sure you win the best candidate.

All of this is creating the foundation for the success of the search—and your ongoing business partnership relationship with the hiring manager.

Let me know how it goes.

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