Year-End Discount: 10% OFF 1-year and 20% OFF 2-year subscriptions!

Home/Blog/5 ways recruiters can build trust with their engineering partners

5 ways recruiters can build trust with their engineering partners

Aug 24, 2019 - 5 min read

Recruiting is about building relationships, but often times recruiters focus primarily on relationships with candidates. Enticing and screening the top talent is a large part of a recruiter’s responsibility, but recruiters also need to nurture a relationship with their hiring managers.

Recruiters and hiring managers share a common goal: finding great candidates. In the perfect scenario, the collaboration is smooth and effective, almost effortless. However, in most cases, tensions and dissatisfaction are high, resulting in scenarios like these:

  1. The hiring manager is unhappy with the number of qualified candidates
  2. Recruiters are bypassed by engineering teams - sourcing, screening, or interviewing their own candidates.
  3. Recruiters feel unappreciated for their effort screening candidates.

So, where is the trust broken?

Having a positive and transparent relationship with your hiring manager is critical to the success of the hiring process.

However, hiring managers lack confidence in their recruiting partners because, in the end, their team suffers. Not only do engineering teams spend significant time interviewing, but their bandwidth is already stretched thin with the open headcount and packed sprint schedules.

Engineering teams need the extra body to get the work done so they can drive revenue growth and customer retention. Hiring managers are kept up at night wondering how they’re going to get through all the interviews and meet project deadlines.

As a recruiter, here are some things you can do to build trust with your hiring managers.

1. Understand the needs of the hiring manager

Before you start the screening process, make sure you have a conversation with the hiring manager to understand their needs and set a positive tone for the relationship.

Here are some questions to ask the hiring manager:

  • Tell me about the product or business area that your team supports.
  • What attributes are most important to be successful in this role and/or team?
  • Which job qualifications are flexible (e.g. years of experience, technologies, etc)? Must have?
  • What about this position would compel top candidates to consider it?
  • What career path is available for a person in this position?

Ultimately, going the extra mile to fully understand their needs can separate a good recruiter from an excellent one.

2. Prepare the candidate and employees

Positive employee engagement begins with the candidate relationship. Make a candidate feel valued and comfortable. The war on talent is real and if you’re not doing the bare minimum to make a candidate feel wanted, they’ll go somewhere else.

Additionally, to make the interview go smoothly, it’s helpful to outline the interview process for both the candidate and interviewers. If your team has a specific dress code or format for the interview it’s better to be transparent from the beginning.

Here are some basics:

  • What to wear
  • Where to go (parking, office space, front desk vs. front office, etc.)
  • Who is on the interview panel or loop? (LinkedIn profiles)
  • What is the format of the interview? (casual vs. professional)
  • Topics that are important to the position.
  • Interview preparation materials, like specific courses or questions.

Candidates who feel prepared and supported often do better in the interview. Technical interviews are hard, and keeping the basics a secret makes it harder.

Want to improve the success of the candidates you send in front of your engineering team? Get started now.

3. Create a VIP in-person experience

Coming from a fellow technologist, you want to create a candidate experience they actually enjoy. No one wants to go into an interview feeling anxious and leave feeling defeated or upset. Negative candidate experiences that are in your control only reflects poorly on your brand. They could lose the candidate, or end up costing your company potential candidate referrals.

The experience also impacts the experience of your engineering team. The VIP experience isn’t limited to the interviewee. The interviewers want to trust that you have everything under control. The last thing they want is for a candidate to be confused. As a recruiter, it’s your responsibility to build a superior experience. The experience will reflect positively on the engineering team and result in attracting more top talent.

4. Prepare your interviewers

Once you’ve prepared the candidate, it’s important that you communicate the process to the interviewers. Clear, consistent, thorough communication can help prevent future roadblocks. This includes meeting rooms, candidate information, handoffs, and the meeting room details.

Opening up communication at every stage will ensure you’ve done your part and help build trust with your team. It can also help when an interview goes awry. Of course, we never intend for mishaps or scheduling conflicts to happen, but they do and they’re far more common than we’d like to admit.

By communicating your expectations and understanding theirs from the start, hopefully, you’ll be able to prevent or manage mishaps quickly and confidently.

5. Manage the review process

Feedback collection can be tricky. To earn the trust of your hiring managers, you want to facilitate and participate in the review of each candidate. Listen for helpful points about why a candidate didn’t work or what made a candidate attractive. That information can help you bring in similar candidates or help you filter out candidates that might have gotten through the screening process.

Once the review has been completed, and you’re moving onto the selection process, send out a recap to the team of what was covered in the feedback collection.This will help your engineering leads see that you’re listening to them.

Even if a candidate isn’t the perfect fit for one role, they might be a good fit for another. If you’ve documented feedback and the candidate has had a good experience, the hiring managers will have an easier time bringing in a candidate for another position without re-interviewing them.

Want to improve the success of the candidates you send in front of your engineering team? Get started now.


Join a community of more than 1.4 million readers. A free, bi-monthly email with a roundup of Educative's top articles and coding tips.