Level One is our series for new recruiters and sourcers focused on bringing some of the knowledge from experienced TA professionals to you! To check out our most recent installment of the Level One series, click here.


When it comes to recruiting, the hiring manager can mean the difference between a positive experience and wanting to disappear off the face of the earth and never recruiting again. Regardless of the style of the hiring manager you’re dealing with, more often than not, you do have to deal with them. We’ve got some suggestions to help make it easier if the hiring manager isn’t your new best friend.

Data, Data, Data

Manager-level employees (hiring managers included) are often driven by the numbers, so the more specific data that you can provide the better the relationship will kick-off. Providing data about the industry your req is for will give the hiring manager the expectations they need to have. If the entry-level salary is $60K, but your hiring manager is saying it’s only $35K, you need to be the one to prove them wrong with objective data. Make the data simple to understand and to the point. Now is not the time to wax lyrical, it’s time to get straight to the facts and get to work.

Question the Questionable

If something that the hiring manager says makes you see red flags, question it. Let’s take that entry-level salary conundrum from above…if the manager is claiming that a standard entry-level salary in the industry is $35K, you need to take that information and question it. You don’t want to just come back with, “That’s too low!” You want to come back with all of that lovely data that you’ve already gathered. Listen to those red flags. You’re the expert in this position, you were hired for a reason, use that expertise!

Create a Persona

When the hiring manager hands you a job description, create a persona of the person who works within that description. There’s a high chance that the person you create in order to fit their description doesn’t exist and changing the focus from a bunch of bullet points to a real person can help reframe the hiring manager’s thought process so that their expectations can be kept in check. You can then gear the conversation towards creating the persona of the person who should actually have the job and can edit the job description from there. It’s a matter of steps and it can sometimes take some time, but it is well worth the effort as it builds the trust in your skills that a hiring manager needs to have.

Provide Frequent Updates

Do you know how frustrating it is when a hiring manager doesn’t communicate with you? The feeling is mutual. If you provide frequent updates on how the search is going, the human empathetic response should mean that they’ll do the same. (This isn’t always the case because some people are extra frustrating, but you know, be the change you want to see and such.)

Need more?
Check out these articles:
6 Ways to Challenge and Influence Hiring Managers
5 Easy Ways to Win Over Difficult Hiring Managers