If you are not a part of an HR department, you may not be familiar with the distinction between a recruiter and a hiring manager. Looking at both positions from a purely linguistic standpoint, they may appear to be the same thing — a person who is in charge of hiring new talent for the company. In reality, the two people play different roles in the organization and thus may have diverse effects on the final result, meaning, the employee hired. When your organization begins the task of recruiting new talent, it’s important to understand what responsibilities fall under what role, so both people can collaborate in the best way possible. It’s also crucial when trying to determine what part of the recruiting process needs improving and if there are any bottlenecks along the way.
Is Your Recruiter In-House or Outsourced?
First, it is important to mention that in some companies, especially SMEs and startups, the hiring manager is the one to do it all. Since the business lacks resources, this person will be in charge of posting about the vacancy, screening resumes, interviewing, extending an offer — everything. However, in medium-sized businesses, as well as in companies that wish to be more organized, the two roles exist side by side, to ensure one person does not collapse under the burden of hiring.
Second, there is the question of hiring an outside recruiting firm or keeping the process in-house. Some organizations will prefer outsourcing a part of the process to a professional recruiter, as this is someone who has been in the field for a long time and brings a unique skill set, as well as a pool of connections. This can sometimes be a more affordable option, as contingency recruiters will only charge you once they’ve managed to successfully fill the position. Certain platforms help you locate recruiters in your niche and city, making the process even easier. Whether you choose to go with an outside recruiter or you have one on the payroll, both will work closely with the hiring manager.
Job Responsibilities: The Recruiter vs. The Hiring Manager
While some duties may overlap, in most cases it will be the recruiter who is responsible for the actual search, and the hiring manager who gets the final say about whether to hire the talent or not. In practice, the tasks are roughly divided as such:
Recruiter: Developing a recruiting strategy, posting the position and building the company brand, finding the right candidates for the role, prescreening (either with skills tests, phone interviews, etc.), preparing a shortlist of qualified candidates, making sure there’s a talent pipeline, as well as taking care of most of the administration of the recruiting process.
Hiring Manager: They usually have a deeper knowledge of the company culture and the role. They look into the candidates and try to identify their true potential, conduct the final interviews, and are the ones to extend an offer, as well as persuade a candidate to join the company.
As you can see from these descriptions, while the two people play different parts in the recruiting process, if they do not work well together, the final result will be chaos. Additionally, while both parties wish to fill the vacancy, they may view it from slightly different points of view. The recruiter may look at the skills and experience needed, while the hiring manager looks for the type of personality they wish to employ. This makes it even more pivotal for the two to collaborate.
A Successful Collaboration Between the Recruiter and the Hiring Manager
Before the search begins, it is a good idea for the recruiter and the hiring manager to sit down together and plan out the process, as well as answer a few key questions. Since the hiring manager is the one with a deeper understanding of the position, but the recruiter will be doing the actual leg work, the former should tell the latter as much as possible to ensure finding the best candidates. Things such as skills that must be met, what personality traits are most important in a candidate, what is the career projection of the role — all help with the initial job posting and screening.
In turn, once the process starts, the recruiter will be responsible to make sure everything is on the right track. They can suggest evaluation tools to help score the candidates more efficiently, instruct the hiring manager on interviewing techniques and make sure they get back to applicants in a timely manner to ensure no talented candidate is lost. They can create a pipeline of candidates, to make sure time is well spent and point out any delays in the process. The most important thing is to allow open communication between the two people so that if one end feels that the other is falling short, there are no hard feelings, just suggestions on how to improve.