Businesses expect recruiters and hiring managers to work together to find qualified candidates.

But this attempt at collaboration often becomes more of an issue than a problem solver.

It can turn into a tense relationship between these two groups.

Both strive to meet the same goals but often cannot get along with each other to reach them.

Most consider having the same purpose a big enough reason to connect, but it is not ample in this case.

The primary issues between recruiters and hiring managers are poor communication and expectations.

For example:

Some hiring managers might be unhappy about a low-quality shortlist of candidates. This list comes from recruiters.

Meanwhile, recruiters are struggling to meet unrealistic expectations set by hiring managers. Getting little to no communication.

Other issues may arise between the two. This includes having differing opinions on strategies and the hiring process.

Although businesses cannot predict all possible problematic circumstances, they can try.

At the very least, companies must prepare for how to handle the most common ones.

How To Handle the Most Common Issues Between Recruiters and Hiring Managers

In an ideal work situation, everyone would be on the same page and able to get along. But instead, many companies deal with frustrated managers and fed up recruiters.

To avoid interruptions in hiring candidates, businesses must prepare solutions for everyday problems.

5 Solutions to Help Mend the Problem-Relationship Between Recruiters and Hiring Managers

Several common issues often manifest during the recruiter and hiring manager’s relationship. It is the responsibility of the company to identify and address each of their needs.

Businesses need to keep both teams focused on hiring the right candidates.

1. Start Problem-Solving at the Interview Level

Why wait until an issue comes up to solve it? Instead, attempt to avoid it from the start.

Companies must use the interview process to hire workers who can collaborate well.

When interviewing possible recruiters and managers, ask pointed questions, and avoid generic ones.

Use strong interview questions rather than traditional ones.

Traditional interview question:

“What are you looking for in your new team member?”

It is clear this is too generic and will not provide a definitive answer. Thus, businesses must turn traditional questions into several strong interview questions.

Strong interview questions:

  • “What skills should the ideal candidate have?”
  • “What technological tools does the candidate need skills for?”
  • “How is the team structured and who will the new hire report to?”

2. Identify Potential Deal-Breakers Early

The company wants to make sure there are no last-minute surprises, which is why it needs to cover all its bases.

Talk with recruiters and hiring managers about job-related limitations, requirements, and requests.

Provide interviewees with a lot of information about the job before hiring them. This is also essential to whether a candidate will accept the position.

Effectively, you want both parties to make knowledgeable decisions.

Outline salaries, work schedules, and the level of flexibility for both. If you do not, your business may need to start the hiring process all over again due to a dissatisfied new hire.

Learn what each interviewee wants to gain from filling a position. Discover if it aligns with company goals or not.

Businesses who know a potential hire’s real intent help make things more transparent. This includes seeing warning signs earlier and identifying potential deal-breakers to avoid issues.

Some companies choose to outsource to a staffing agency their recruiting so there’s a separation between recruiters and hiring manager. Staffing agencies take over the recruiting process to present candidates to a company for interviewing and hiring. Most of the time, these agencies will do pre-interviews with candidates to weed out any that aren’t a good fit before the company performs their own interview process.

3. Set Job Descriptions and Expectations

Not only is it necessary to define job descriptions for both but to set expectations for each, as well. This is how recruiters and hiring managers can better understand each other.

An excellent way to encourage collaboration is through meetings.

Set up meetings dedicated to collaborating on job tasks and team expectations. Find out what each wants from the other.

For example:

After three meetings, recruiters and hiring managers must submit a document. The file needs to outline job descriptions and expectations. This is something they work on together and hand it in for approval by the company.

These meetings are perfect for reconsidering employees, “must-haves and nice-to-haves.”

Ensure that high expectations are not pre-existing at your company. Review and rank the requirements necessary to fill each position.

Determine what potential employees need to have for each job and what they can learn while on the job. Then adjust your job descriptions accordingly.

4. Use Transparency and Metrics

Businesses use an Applicant Tracking System to make the hiring process more transparent.

Providing teams with access to important metrics like:

  • The number of people interviewed
  • Candidates who advance in the interview process
  • Reasons candidates receive rejections.

Gain insights about possible applicants before they join the team.

Metrics can assist companies with the decision-making process and with increasing candidate success.

5. Conduct Regular Check-Ins with Recruiters and Hiring Managers

It is crucial to check back with recruiters and hiring managers. Companies must ensure processes are working and goals are being met.

It also provides the opportunity to address any issues and apply needed improvements.

If the company does not, it runs the risk of suggesting and hiring unqualified candidates. Frequent feedback throughout the entire hiring process is valuable.


Sometimes, it is not the recruiters or hiring manager’s fault for the breakdown in their relationship. Instead, it is the result of the company’s unsuccessfully designed hiring process.

Key Takeaways

  • Be upfront
  • Set ground rules
  • Express expectations
  • Clarify limitations
  • Communicate often.
  • Develop a hiring process for finding and hiring successful candidates.

It is up to the business to lay down a strong foundation from the start. Give recruiters and hiring managers the means to build a trusting relationship.

Read More: MSPs and Hiring Managers