[Webinar] Leading Recruiting Department: Coaching Tips and Tricks


Leading a successful recruiting department means coaching your team members to become true strategic partners with your organization’s business leaders.

Panelists from around the country shared their tips and tricks for coaching your recruiting department in this session of the “Let's Talk Recruiting” series, presented by Checkster Community Manager and Recruiting Work Community host Sean Rehder.

HubSpot Video

Our panelists:


Here are a few outtakes from the webinar:

Drive Recruiting Strategy as a Business Partner

Chiara Hughes of Carvana stressed that knowing your industry’s business inside and out is a key to providing holistic, strategic recruiting solutions.

  • Quarterly staffing meetings with hiring managers: Plan your strategy together and take cues from attrition data to anticipate the business’s upcoming short- or long-term needs.
  • Weekly meetings with hiring managers: Keep on the strategic track by reviewing individual candidates and where they are in the TA timeline. Encourage hiring managers to give feedback to help identify trends in what they are or are not looking for in candidates.
  • 48-hour turnaround: To identify and move on the best candidates quickly, do a 30-minute huddle with the hiring manager within two days of the interviews to decide the offer and the compensation. Can’t do 48 hours because of interview schedules? Decide when the candidate will hear the decision and let them know. It sets a great candidate experience.

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Communicate Effectively and Avoid “Black Holes”

For Ed Frankel of Omnicon Health Group, relevant and regularly shared updates between the recruiting department and hiring managers help avoid the perils of under-communicating.

  • Collect data in your recruiting system: That lets you easily run a report to show where a req stands and keeps your recruiting department and your hiring managers on the same page — and helps avoid incorrect perceptions. Don’t forget to incorporate weekly updates, which can be as simple as a single sentence that tracks thoughts, feedback, status, etc.
  • Use data to promote engagement: If a hiring manager is disconnected or is not sharing information, work to find out why and how to re-engage them. Use your tracked data to keep them in the loop.
  • Establish a rhythm: When your recruiting department sets a regular communication routine, everyone in the TA chain will get accustomed to how long to expect between updates, which stops unrealistic hyperbole from taking hold.

Improve, Inspire, and Innovate

Continuous improvement is an essential coaching strategy for William Uranga at Spokeo.

  • Reinvent the recruiting process as necessary: Use a Kaizen continuous improvement strategy to build a recruiting “playbook” that can be changed as needed by consensus of the team.
  • Shadow your team members: Sit in on recruiting meetings with your team members to support them and, afterwards, open up conversations framed around questions to help them upgrade their skills and let you share your own experiences and lessons as appropriate.
  • Invest in overcommunication: Emphasize that keeping all stakeholders up to date is an effective way to improve the experiences for both candidates and hiring managers.

Start Right From the Start

Doug Corcoran of the Ferrara Candy Company puts his recruiting department’s best foot forward by having intake or kick-off meetings with hiring managers.

  • Establish your recruiting department brand early: A kickoff meeting sets the tone for a new hiring manager and a new job or maybe an existing or experienced hiring manager and a new position. Recruiters demonstrate their business acumen and identify potential difficulties related to a complicated search or a difficult hiring manager. It also establishes a professional business partner relationship with the hiring manager from the start.
  • Reduce the noise: These initial meetings simplify the process for the hiring manager, especially if they are new or the job is new. It lets both sides negotiate the rules of the search and set expectations while illuminating the challenges that might be encountered. And, it helps avoid scope creep beyond the recruiting department’s purview.
  • Keep checking in: Even when you have a solid history with a hiring manager or are sourcing a role that has been searched for before, still meet to make sure you haven’t missed something or need to adapt because the market has changed.

Solid Strategies for Team Building

When Arhonda Reyes joined SEKISUI Aerospace Corporation, she developed a five-pronged approach to building an expanded recruiting department.

  • Clarity: Help everyone understand their role as business partners, not order takers, and that they each have a responsibility to learn the business inside and out. For example, her recruiters spent time making plane parts on the production floor so they can understand what manufacturing hires would be doing.
  • Standards: To understand what your team’s roles and responsibilities are, have the team create and document processes and procedures and develop ideas for how to support the organization. Then, introduce leaders to the recruiting team through one-on-one conversations and emphasize your team’s commitment to be a valued business partner. Finally, focus on growing and developing along with the organization.
  • Rewards: In addition to big rewards, focus on small, day-to-day rewards to show that you as the recruiting department leader appreciate the skill sets that will help make the team successful.
  • Flexibility: Be open to new ideas and embrace the varied backgrounds and experiences your team members bring to the table.
  • Autonomy: Emphasize that each team member plays a critical role in helping the whole team succeed.

What Can You Do Today to Improve Your Recruiting Department’s Brand?

By focusing on business acumen, committing to an effective, consistent, and regularly shared communication strategy, and using solid values to build a world-class recruiting team, your recruiting department will command and expand the respect and cooperation it gets from your organization’s hiring managers and business leaders.

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