**Disclaimer: this post is probably an unfair mass generalisation of all hiring managers, based on one or two isolated and extremely annoying experiences.**
Considering agency recruiters have been brought in to fill their urgent roles as quick as “yesterday”, hiring managers can make doing your job particularly difficult at times. They cancel interviews last minute, go on leave without notice, erratically change their minds and feedback less than an acoustic guitar. Most annoyingly, they screen your calls. You might get lucky with the odd email reply, but they just won’t pick up their darn phone.
I guess it’s worth remembering that hiring managers are normal people who have day jobs to crack on with and bosses to answer to. They probably die inside when they hear their alarm clock in the morning. They have annoying colleagues, are frustrated by unrealistic deadlines and occasionally think about quitting just like the rest of us. Sure, they might somehow inherit the ‘hiring manager‘ title by default, but it doesn’t automatically mean they ‘get’ what it will take to secure them new talent.
Is it only them with a major commitment issue? Perhaps not – maybe there’s something you’re doing that’s annoying them? Instead of banging your head against the wall screaming”What the hell??” when they bump your call, perhaps it’s worth hazarding a guess as to why they don’t want to talk.
You’re one of a million
Your mum and maybe even your boss will tell you you’re one in a million, but when it comes to recruitment as a competitive industry, you’re often one of a huge bunch. Their phone is constantly ringing off its hook (doesn’t haven’t the same effect given cordless technology) and they just need to focus on their day jobs.
HR is on their case
Especially in large, heavily regulated organisations, the HR function is supposed to be the middle man between agencies and the business. That means keeping hiring managers and recruiters at arm’s length from each other. Fearful of losing their headcount or getting a slap on the wrist for giving away too much information, hiring managers will often refer all correspondence to HR to be on the ‘safe side’. It’s likely they’ve been burnt before…
You keep asking the same thing
For whatever reason, they think they know what you’re calling about and don’t want to deal with it. It could be for a number of reasons, but either they have the information you are looking for and can’t/don’t want to tell you, or they actually don’t have an update for you and they’re sick of saying it. There’s only so many times they can say the same thing, even when you’ve got a candidate waiting on them to make a decision.
You take too long to get to your point
Hiring managers know that when you get on the phone, you spend way too long going through the niceties and small talk, delaying asking the questions you really want to know the answer to. They know you’re trying to be their friend, but not because you actually want to be their friend, but because being their friend will benefit your business. They might just prefer to keep business as business.
They’re too busy
They bump everyone’s calls, not just yours. It might help your self esteem knowing they don’t just hate you and only you, but it doesn’t make it any less frustrating. Some people just like working over emails. They need to have something in writing in order to drag it into their ‘to do’ folder before actioning it.
You call at the wrong time
Every time you call, they’re either running to a meeting, in a meeting or planning for one. Or they’re on lunch, about to pack up for the day or busy responding to morning deadlines. Hiring managers do have full on jobs to do, and their calendars don’t always stop for recruitment.
…Where to now?
To overcome a hiring manager who bumps your calls, try using short, friendly and to-the-point emails. If that doesn’t work, re-route through your HR contacts and keep trying… it’s all you can do!