5 Common Challenges Hiring Managers Face When Working With Recruiters


The recruitment process can be overwhelming and time-consuming for those in charge of filling positions. Hiring managers often need to rely on recruiters to source, screen and recommend candidates. Unfortunately, several challenges can arise. Here we’ll explore the five most common issues hiring managers face when working with recruiters.  


Far too many resumes to review

One of the biggest challenges hiring managers face when working with recruiters is the sheer volume of resumes they receive. While this may seem like it should give hiring managers more options, the reality is that too many resumes become overwhelming and difficult to review. Hiring managers then must spend time sifting through irrelevant resumes, overlooking potentially great candidates simply because there were too many. Before working with us, many of our clients tell us that the recruiters they worked with previously presented them with far more resumes but not all were quality resumes.  It was a lot of mediocre to lesser quality resumes. One received 200 resumes from a recent job they had a recruiter ‘help’ them with.  But how does this help?  Well, it doesn’t, when you as the hiring manager is doing the job of the recruiter. 


A good recruiter should present a shortlist of 3-5 highly qualified and suitable candidates for an interview. Recruiters should provide a quality service that makes the hiring process easier for you, not more difficult!


Resumes or candidates have not been spoken to, either at all or recently, about the company or job

Another issue hiring managers face when working with recruiters is the lack of conversation between the recruiter and the candidate. Too often, many recruiters will present candidates to a company without an in-depth discussion with the candidate first about their current and long term goals, as well as what the job opening requires and what challenges it has. This same conversation should also cover what the company does and provide a general feel for the status quo. Many agencies though, will only speak to a candidate once and then present them to ten or more companies in the hope that something will stick. Even in cases where recruiters do talk to the candidate, it’s often only about what the candidate may be looking for, not an indepth conversation discussing the position or the company itself. The issue with this approach is that the agency makes many assumptions, and the candidate may not actually be interested in the role or company. This means that by the time the hiring manager has shortlisted the candidate for an interview, they may already have decided the position isn’t for them. Not only does this mean that valuable time has been wasted, but also money too. 


To avoid this, a good recruiter should have an in-depth conversation with the candidate before presenting them to potential employers. Not only should this cover what the candidate is looking for and their experience, but it should also discuss the job and what it involves, why the role is available, explaining what the success factors are and potential pitfalls. Only by having this kind of conversation with a candidate can a good recruiter genuinely understand the candidate’s suitability for a role. Some agencies limit this conversation to only 15 minutes too.  I would not personally recommend that. Here at Insight Recruitment, we don’t have such limits. It takes what it takes to get the information we need to help our clients secure the best person for their money. 


Many recruiters are not honest about their commitment, or lack of it, to fill the position

Unfortunately, many recruiters will say things to give hiring managers the impression they are committed to a role, but the results speak for themselves. In many cases, after the initial flurry of applications at the start of the recruitment process, there is often a sharp decline as time goes on. It’s not because there are no suitable candidates; it’s often because the recruiter has moved on to other opportunities and is no longer giving your role any of their attention. This “post and pray” approach is not serving the hiring manager well.   This is a term we use in the business to refer to the recruiters who post a job and hope that the right person will apply instead of actively seeking out candidates with the skills needed for the role and then formulating a strategy to find, engage and hire them.


At Insight Recruitment, we have a strategy for every job order we take and are 100% committed to filling the role. This means that if you give us a job order that is unrealistic (in the sense that no one person can do it), we will tell you why it cannot be filled. Otherwise, we will fill it if we take it on.


The recruiter doesn’t understand the job well enough to be a good recruiter to fill it

Another key concern for hiring managers is that the recruiter doesn’t understand the role well enough to be a good recruiter for it. This is especially true for more technical positions, such as those in Biotechnology and some IT positions. Biotech jobs often require a deep understanding of the field and its complexities, and the recruiter must have this knowledge if they are to vet and present suitable candidates properly. To overcome this, work with a professional specialist recruiter with knowledge and experience of your role and industry. Of course, not every job needs to be filled by a specialist recruiter, but it can make all the difference for those that do.


How do you know if you need to work with a specialist recruiter? Look for tell-tale signs in your own back yard: such as past agencies being unable to fill the role and the candidates they presented being less than ideal. If there is room for improvement you probably need a more professional recruiting partner who ‘gets you’ as the hiring manager and your challenging open jobs. 


The recruiter is not well-networked with the types of people you need to hire

Finally, a quality recruiter who understands the industry and job is not enough if they don’t have a network they can immediately call upon. In today’s job market, highly skilled candidates aren’t going to interact with every recruiter that gets in touch to sell them a job. Instead, many high-level candidates are too busy building their careers and getting things done. So, getting their attention and trust is critical and not an easy thing to do, nor quick! Without a network to pull from, the recruiter is just another cog in the recruiting machine that many skilled people want to avoid. 


Therefore, by working with a recruiter who knows their field and has a strong network of those kinds of professionals, you can be sure that they will quickly get to the people who have what you need and get them to hear about your job opportunity. 


As part of our process at Insight Recruitment, we take the time to fully understand the needs of the candidate and learn what kind of a legacy they want to create for themselves through their next role. When this aligns with a position we are working on, we know we have found a strong prospect for our clients.  Then the interviews kick off strongly and both parties are on the same page where everyone is invested in finding a successful outcome. The result is fewer candidates, but all should be quality candidates, where all presented are viable options to consider because they have the skills needed to succeed in the job.  This way the interviews are focused on finding the best from the pool of qualified people presented. 


Concluding thoughts

The recruitment journey can be stressful, time-consuming, and challenging for many hiring managers, but it doesn’t have to be.  If you make sure you have partnered with a professional dedicated recruiter who is committed to filling your job, then you are probably on the right track. Just be sure they have an expert understanding of the role and industry and is networked with professionals in that field, then you can be sure to find the right candidate quickly and without the headache. 


I hope the insights here have been helpful. As always, feel free to share your own thoughts and experiences in the comments. Also, if you’d like to learn more about Insight Recruitment and how we can help you find the right candidate for your roles, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


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