Running Your Business

7 Recruiter Questions for Hiring Managers to Answer Before Interviews

  • Review sample resumes to pinpoint which traits are desirable in a candidate
  • Find out if a job is brand new or if they're looking for a replacement
  • Ask what personality traits have helped people succeed in the past
Posted by January 23, 2020

Finding good talent is challenging. It’s even more onerous if recruiters and managers don’t see eye-to-eye. But the right recruiter questions for hiring managers can help put everyone on the same page.

Of course, recruiters will generally ask basic questions about education and experience requirements. But they’ll need to dig deeper to learn if someone is or isn’t an ideal candidate for your company. This is where collaboration comes in.

By working closely with hiring managers, recruiters can get a better sense of which candidates could be a good fit for the company, even before any are interviewed. Here are several questions they can ask your team to ensure you’re finding the best talent possible.

1. What Do You Like (or Not Like) About These Example Resumes?

Before the search even begins, recruiters should bring a sample of resumes from past applicants who were top hires. Explain that these resumes don’t belong to current applicants but that, rather, managers can use them to identify traits you should seek in future candidates.

Sometimes hiring managers have a tough time articulating the experience level or qualities they want in a new hire. Reviewing resumes of previous all-star applicants can help narrow the scope.

2. Do Specific Events or Projects Require a New Hire Soon?

Hiring managers will often want to fill a position quickly, but rushing the hiring process won’t help anyone. Recruiters can overcome unrealistic expectations by asking about projects, events or conferences that need a new hire’s help. By figuring this out, a recruiter can develop a clearer idea of when a candidate is really needed.

3. What Traits Would Get Someone Immediately Fired?

Hiring managers worry about selecting the wrong person, says professional recruiter J.T. O’Donnell in an article for LinkedIn. But sometimes they struggle to articulate what makes a person a bad fit. Recruiters should ask them point-blank what traits would get someone fired—or have gotten someone fired in the past. This information can help recruiters rule out unsuitable applicants.

4. Is This a Replacement or a Brand New Position?

This question can reach the heart of what a hiring manager is seeking. If the job is a replacement, recruiters should ask the manager what they liked or disliked about the previous employee. If they loved the person and are basically looking for the employee’s twin, then that knowledge can guide the recruiter. If it’s a new role, then they should learn why the job was created and what it requires.

5. What Is Your Salary Budget?

Hiring managers can get discouraged if they’re excited about a candidate, only to find that the candidate’s not affordable. So recruiters should ask for the budget early on. Also, listing the salary of each opening, and indicating whether there’s any wiggle room, can ensure you’re only interviewing serious candidates.

6. What Personality Traits Mesh With Your Department or Company?

A recruiter should look for employees that fit the culture, but hiring managers may struggle to describe what that means.

Ask about personality traits that fit the company. Find out which employees are thriving and why. What are their personalities like? Who just hasn’t fit in well at all? Determining a company’s culture can help recruiters identify which candidates could be a strong fit.

7. How Frequently Do You Want Updates About Candidates?

To collaborate well, recruiters and hiring managers should manage workflow expectations. Recruiters shouldn’t leave hiring managers wondering why they’re not hearing more about the job search. They should establish expectations early by asking hiring managers how frequently they’d like to be updated.

During the hiring process, recruiters shouldn’t be scared to delve deeper into a company’s needs. Likewise, hiring managers should be ready to think about job openings from many angles, including why some hires worked out while others didn’t. These seven recruiter questions for hiring managers can help both sides to home in on what’s truly important in a candidate, so they can always find the right talent.

Not sure if your workplace culture will attract strong candidates? Explore these tips for managing wellness at your office on United Concordia’s Benefits Bridge.

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