How to Deal With Picky Hiring Managers

Aug 16 / Steve Lowisz
Is there anything more annoying than a picky hiring manager?

As a recruiter, it can be incredibly challenging to deal with these hiring managers. You pour so much time and effort into finding great candidates – but they’re still holding out for a unicorn.

As always, the best way to approach these situations is to focus on what you can control.

Instead of getting angry or starting an argument, stay level-headed and try to offer an alternative perspective.

Here are three great responses to some common complaints from picky hiring managers about qualified candidates.

Complaint #1 - They Haven't Held the "Right" Titles

One of the biggest complaints from a picky hiring manager is that the candidate hasn’t held titles they believe are high enough for the current role.

In these situations, it's good to remind them that not all companies have the same job title structures.

Additionally, a lot of companies save money by having people take on additional duties without the corresponding title or pay! Focus on the candidate's depth of experience and capabilities, not their title.

Besides, a lot of candidates are ready for the next step - they just haven’t had the opportunity at their current organization.

Complaint #2 - The Candidate is a Job-Hopper

This one makes a lot of hiring managers uneasy because they see these candidates as a flight risk. They don’t want to invest time and resources in onboarding and training someone who is just going to leave a few months later.

Unfortunately, this is just the reality of today’s job market. Candidates are much more likely to leave jobs where they don’t feel valued or supported or aren’t receiving raises to keep their wages competitive.

Remind these hiring managers that times have changed, and they will be severely limiting their talent pool by ruling out these types of candidates.

Complaint #3 - The Candidate is "Not a Good Fit"

Worst of all is when a hiring manager rejects a candidate but doesn’t give any concrete feedback.
In these situations, it’s best to push back and ask them to be more specific.

Remind the manager that if they can’t give you specific feedback, you can’t do your job! As a recruiter, it’s your responsibility to find candidates that meet their requirements and needs...and to make that happen, you need specific instructions on what they do and don’t want in a candidate.

Oftentimes, a manager says this when the candidate is just different than what they had in mind. Remind them that sometimes, the best hires are different than we originally imagined – the important part is that they have the skills to get the job done.

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