A recruiter’s relationship with their position’s respective hiring manager is essential to how successful the hiring process functions within a company. A hiring manager that has lost trust in their cleared recruiter is a sure and fast way to lead to a toxic work environment, low morale, and unhappy customers.

How to Lose a Hiring Manager’s Trust in 10 Days

Trust is important – especially when you’re operating on tight timelines. The last thing everyone wants are strained relationships to navigate in the recruiting and hiring process. So here are 10 ways you could be sabotaging your relationship with the hiring manager.

1. Asking questions about your opening that are laid out in the RFP / PWS.

The first step to filling an open billet is reading about the customer requirements in the Request for Proposal or Performance Work Statement. Once you’ve nailed down those requirements, you should be able to outline a job description and ask for additional details on the day to day from the hiring manager.

2. Not knowing who the prospective candidate will report to.

If you’re new to the company, we get it. You may not know the company hierarchy quite yet. But if you’ve been working through proposal efforts and funded contracts for some time, you should know offhand which hiring manager / program lead handles IT, S&T, intelligence contracts, etc.

3. Sending unqualified candidates to submit to prime or government customer.

If a hiring manager receives candidates that don’t meet the basic requirements over and over again, they are going to expect more candidates that don’t meet the basic requirements and easily lose trust in your capabilities. It also makes you look a bit scattered if the prime or customer is evaluating candidates who clearly aren’t a good fit.

4. Sending candidates before you verify their clearance.

If a security clearance is a basic requirement, you should be verifying it with your Facility Security Officer (FSO) before the resume gets into anyone else’s hands. Otherwise it’s just a waste of time.

5. Sending candidates that constantly ghost you.

Sometimes a recruiter can’t help if a candidate ghosts them. But if it happens over and over again, it could speak to your communication tactics.

6. Sending candidates that have not agreed on the salary terms.

Again, just a waste of time. If a candidate has a hard range that they are working with, you want to ensure that they fit within the position range before moving forward in the hiring process.

7. Sending candidates who constantly quit.

If you send a few candidates to your hiring manager who you eventually bring on board but just end up quitting, perhaps you are not fully explaining the role and the day to day to candidates during the interview process. A recruiter may not learn this from a PWS, but that is what team leads or hiring managers are for!

8. Avoiding communication updates on the status of vacancies.

Recruiters should be sending weekly updates of where they are at in filling open billets. If a hiring manager has to constantly hound you for updates, you aren’t communicating with the greater internal team enough.

9. Providing the same excuses (or excuses in general) for why a position remains unfilled.

No one likes excuses. If you’re running into obstacles, bounce some ideas off of other recruiters in the industry. Your hiring manager could just deem you as a complainer if they hear “but the salary is just way too low!” one more time…

10. Ghosting your Hiring Manager in a time crunch.

With people working from home becoming the norm across the board, it’s important to stay engaged while you’re teleworking from another location. If a hiring manager can’t pop into your office for an update, make sure you are communicating enough and are available online if they need you.



“Trust is built with consistency” -Lincoln Chafee



Related News

Katie Keller is a marketing fanatic that enjoys anything digital, communications, promotions & events. She has 8+ years in the DoD supporting multiple contractors with recruitment strategy, staffing augmentation, marketing, & communications. Favorite type of beer: IPA. Fave hike: the Grouse Grind, Vancouver, BC. Fave social platform: ClearanceJobs! 🇺🇸