The Importance of Hiring Manager Feedback

Managers love to call me and complain about their open roles not being filled quick enough by recruiters. Of course, my job is to ensure all of my clients are happy but about 80% of the time, the obstacle to filling the job is not the shortage of talent or the lack of talent but rather, the length of time it takes for managers to provide feedback on the talent. I find a lot of managers don’t understand why it’s important to provide quick feedback on candidates.

Some of the common complaints I hear are from managers include:

  • “My positions aren’t being filled quick enough.”
  • “You guys take so long to get a new hire on board.”
  • “Why does recruiting take so long?”

As a recruiter, I am always more apt to work harder and quicker for the managers who have a quick turnaround time for feedback. Usually, these managers are not the culprit of complaints because we’re in constant contact throughout the process. For those managers who don’t understand why it’s important to provide quick feedback on candidates, let me share some recruiting secrets for you.

It’s all about partnership

As recruiters, we see ourselves as your partners in the search. Our job is to find the best candidate for your role in the shortest amount of time. Those of us who have been “on the line” before going into recruiting understand every day you do not have your candidate is a loss in productivity and profit. True partnerships have to have communication to be effective. When you don’t provide feedback in a timely manner, we will tend to move on to jobs with managers who are willing to truly be a partner. So if you want our job filled, honor the partnership and give feedback quickly.

Helps the recruiter look for the right candidates

The first stage of my recruiting process includes what I call a “fly-by” list of candidates to ensure I’m on the right track. It’s a great way for me to zero in on the right candidate profile and not spend time trying to develop a candidate who the manager feels is not a fit. Sure, I can read a job description but all of us know there are things not listed in a job description critical to a candidate’s success in a role.

For this, the quicker the feedback from the manager the sooner I can start finding that rockstar.

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán

It’s a Candidate’s market

Perhaps one of the most frustrating scenarios is when I spend time developing a candidate’s interest in a role, only to have the manager delay providing feedback. It’s a candidate’s market so if you want your role filled with the most qualified candidate, you have to act while they are interested. Passive candidates, those who are not actively looking for job, will view the lack of manager response as no interest and begin looking at other companies. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve had the perfect candidate for a role, only to have a manager drag their feet and the candidate decide to take another position with a competitor.

The best way to get your job filled by the best candidate in the shortest period of time, provide quick feedback on candidates! Work with your recruiter to establish communication guidelines and agreements.

Start by agreeing on a weekly update at the same time every week until the role is filled. It could be a 15 minute standing call to keep everyone communicating. If the role is critical, you might want to consider having a touch point call twice a week to shorten the feedback loop.

In Sprint Recruiting, feedback is the module that keeps candidate flow moving. If we reach our WIP limit in recruiting, we stop and determine where feedback is needed to keep the process moving. It’s a joint effort between the hiring manager and the recruiter. (If you want to learn more about WIP limits in recruiting, check out this post.)

Either way, the best chance for success in your search is to work with your recruiter and commit to provide quick feedback on candidates.

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Published by Trent Cotton

I joined the HR industry in 2004 after working as a sales leader in the Financial Services Industry for eight years. After spending his first couple of years in HR trying to fit in, I found my voice. Now I leverage all of the things I once hated about HR to become a consultant and invaluable partner to the businesses I support. My passion to lead, innovate and engage the HR industry. I use my blog at to reach thousands of readers and provides unique insights into a range of HR and business topics. I currently write for and I contribute to the HRGazzette and to DataDrivenInvestor on Medium. WARNING: my writing style is raw and in your face, not what you would expect from an HR executive. Connect with me on LinkedIn at or on Twitter @TrentCotton.

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