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Improving Engagement with Hiring Managers

By Ryan Schaal, Director of Client Delivery

In my role at Broadleaf, one of my responsibilities is to oversee and manage MSP programs for clients of all shapes, sizes, and industries. Our teams routinely observe and lead the interactions between hiring managers and staffing suppliers. While many of these are seamless, we sometimes encounter challenges along the way, often marked by confusion, frustration, and delays in the recruitment timeline.

Whether you are a supplier under an MSP that permits direct client contact or working in a direct client relationship, here are some tips for staffing suppliers that will help improve the quality of your interactions with your clients and hiring managers:

Recruiting may be your main focus…

…but hiring managers often have dozens of other responsibilities and priorities on their plate. When looking to connect with a hiring manager on an active job requisition, be diligent in your outreach. Find a strategy that best works for connecting with that specific manager—whether it be via email, phone call, or text. Your job as a staffing supplier is to guide the hiring managers through the recruitment process. Be sure to set expectations on both sides early on in the engagement. When challenges or impactful information becomes available, share it with the hiring manager in a collaborative manner. Keeping them apprised and informed during the recruiting process will strengthen your overall relationship, thereby resulting in more placements.

Make your process work around theirs

Ultimately, it is your job as the supplier to provide quality candidates to the hiring manager and tailor your recruitment processes to fit their needs. I often tell the story of one particular hiring manager who struggled to provide candidate feedback on resume submittals. After much persistence over email, I decided to print out a stack of recent candidate resumes and drop them on his desk along with a sticky note that said, “Please call me with feedback.” An hour later, I received a call from that same manager, who liked this new approach. Other recruiters quickly got into the habit of leaving candidate resumes on the hiring manager’s desk, and he would always reply with feedback on the same day. While some client requests or styles don’t fit your own, they should be taken into consideration when trying to get the job filled quickly.

Find your niche—and stay within it

In my 15+ years in the talent acquisition and workforce solutions industry, I have never found a recruiter or staffing supplier that can fill every position that has been given to them. And that’s okay! Rather than telling hiring managers that you can fill all of their open requisitions, stay within your “sweet spot.” Suppliers that focus on their core competencies and knock them out of the park will go farther than those who try to be a jack-of-all-trades but master of none.

Commit to honesty and transparency

It is not uncommon for hiring managers to wrongly interpret information about pricing related to the recruiting process. As a staffing supplier, you should strive to teach your client partners about how your pricing is structured and describe the many cost aspects that are covered in markup and bill rates. Many hiring managers often wrongly equate markup rates to supplier profit. By providing honest and transparent information on statutory costs of a temporary employee, your client partner will feel more comfortable with the recruitment process as a whole


While there are many obstacles and challenges that staffing suppliers face on a day-to-day basis, many of them can be alleviated by setting appropriate expectations, establishing a suitable recruiting timeline, and communicating regularly with hiring managers.

Ultimately, the goal of every staffing supplier should be to ensure that open jobs are efficiently filled with quality candidates. But the process of building a quality relationship with hiring managers is critical for cultivating a value-driven business partnership. By utilizing these pieces of advice, you will boost your odds of staffing success and cultivate a long-term relationship with clients and hiring managers alike.

Have a specific question for Ryan? You can connect with him on LinkedIn or send him an email at

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