Recruiter vs Hiring Manager: Who f^*ked up with that bad hire? 🙉🙈🙊


Recruiter vs Hiring Manager: Who f^*ked up with that bad hire? 🙉🙈🙊
Troy Hammond
Troy Hammond



August 12, 2022

Recruiter vs Hiring Manager:
Who fucked up with that bad hire?

I wrote a blog about interviewing the other day and suggested that I was a fucking great interviewer as I had interviewed 21,500 people in my lifetime.

Obviously, I am. 😉

Though someone commented saying that my skill as an interviewer should be based, not on my number of interviews, but ultimately on the hires I make for clients.

I initially agreed. However, like most things I read. I thought about this a lot afterward and woke up at 2 am and thought.

Maybe it should be based on how few bad hires I have made in my career?
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Yes, after creating the above picture, I sent it to The Boys tv producers to see if I could get a part.

When they rejected me, I spoke to a client the other day about this very topic, and upon listening to me ramble. She asked me if I felt responsible for a bad hire? I said that I do as it is my job to build a shortlist of great hires that hiring managers can shortlist.

So I said yes, 100% I do.

She disagreed with me and said, "the hiring manager is ultimately responsible for the hire" and so if it was a bad hire, then it would be her fault and not mine.

I probably should have stopped thinking right there.

But again, I have been thinking about 'that' conversation for a week now, and the best way I know how to get it out of my head, is to write about it.

Hopefully, you have been enjoying or hating my writing of late. I am going for an emotional response here as I provide the world with my reckons by writing them at 5 am in the morning with 2 coffees in me. If you are new to the blog, I write them without stopping or getting them edited. Yes, I know I should. But what are a few typos between mates? More on this later.

I don’t stop when I am writing and then I just publish my blogs to be world to be judged. So hopefully they give you some sort of emotive feeling. Post about it in the comments if they do or don't. Your comment could turn into the next blog like this one. Lol

Anyway, as usual for me. I digress.

So who’s fault is a bad hire then?

Whenever I help hire someone for a client, I never take credit or care to shout it from the rooftops. I prefer to let the hiring manager celebrate the success. I just wait for the Super Recruiter signal to be projected into the night to find my next super hire.

I actually love that my hiring managers take responsibility for the hire and they celebrate the success of a great hire.

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Though what happens if they are a bad hire?

A bad hire raises questions: who was responsible for selecting that candidate?

I do not think hiring shouldn’t become a blame game, but who needs to improve their recruiting tactics next time? Let's blame them now in this blog. Who's actual fault is it? The recruiter, the hiring manager, or both?

If you are a hiring manager reading this, I am sure the first thing that comes to mind is:

“The recruiter right.” After all, it’s their job to recruit, so they must be responsible for hiring the right people.

They ultimately put forward the candidate and so it is their fault?

For my recruiter friends reading this, I am sure you are shaking your head right now and thinking that the hiring manager should be responsible for the bad hire. They are the ones who made the hire.

You just gave them some options.

“So, who the hell is responsible then Troy”?

We are talking about the actual hire here, so I believe we are actually referring to the outcome and not the recruitment process both have followed. So the person who gets hired, not the entire process covering the journey up to the point of when they get hired.

And while the recruiter manages the process, it’s the hiring manager who actually makes the call and closes the deal.

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So, hiring managers are the decision-makers; they have the final say as to who gets hired and who gets rejected. They own the outcome of the recruiting process. And when there’s a bad hire, the hiring manager is the one who should investigate what went wrong.

Hiring managers are the ones who decide that the short-list of candidates is ‘good enough and they move them from the recruiter's responsibility to themselves, therefore the ownership transfers from the recruiters to the hiring team?

Can this be right? According to most of the blogs/articles I quickly read this morning while inhaling my 5 am coffee this is right. Essentially the recruiter is all care and no responsibility.

This does not sit well with me and I have landed that our responsibility is joined at the hip right up until around the 3-month mark. I will go into this a little later.

Let’s talk about the recruiter’s share of responsibility

While the hiring manager takes responsibility for the outcome, this by no means implies that the recruiter’s role is minor or simple. Recruiters lay the foundation for hiring the right people. That’s because they use their expertise to:

  • Understand the brief of the role so much that they are an extension of the hiring manager. I intend to write a blog on the following bullets in the coming weeks
  • Supply a shortlist of great candidates that the hiring manager can choose from
  • Train hiring managers on interviewing techniques and keep them on track so that they get back to candidates in a timely manner
  • Recommend and implement effective assessment methods that help evaluate candidates objectively.

Think of this analogy: in a more professional business, unlike Talent Army. Writers write the articles or blogs and send them to internal editors to sign them off. Without the writer, there would be no amazing 5 am blogs to start with. But it’s the editor who reviews the copy and approves to have the blog published when they’re absolutely confident about its quality. When blog writers unlike me write carefully and think about the grammar, style, and structure of the blog, this makes the job of the editor easier.

Still, editors are the gatekeepers of what gets published and what needs to go back to the writer for additional work.

Likewise, good recruiters will play a vital role in hiring. They’re dedicated to finding the best of the best candidates. They build a strong employer brand to consistently attract good applicants. And they speak up when they notice flags in candidates. This is something I feel very strongly about. All candidates have a flag and most recruiters are too scared to mention it for fear of losing their hire. Internal and Agency recruiters alike. It is our job to say: “Hey, I picked this up in the interview and I think it is nothing, but you may want to test it in the interview.”

That’s how recruiters make the hiring manager’s job easier and support the hiring manager all the way. But, ultimately, it’s the hiring manager who makes the final decision on who gets hired and who doesn’t.

So, going back to the Hiring Manager. How can they help the recruiter to find the best shortlist and ensure there are no ‘bad hires’ in said shortlist?

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You need to dedicate time to ensuring the recruiter has as much information on the role and fit as you do. I often hear Hiring Managers talk crap to me about recruiters who sent them shitty candidates and they vent on me. The first thing I ask them is, did they give the same time to understand the role and the story of the company as much as me. Usually, the answer is no. Sadly, the answer is sometimes yes.

If you are just sending them the position description and hoping they will give you a great candidate, then you are essentially fishing with zero bait on your line.

Sometimes I fish with Xero bait, but most of the time my line is full of information about the company and role. So much so, that most times I finish telling the story of the startup and brief of the role, the candidate asks if I actually work there or am an investor.

As for the recruiter, my final words to you are that the hiring does not stop when you get the contract signed. If you have done what I have said in the above paragraph then I will assume like me you have developed a tight relationship with that candidate and they may come to you with how they are feeling in the role during the first 3 months. This is such a crucial time as most bad hires are just misalignments of expectations and sometimes good recruiters can be the mediator or just help the relationship between the hiring manager and employee get back on track.

So, I guess after writing this I have realised that the responsibility lies on both sides.

50% with the hiring manager and 50% with the recruiter. We are a team.

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Hopefully not that team. But a team.

Maybe I knew this was 50/50 all along, but just thought it was a good blog post as I didn’t get one out on Monday this week like I usually do.

That would make the headline a bit clickbaity. Oh fuck, I think that makes me a professional blogger in that case. Sorry.

I hope you enjoyed the read nonetheless, and leave a comment with your experience as I would love to see all the recruiters in the world enjoy the relationship I have with my hiring managers and we never have bad hires. 🤫

Thank you for staying to the end. Have a great day.

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