Judge a potential manager by how they treat their recruiter

Single women are told to judge how a man would treat a future wife by how he treats a waitress in a restaurant. I'm going to assume that this advice, which I have heard a number of times from various sources (just in general...not seeking out that kind of stuff, mind you), does not imply that a future wife will be a food-server to her husband; but rather that you can judge a person by how they treat people that they don't feel they need to impress. And frankly, in my house, the expectation of any kind of food service would leave someone with an empty stomach and more than a little disappointed. But this post isn't about dating or eating, actually. Just be happy that this is an analogy and I'm going someplace with this other than providing dating advice ; )

I think that similar advice could be offered to job seekers. I believe that you can judge how a hiring manager would treat a future employee by looking at how well he/she works with his/her recruiter. Of course, you could ask other direct reports of the manager, but given that the manager signs off on their reviews, we'll consider the opinion a smidge biased (just for the sake of argument...though I am sure there are cases where this isn't true). Whereas with a recruiter/hiring manager relationship, if the hiring manager isn't engaged, the recruiter can spend their time recruiting on someone else's positions and still achieve their goals (and I'm not kidding, responsiveness is a major prioritization factor for recruiters...note to hiring managers everywhere!).

I just think back to my line recruiting days. The hiring managers that I found to be proactively engaged in the process also seemed to have the most happy employees and great reputations across the company. This isn't all about good people versus bad people. A lot of it is about how these hiring managers think about people. If they strongly value people on their teams, they are also very likely to be an active participant in the recruiting process because they want to hire more of the same. And they view their recruiters as a business partner that brings something to the table (and just so you don't think I've lost my marbles, the recruiter has just as much accountability for the relationship).

I was thinking about this after posting the interview with Romi (I'm friends with his previous recruiter and he gets thumbs up all around) whom I've found to be great to work with (on one of the Silicon Valley events last year). Also, I'll be posting an interview with Scott Horn whom I've supported in the past as well and who clearly gets recruiting and people dynamics. I considered that readers of my blog could think "Sheesh, she keeps saying these hiring managers are all great. What a Pollyanna/PR mouthpiece, blah-blah." But the fact is, I've offered to blog interviews with any of the hiring managers with current marketing openings. I can only personally vouch for the ones I have worked with directly and Romi and Scott are such folks. My bar for "great" is this: would I want to work for these hiring managers myself; which brings me back to my original point...like how that worked? Points are good.

I'll likely post interviews with others here that I have not worked with directly and I can definitely pass on feedback from their recruiting teams. But I'll only be able to offer my personal opinion on hiring managers that I have worked with directly (mostly because I want my actual personal opinion to be worth something...otherwise, why blog?). Which makes me wonder why the Microsoft.com and Platforms Business Management teams haven't responded to the offer of blog interviews yet. Could it be that they don't read my blog? Dang! Love those teams. ; )

Anyway, food for thought (hee! guess who's hungry) for job seekers as well as hiring managers working on filling open positions.

Comments (4)

  1. Marcus says:

    Great post, Heather. Throughout the interviewing process, the job seeker can learn a lot more about their prospective employer than just what they hear during the actual interview.

    Everything about the process – the speed, professionalism, etc. – sends a signal; good, bad or otherwise.

  2. Ian says:

    Excellent…not only do we get business advice, but now dating advice as well! 😀

    <em>Single women are told to judge how a man would treat a future wife by how he treats a waitress in a restaurant.</em>

    Interesting, I’ve never heard this one before. Unfortunately, I’ve been kicked under the table a couple of times for apparently treating the waitress(es) "too nicely"… 🙂

    Back on topic: I thought the interview with Mr. Mahajan was great. I look forward to seeing more similar interviews.

  3. Andy says:

    "And frankly, in my house, the expectation of any kind of food service would leave someone with an empty stomach and more than a little disappointed."

    What!?! You aren’t going to make me a sandwich if I come up there? There you go again destroying all my fantasies 😉 Seriously though I have never heard the waitress thing so it’s probably a good thing I’m nice to them. My dates may have been judging me this whole time and I didn’t know it.

  4. HeatherLeigh says:

    Heehee..you guys are funny. Yeah, the business advice is part of my job but the dating advice…that’s just a little bonus you get for reading my blog ; ) There’s irony there, by the way, but you’d probably have to know me in person to understand how much (let’s just say that dating isn’t my favorite thing…for me, it’s kind of like interviewing for a job I don’t want…but I know I am unusual in that regard…I just like being unmarried ; )). Ah, maybe I need a blog category called "too much information".

    Andy-I would definitely have a sandwich waiting for you. You’d just have to wait for me to peel the Subway wrapper off ; )

    I do cook, actually, but mostly just on weekends. Anyway, back to work related topics…

    Marcus-thanks for the nice words…hopefully people are picking up those subtle clues during the interview process.

    Ian-naughty, naughty. Don’t date anyone who wears pointy shoes, I guess!

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