What is the Recruiter’s Influence on the Hiring Process?

Are you on the job search and looking to gain more job search knowledge to better prepare for your journey? Let’s walk through three key areas where recruiters can best influence the hiring process!   

Interview Timeline and Quantity  

Recruiters are strategizing with the hiring team to determine what the ideal number of interviews will be. The factors that usually go into consideration include job function, technical requirements, hierarchy within the company, if the role is an individual contributor versus a managerial role, is the role remote versus hybrid or on-site, etc. Typically, I encourage hiring teams to use a 2-3 step process depending on the role that includes a 1:1 hiring manager meeting and a team/combination meeting for the candidate to meet their future peers.   

Regarding timeline, I encourage my clients to adhere to a traditional 1.5-to-2-week interviewing schedule which helps candidates make time for the interview process and ultimately make a sound decision. 1 week may be too short of a timeline to make the best choice and anything over 2 weeks we start to see candidates lose interest and the hiring process begins to elongate. In a market where there are many options for candidates, speed kills!   

Between the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022 recruiters were the hottest commodity on the market. We supported a client who listened to our feedback about interview process timelines and implemented a 3-step interview process which they could complete in as short as 3 days, if the candidate had time. This allowed the client to successfully hire 2x recruiters in an ultra-competitive candidate market.   


Let me set the record straight… In MOST instances, recruiters do not have the final say in what the compensation will be for a given opportunity. What recruiters do have is real-time data on market compensation ranges and best practices for total compensation packages. During the first meeting, called an intake meeting, recruiters cover the compensation discussion with hiring teams and provide data from recent projects and compensation reports from sources like PayFactors. This helps the hiring team to set an appropriate budget for the role.    

Recruiters will also provide feedback to hiring teams during the offer stage and strategize with a hiring team what the best possible package will be for a candidate. I recommend setting your expectations early and being clear with the recruiter that you partner with to ensure you are not wasting your time in an interview process.   

I had a client who was hiring for a Senior Android Engineer in San Francisco, California. Originally their ideal base salary was 130K maximum. I provided the feedback that (at the time) the current market rates were between 160-180K base for Senior Android Engineers. They had two finalists who declined the offer because they received higher offers. This led to the client INCREASING their range to 160K and they were able to successfully hire a Senior Android Engineer because of the feedback I provided and their willingness to adjust compensation accordingly.   

Interview Questions  

Believe it or not- it is not uncommon for a hiring manager to not have sufficient training on how to interview a potential candidate. We provide training for hiring managers which helps them remain in compliance with employment law and determine if a candidate is qualified with as much bias removed as possible. During our initial intake meeting with a hiring team, recruiters will likely already have a set list of 7-10 questions that a hiring manager can ask a candidate. This helps to standardize the entire interviewing process and create an equal playing field for each candidate. Typically, the questions will include cultural fit questions, behavioral questions, motivational style questions, and technical questions as well.   

I was partnering with a first-time hiring manager who had never interviewed or hired for their team. I created a document with a list of 10 questions that they could ask to focus on cultural fit, behavioral assessment, and technical skill set of the candidate. The hiring manager used this document to guide interviews with 7 different candidates in our three-month project, and they successfully identified 3x candidates who were qualified offering their top candidate the role!  


These are three of the main areas that recruiters have influence over during the hiring process. How will this help you as a candidate? This means that when working with a recruiter, you could potentially ask them about these nuances to gain further insight into your interviewing journey and experience. Partnering with a good recruiter who can share these insights will help you prepare to CRUSH your next round of interviews!   


If you enjoyed this blog, you might also like a blog we have about what it’s like to be an intern at Recruiting Experiences: https://www.recruitingexperiences.com/whats-it-like-to-be-an-intern-at-recruiting-experiences/


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