How to Design a Consultative Recruiter Training Program to Improve Alignment Between Recruiter and Hiring Manager

Consultative Recruiter Training Program

Want to improve partnering between recruiter and hiring manager? In this blog post, we’ll show you how to structure a recruiter training program to align your recruiters and hiring managers to improve performance and ROI.  

Let’s imagine that you wanted to train up a team of recruiters to perform in a more strategic and consultative manner when communicating and partnering with hiring managers. 

How would you accomplish this? Well, for starters, you could purchase a 2-4 hour on-site training session and have someone fly in and facilitate a workshop for $1500 to $10,000 for a half day session. Or you could go in a slightly different direction and purchase an online training workshop for each of your recruiters. This approach might only cost you $99 to $399 per recruiter for training that would span few weeks and include anywhere between 5-20 hours of on-demand videos, downloadable resources, 24/7 user access,  and a certification to prove a passing grade. 

A facilitator isn’t a bad idea but how much learning can happen within a 2-4 hour block of time? A course might be more cost-effective, but most are beginner-level and might not be customized to your particular situation. 

Another option would be to go back to basics – and ask yourself why you wanted the training in the first place. In this case, it’s because you want to improve the way your recruiters partner or consult with their hiring managers. And you want training because you probably want to close some internal gap, or improve performance or process somewhere within your existing program. 

In this example – using training to improve the way recruiters and hiring managers work together – you might also want to also develop a more unified process to improve performance across the whole recruiting department. Both the facilitator-led half day training and the online course would only solve part of your whole problem. Neither is the total solution to the challenge.  

Consider the TalentSum Approach

A better approach might be to engage TalentSum to combine the on-site training session with some amount of follow up dedicated coaching hours over a period of time(to target specific outputs for improvement rather than generic recruitment training) and rally everyone on the team around a set of best-practices (a process playbook).

Our first step would be to try to understand the exact nature of change required for your organization and staff. We’d want to learn about your organization’s culture, values, processes, systems, communication, and other factors.

We’d also want to review any related process documents such as existing recruitment policies, past training material, and process or program content and messaging that relate to the relationship between your recruiters and their hiring managers.

This “discovery process” may include surveys, phone conversations, or one-to-one phone interviews to better understand your hiring managers – and could include their perspective, your individual best practices, and your desired areas for skill training.

Any insights we gain from the discovery session, would be fed into your training agenda (and content) for the actual staff training session.

We’d probably still want you to hold some kind of on-site training that would include your staff – but we would focus it on two areas: sharing best practices and consensus building, and then skills training – teaching specific skills that your staff can put into practice immediately.

During the first half of the training, we would facilitate the discussion your staff to teach, share, and build consensus about what it means to be “consultative” with hiring managers.

In the second half of the training, we would focus on the introduction of a couple of new priority skills – including delivery mechanisms, conversation tips, and more – that emerge from our discovery session and taken together, embody what it means to be “consultative” in both approach at work and as it relates to partnering with hiring managers.

A brief note: It would be important to identify and separate (at least for the moment) the easy takeaways from more complex issues that require significant time and staff resources from the training session.

Examples of simple and easy takeaways may include: coming to a “shared” set of beliefs about what it means to be “more consultative”, establishing a set of core best practices recruiters can leverage to deliver a more consultative approach, introducing new skills related to various topics such as understanding the hiring manager’s role (as it relates to staffing and team performance), working with the hiring manager to exceed expectations, delivering more value to the hiring manager and candidate, strengthening relationships between recruiter and hiring manager, positioning recruiters to be most effective with hiring managers, and more. The specific (final) takeaways would emerge from our discovery session.

After the on-site training session, TalentSum and your team of leaders would debrief and determine together where you would like us to focus dedicated coaching support for the team.

When doing training or trying to shift an organization’s culture, it is good to discuss and get buy-in, but there must be some tangible actions as a follow on from the session.

You might also want to coordinate follow up “dedicated” coaching sessions over a 30-day period (to start after the training session) to support learning and apply new skills from training for all staff.

The follow up coaching sessions could be made available to all designated staff members and would focus on real-world, practical problem solving and will focus on putting incremental improvements into practice at your organization.

TalentSum could deliver the incremental and dedicated support with TalentSum Pro, our on-call, talent acquisition support plan where we make ourselves available through ad-hoc breakout sessions, weekly check-ins, and support via phone, text, email, Slack/Asana or other. You could partner with TalentSum either through a monthly retainer – or we could simply bill down to the minute and invoice your company for all support work through the term.

See also: Modernize Talent Acquisition with TalentSum Pro

To close out the effort, we would be in a position to deliver a best practice playbook for recruiters. Since we are involved from discovery through delivery and past support, we could compile a unified process for partnering in a consultative manner with hiring managers. This “leave behind” playbook could be pulled together during the 30 days of coaching support and would be used to provide the recruiters with an “optimal” process and framework to help them function more as a “consultant” when working with hiring managers.

In this case, TalentSum could deliver an affordable, fully-customized, consultative recruiter training program that solves all your problems within about 45 days. In fact, this would be more than training. It would be actual change. 

Need our help?

[note title=””]If you want better alignment between recruiters and hiring managers, TalentSum can help. Our approach can deliver better results for less.[/note]





Christopher Mengel is the founder of TalentSum LLC, a strategic talent acquisition consultancy and best practices implementation firm. Some of the world’s most notable companies partner with TalentSum to activate a strong employer brand, attract more people who fit, improve engagement and experiences, and deliver high-performing cultures.

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How to Design a Consultative Recruiter Training Program to Improve Alignment Between Recruiter and Hiring Manager
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