Tailoring Communication to AudienceI have surveyed the hiring leaders of several healthcare organizations regarding the process and quality of their relationship with their recruiters. For this project, we use the Lean Human Capital by HealthcareSource validated online assessment tool — the Hiring Manager’s Assessment of the Recruitment Team (HMART) to analyze results and compare the team’s feedback against the national industry benchmark.

According to our benchmarks, Communication is the lowest-scoring dimension of the five key dimensions measured, scoring a rating of 5.5 out of 7.0. When you think about this, it should not come as a surprise.

Consider all of the relationships you have: significant other, friends, family members, co-workers, customers, the list goes on. When you take the time to understand how everyone prefers to communicate, you will significantly impact the quality and productivity of these relationships. While it may be difficult at first, do your best to abide by an  individual’s preferred communication style.

The same rule of thumb applies to the hiring manager and recruiter relationship. Everyone you work with has a very different idea of what “good communication” with a recruiter looks like. Some hiring managers prefer regular, in-person meetings. Others may appreciate updates weekly in an email. Texting is a great way to handle a quick Q&A. Skype and video conferencing are terrific ways to bring that face time into the relationship, especially if you’re a recruiter who works remotely.

The key here is to discuss with each of your hiring managers what communication will look like during your working partnership. I recommend that you discuss the following, in great detail, from the get-go:

  • How often should we meet, weekly or bi-monthly?
  • When can it be virtual and how often should I visit your department?
  • What should we discuss if you need more detail beyond what the applicant tracking system provides?
  • What is your comfort level with receiving a weekly report that identifies where candidates are in the process?
  • What is a reasonable response time if you have an urgent question?
  • What can I do as your recruiter to provide the best customer service possible?

As the recruiter, it is also your responsibility to enter into a  service level agreement that outlines how communications will vary based your workload. The more hiring managers you’re supporting, and the more open requisitions you’re handling, the more you have to limit how frequently you proactively communicate.

Remote recruiters have to get creative when tailoring communications to their hiring managers. I see several successful organizations who require recruiters meet onsite minimally once per quarter, using a formal agenda. Bi-monthly, virtual meetings keep everyone aligned on the process and help address any barriers or roadblocks to accomplishing mutual objectives.

Bottom line? Effective communication is the key to building successful relationships whether they’re personal or work-related. Get started on tailoring yours, today!


To learn more about how to optimize your healthcare recruiting strategy, request registration information about the Recruiter Academy to discover how your organization can embark on a healthcare recruitment transformation journey.

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Deb Vargovick

About Deb Vargovick

Deb Vargovick is a Senior Consultant at Lean Human Capital by HealthcareSource. As a Certified Lean Six Sigma Green Belt (ICGB) recruitment professional, Deb helps build optimized talent acquisition organizations within healthcare systems. Deb began working with Lean techniques in 1994 while at The Walt Disney Company. Prior to joining Lean Human Capital, she was the manager of talent selection at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit. Deb received her B.A. in Business from Michigan State University and is newly obsessed with Pickleball.