I am a recently promoted team lead in the IT Security team at my workplace. We are planning to expand headcount on the team in Q1 of next year and are currently waiting budget approval from senior management. These roles are highly specialized such as DevSecOps engineers and SDET.

In following the advice given in answer to linked question, my manager and I finalized a list of boutique recruiting companies that specialize in placing candidates in the cybersecurity, IT audit, and governance professions. We recognized that our required skill sets in candidates are not easy to find. We are also somewhat overwhelmed at this time with other projects, so we want to request the services of a recruitment firm specializing in matching candidates in a niche industry to employers. I have members of my professional network working at these firms, and I trust their feedback enough to be comfortable in recommending the companies as vendors to us.

However, our company has a strict policy that all new vendor relationships must be approved by Procurement and Legal departments and a contract signed. It has being close to a month since our team requested they review and sign off on the proposed contract. Despite several follows ups (even in person), we still have not received approval, impeding our recruitment efforts.

These new positions will directly report to me, and I suspect delay may be due to me being relatively new in a management role. From my experience, other teams' requests for contract approvals were relatively painless.

Question: As a new team lead, how can I exert influence to request that approval be quickened / request be given sufficient consideration? I prefer not to involve my manager if at all possible.

  • According to your question, what has been stymied is not the actual hiring, but the contracting of resources to help with it. If you can't get approval to use external resources in recruiting, perhaps you should research and approach promising candidates yourself. As someone directly aware of the work that needs to be done, you are ultimately in a far better position to do this than any external resource, and candidates are far more likely to respond to outreach from an actual hiring manager compared to that from an external recruiter. Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 5:59

3 Answers 3


You need to be aware of one thing. You said you are newly promoted team lead, i.e. the new kid on the block. It is kind of expected from people who don't know you as the decision making authority to question the decisions and ask around if what you are saying really holds water.

Also, putting a recruitment firm on retainer to find you hard to locate talent is not the same thing as asking for an additional two headcounts and filling those. There are other considerations, which are not cheap if the decision is reached hastily, without proper due diligence.

I am not quite sure why you can not involve the management in this decision. Obviously you sat down with the said manager and came up with a plan. While you are running with the play, I think it is best to keep said manager abreast of the progress or lack thereof. They might know someone or can tell you something about the wording of your communications, which might make the process easier. Remember, the manager is at that level because, this person knows the business more than you do. What is the harm in asking for opinions ?

As a lead engineer in my company's cybersecurity platforms, I know how slow the wheels turn. And I have no shame asking my manager to push things through the management channels, when I feel plugged up for a reason I can not make heads or tails of. If you fail without asking for management help, which will most likely to be the case, nobody will say anything about your manager choking the pooch. They will say you were the incompetent person. But if you involve management and at least keep them in the loop, when someone asks you a question why this thing is not coming along, you have a trail of ignorance you are getting from everyone in the organization.

I know proving yourself and not asking for help for what you perceive as small things, sound prudent, but in large environments, there is no room for that. The gears will chew you up and spit you out like yesterdays newspaper, if you don't CYA. Get with the program.


As with any proposal, you need to provide a business case as to why this should be done sooner. Why do you need this contract approved sooner? What is the business benefit of having this now? How does this save money/increase revenue, directly or indirectly? The value to the business of the contract and its earlier execution is what you need to be able to present to your stakeholders.

The first rule of being in a managerial role is to be able to pitch to those who you report to why you need the resources you do. If you can't quantitatively prove that you need the contract approval sooner, then you most likely haven't thought it through.

Take some time, run some numbers that explain your case and put that forward. If it's a convincing enough argument, then I'm sure your employer will pay attention to it and approve your contract sooner :)

  • 1
    +1 for the business case as an argument. I'd also point out that OP mentioned they have members of their professional network in those firms and if their employer is really strict regarding vendor policies, this might be a potential factor slowing down the process, since Procurement and Legal need to be extra careful in due diligence to bulletproof the case against conflict of interest allegations. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 7:38

Contacts, communication, building relationships, explaining your circumstances to those in the teams you need approval from.

Also you cannot exclude your manager, usually you CC them in your communications, or at least your manager knows you are doing it.

  • Yea it guess its kind of complicated using double negatives. I meant you must include your manager. Commented Oct 15, 2019 at 0:09

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