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Discover everything you need to know about this key role within a recruitment team. From crafting inclusive job descriptions to holding interviews, a hiring manager is integral to successful recruitment.
What is a hiring manager?
A hiring manager is the person within your organization whose department or team the new candidate will join. They could be the VP of Finance, Marketing Manager, or any other role within a company—but they’re the person who needs a new employee on their team.
In addition to their regular job duties, the hiring manager has vital responsibilities when it comes to recruiting and is usually the person with the final say as to which applicant gets hired.
What does a hiring manager do?
Once their job requisition is approved, a hiring manager will collaborate with the talent acquisition or HR team to recruit for the open position. While the hiring manager will make specific decisions around screening, interviewing, and hiring—HR staff will generally run the process.
Hiring manager vs. recruiter
Both hiring managers and recruiters need to be involved to bring on a new hire successfully, but their specific responsibilities are quite different. A hiring manager will have a deep understanding of what the newly advertised role entails, but they’re not an HR expert. They won’t necessarily know how or where to search for qualified talent or how the candidate journey pans out. That’s where the recruiter comes in.
The role of a recruiter is to help ensure the entire hiring process runs smoothly—from both the company’s and the candidate’s point of view. The responsibilities of a recruiter may vary but often include crafting inclusive job descriptions, advertising open positions, sourcing qualified candidates, performing initial phone screens, scheduling interviews, and ensuring the candidate journey is optimized. Recruiters also often monitor key recruiting metrics and help the team stick to the targeted hiring timeline.
What is the role of a hiring manager in the recruitment process?
Depending on the size and structure of an organization, there can be a degree of overlap between the responsibilities of a hiring manager and that of a recruiter. But typically, the hiring manager will be responsible for the following steps in the recruitment process:
Opening a job requisition
When a team member leaves or additional support is required for their team, the hiring manager can submit a job requisition. Once this is approved by senior management, the hiring manager can start liaising with the Human Resources department.
Coordinating with HR to write a job description
While the hiring manager may have a deep understanding of what the new job entails—they probably don’t know how to create an inclusive job description. And that’s where the recruiter steps in. They’ll be able to take the information and key competencies for the role to write a suitable description for the new position and advertise it through appropriate channels.
Working with HR to select qualified candidates for interviews
Once HR has advertised the role and screened qualified candidates, the hiring manager will usually be brought back into the loop at this point. Together, the recruiter and hiring manager will review candidates’ applications and shortlist who will be invited to interview.
Leading the interview team
Hiring managers might know what skills they want their new team member to have—but they might not know how to run an inclusive interview process. Recruiters may offer tips and advice regarding equitable interviewing techniques, remind hiring managers what questions they cannot legally ask candidates, or train the hiring team to use intelligent interviewing technology.
Making the final hiring decision
While the interview team is often composed of someone from HR, the hiring manager, and various stakeholders who would work with the role being interviewed, it’s usually up to the hiring manager to make the final decision. They may review candidate scorecards from the extended hiring team, or ask the recruiter for advice when choosing the best applicant for the new position. The hiring manager will coordinate with the HR team to make the job offer, negotiate salary and benefits, and decide on a start date.
Onboarding their new team member
After a job offer is accepted, the hiring manager is responsible for developing a relationship with the new employee, helping them ramp up and get acclimated to the position. Often, the hiring manager will help the new hire develop a 30-60-90 day plan that outlines the goals for the first 90 days on the job.
Qualities of a great hiring manager
While many of the hiring manager’s skills will be linked to their job-specific duties, there are some soft skills that can make the difference between an average hiring manager and a great hiring manager.
Hiring managers need to balance their day-to-day responsibilities with the additional work required by the recruitment process. The hiring process can be negatively affected by delays, such as the hiring manager forgetting to approve the job description. Or, if it is difficult to arrange interviews with the hiring manager, candidates may lose interest or accept a position elsewhere.
Communication and interpersonal skills
Regular, open communication between the hiring manager and HR department is essential for a successful hiring process. These skills are also important for conducting impactful, inclusive interviews.
The best hiring managers understand the critical role that recruiters and HR play in creating a positive candidate experience. They’ll be happy to collaborate openly and frequently as they work together to find—and secure—the best candidate for the role.
The pivotal role of hiring managers
They might not be a member of the HR team—but the hiring manager has a critical role within the overall hiring process. As the person who will ultimately become the manager of the new hire, their opinion matters. A lot. After all, they’re generally the person with the most at stake when it comes to hiring the right candidate for the role.