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What Is a Hiring Manager?
A hiring manager is the department manager who will be the candidate’s manager once they are hired. The hiring manager coordinates with the HR team to make sure positions are filled quickly and effectively while hiring people who are most qualified and will best fit your organizational culture.
In larger companies, a hiring manager may be a specific role within the HR department.
Hiring Manager vs Recruiter
Recruiters are important to the hiring process, but their role is distinct from the hiring manager. The recruiter is responsible for building the largest pool possible of highly qualified applicants. The hiring manager then identifies the candidates they want to interview.
What Do Hiring Managers Do?
Hiring managers oversee the hiring process and make the final decision. Their responsibilities may include:
- Identify open positions. The manager of a department recognizes a gap in skills or staffing and notifies HR that they’d like to open a position.
- Create job descriptions. They identify the skills and qualifications that the new hire will need. They, or the HR staff involved, write the job description, which includes the tasks, responsibilities, and requirements of the position.
- Delegate roles. Especially when a hiring or HR team has multiple people, the hiring manager delegates the roles and responsibilities. This means delegating who is in charge of each part of the recruiting, screening, interviewing and hiring processes.
- Manage the team. Throughout the screening and hiring process, the hiring manager oversees the team, including setting goals and meeting a timeline.
- Primary interviewer. After the initial screening, the hiring manager often decides on the type and number of interviews and conducts them.
- Make a final decision. The hiring manager is central in helping to decide whom to hire. In some companies, the hiring manager may not be the only decision-maker, but in every company, they will have a large say.
- Write the job offer. The hiring manager writes the job offer and negotiates any terms with the candidate.
- Close job opening. After the position has been offered (or withdrawn from hiring), the hiring manager communicates with the HR team to end the process and plan the next steps.
What the Best Hiring Managers Are Like
Hiring managers are great at looking beyond themselves and their desk. If you’re interested in this role, see if you have (or can develop) these qualities and skills.
- Communication. To hire the best candidates, a hiring manager must collaborate and communicate effectively with department managers, HR colleagues, and candidates.
- Time management. The hiring manager is responsible for many tasks (team management, multiple interviews, etc.), and needs to be able to efficiently execute all the needed tasks in a timely manner.
- Delegation. A hiring manager doesn’t need to do everything themselves. They should be able to effectively delegate roles and tasks to other team members.
- Team management. As hiring manager delegates, it’s important they keep the team accountable and follow up. They will not only need to set expectations but make sure goals and deadlines are set.
- Flexibility. Maybe a great candidate doesn’t have all the qualifications, or maybe they want something a little different than the job description. Be flexible and open-minded when hiring, as most jobs can be tailored to fit the right individual.
- Good interviewer. This can mean many different things. It means coming prepared with specific questions, paying attention to the candidate, asking good questions with follow-up, etc. Specifically, become a pro at remote interviewing. Remote interviewing is a preferred or required option at times. Remote interviewing skills help the candidate feel comfortable and successfully assess their qualifications and skills.
- Personable. Being personable will make the candidate more comfortable and allow you to establish a connection sooner. Establishing a connection builds trust and opens the door for honesty, allowing you to find the best fit.
- Commitment. Be committed to your company’s goals and values as you hire. Hiring a candidate who aligns with those goals promotes better retention and satisfaction. Similarly, make a commitment to build a diverse team.
How to Become a Hiring Manager
While some companies consider the department manager who will supervise the new hire to be the hiring manager, in other companies, a hiring manager is a specific HR role. If you are interested in becoming a hiring manager of either type, here are some steps to help you reach that goal.
Step 1: Gain Experience
Any experience in HR can lead to hiring manager opportunities, but it isn’t required. Having a lot of experience with the company will also help you be more qualified and better suited to find the best candidates.
Step 2: Exemplify the Culture
Exemplify the company’s culture and values. The company will only put people who follow the company’s values in charge of hiring other people.
Step 3: Get Certifications
This is a step you can do outside of work to qualify you to be part of the hiring process. You can get certifications—usually HR-related certifications, like a SHRM-CP—to learn more and show that you are qualified.
Step 4: Apply for Management Positions
If you are a manager or in a higher HR position, becoming a hiring manager is a natural step up.
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Katie is currently studying at BYU, with a HRM major and Statistics minor. She works there as an HR research assistant and also works as an HR Generalist at a local company, and both jobs provide her with a wide variety of experiences. Katie’s passion lies in HR and People Analytics, where she can discover and use data to help everyone understand and improve the workplace for a universal benefit.
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