SmartRecruiters Blog

6 Traits of Wildly Successful Hiring Managers

There are all kinds of recruiters; corporate recruiters, agency recruiters, tech recruiters, social recruiters, freelance recruiters….this is starting to sound like that scene from “Forrest Gump” where Bubba was talking about the many ways to cook shrimp. Anyway, these recruiters ultimately work with the hiring manager, who then interviews and makes the final hiring decision. So what does it take to make a great hiring decision? As the resident HR pro, who is still heavily involved with successfully navigating the job market, let me share with you the 6 Traits of Wildly Successful Hiring Managers.

1. Collaboration

Wildly Successful Hiring Managers make a conscious effort to collaborate with the recruiting department to create strategies to find, attract and retain the best possible workforce. They help with job descriptions, they scan resumes and provide feedback and they listen to their recruiting team. They provide all the applicant tracking systems, recruiting tools and resources necessary to perform the job at a high level.

2. Look Beyond the Resume

I can tell you from experience you can scan most resumes – and within 10 seconds – you can often tell if someone is serious about their career.  If you read covers letters – most people don’t – but if you read the cover letter, you can gain some valuable insight into the potential candidate’s communication, education and “style.” Effective Hiring Managers not only reads the resume and cover letters, but they look beyond them. Just as I can smell a bad resume a mile away, they can easily evaluate potential, passion and professionalism. Sometimes, they interview certain candidates that others wouldn’t because to find that diamond in the rough.

3. Act Quickly

When a Great Hiring Manager sees something within a candidate that they like, they quickly establish a connection and begin the screening process. They don’t procrastinate.

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They also make sure to keep highly desirable talent informed of their application status – they do this because sometimes, even Hiring Managers have bureaucracies and read tape to manage within the selection process. External and unforeseen circumstances sometimes derail a great candidate experience. A Wildly Successful Hiring Manager will keep the candidate updated and abreast of what going on. And if something causes them to lose out on the candidate they are BIG enough to handle the situation professionally.

4. Envision the Future

It’s difficult enough to hire for your current needs but a Wildly Successfully Hiring Manager understands how to hire talent for future needs too. When will your department need its next person? Which sourcing channels will attract the right talent? Hiring Managers have insight into the company’s direction, they know where the company is headed. They use all kinds of management meetings, workforce analytics, market forecasting and labor force predictors to determine what’s next and what’s needed from the team.

5. Sell, Sell, Sell

According author Daniel Pink, “We’re all in sales now.” Job candidates are told to sell themselves to the Hiring Mangers; well conversely Hiring Managers know how to sell their company to candidates. They do this through a variety of ways; first they know their company’s strengths and their competitor’s weaknesses. They know how to appeal the candidate’s true desire to be valued, to be respected, and to grow. Hiring Managers have a unique way of presenting the best situation to the perspective employee without lying or overpromising. They make the possibility of working with them so attractive that the applicant can’t say no. Learn to sell, folks.

6. Onboard Properly

The last trait that a Wildly Successful Hiring Manager understands is the importance of onboarding and orientation. Onboarding is processes in which a company acclimates its new employees into the organization. It’s hugely important that new employees feel like they are part of the team. So bringing them into the fold is critical to retention and ROI.

Let me give a quick example. True story of course, a good friend of mine started a new job in December of 2012. Her first day with the company was after the company’s Holiday Party. She was not only invited to the party (remember she had not work one day yet) but she was welcomed by all employees, and given the same gift that everyone else received. There were no seniority requirements, no probationary period; her healthcare benefits started on her first day of employment. She felt like she was part team immediately.

It’s not about the party – it’s about the treatment – she had a great first impression of her co-workers. Wildly Successful Hiring Mangers understand that’s how you bring someone into your company; you treat them like family – a good ole, happy, family.


chris fields
Chris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who also helps job seekers write great resumes. Photo Credit FreshBooks.

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform with everything you need to source talent, manage candidates, and make the right hires.

Chris Fields

Chris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who blogs and dispenses great (not just good) advice at Cost of Work & ResumeCrusade.