Hiring Manager

Hiring Success Glossary

What is a Hiring Manager?

Hiring managers are responsible for hiring an employee, or employees, to fill open positions in an organization. Hiring managers are typically people from the hiring department and often serve as the new hire’s future supervisor. 

Hiring managers work in coordination with their HR team, which supervises the interview and hiring processes. Ultimately, a hiring managers’ job is to hire the most qualified applicant for a given position.

What do Hiring Managers do?

Hiring managers are responsible for a wide range of tasks, including:

  • Identifying the staffing requirement for a new or open position
  • Obtaining requisite approvals from the department and corporate heads to open a job requisition
  • Crafting an accurate and detailed job description to attract the best candidates. In addition, recruiters will likely also use this description as a template for assessing the skills and qualifications of potential applicants
  • Defining roles and responsibilities for the hiring team
  • Managing the hiring team throughout the recruitment process
  • Setting expectations for the interview process
  • Serving as the point person and primary interviewer during the interview process. The Hiring Manager will often conduct the first interview after a candidate passes through the initial screening
  • Marketing new job opportunities internally and seeking employee referrals from peers and teams
  • Making the final hiring decision, pending executive approval
  • Notifying the recruiter if the position is withdrawn
  • Writing the job offer, and negotiating the terms of the employment contract with the chosen candidate

What do Hiring Managers look for?

Perhaps the most common thing hiring say they are looking for is “fit.” But “fit” is a vague term that lacks the specificity most job seekers look for. So what does “fit” actually entail? Some of it requires adding a unique perspective and skill set to an organization. Enthusiasm for a perspective role and organization certainly relates to “fit.” Another element of “fit” requires personality alignment with the team or organization you plan to join. 

But there’s more elements to fit that can be difficult to quantify. However, regardless of each organizations unique corporate culture, there are certain qualities--thorough preparation, professionalism, punctuality, etc.--that align with any company’s conception of “fit.” Therefore,  here are some suggestions of things you can do to help communicate to hiring managers that you are a good fit:

Understand the company culture

What is your future employer’s core values? What does the workplace environment look like? Is it casual, laid back, with an openness to working remotely, or is it more serious, professional, and buttoned-up? Understanding the company culture, moreover, requires you to research the company before your initial interview.

Do your research

You may not know who you will interview with, especially in an initial phone screening, but you should ask. If you find out with whom you will interview, research their background, experience, and role in the company. This should give you a better sense of what the hiring manager is looking for. If you are interviewing with multiple people, research each one, get a sense of their roles, and try to deduce what sorts of questions each will ask in your interview. The more prepared you are, the more you will appear like a good “fit.” Furthermore, conducting research will make sure that you ask the right questions in your interview, a key factor in demonstrating “fit.”

Talk to people with the organization

If you know someone who works at your perspective company, speak with them about the organization’s culture, work environment, and other aspects that might fall under “fit.” If you do not know anyone at the company, consider reaching out to employees in peer positions through networks like LinkedIn. 

Demonstrate the relevance of your experience

What better way to show you “fit,” than to clearly articulate how your experience and skill set will enhance an organization. Be specific, in this regard. Try to offer a few detailed examples of how your past experiences will translate to success in your new role. 

Practice your interview skills

Organizations use a wide range of interview formats. Contact the recruiter or HR representative ahead of your interview and inquire about the interview format. From there, leverage your research into the company and relevant employees to conceive of potential interview questions.  From there, rehearse those questions in an actual interview format. Ask a friend to play the role of the interviewer and answer each of their questions out loud to work out any issues with your vocal delivery.

What do Hiring Managers Wish You Knew?

The internet is full of articles and blog posts offering lists of things hiring managers wish applicants knew ahead of their interview. Here’s a list of the most common things from those publications:

  1. Organizations have already researched you before your interview.
  2. Pay attention to details; they matter.
  3. Organizations look for “red flags.” For example, hiring teams check your social media accounts.
  4. Asking the right questions to show you understand the company.
  5. Save the negotiations for the offer letter, no sooner.
  6. Hiring managers check references.
  7. Don’t be late for anything during the interview process.

Hiring Managers vs. Recruiters

People often conflate hiring managers and recruiters. While both are involved in the hiring process, their tasks are complementary rather than overlapping.

Recruiters are responsible for building a strong pool of qualified applicants for a given position. Hiring managers are then responsible for identifying and hiring the most qualified applicant from that pool. 

The job of a good recruiter, therefore, is to make the hiring decision a very hard one for the hiring manager. By assembling a list of only the best applicants, moreover, recruiters eliminate the risk of bringing an unqualified job seeker into the corporate fold. 

In addition to identifying the strongest candidate, hiring managers serve as the point person between the applicants and the organization, especially during contract negotiations. Furthermore, in the event that the hiring manager deems none of the candidates sufficient, it is their job to notify the recruiter to compile another applicant pool.

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