The Hiring Manager: A Full Guide

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In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the hiring manager. What exactly is a hiring manager, what’s the difference with a recruiter, their role in the recruitment process, and what kind of responsibilities does a hiring manager have? Here goes!   

Content
What is a hiring manager? 
Hiring manager vs. recruiter
The role of the hiring manager in the recruitment process
Hiring manager responsibilities 
Hiring manager salary 
Wrapping up
FAQ

What is a hiring manager?

The hiring manager is the future manager of the employee. He or she is the person who is hiring the new employee into the company, hence: hiring manager. The hiring manager also initiates the job requisition and owns the vacant position.  

In startups and SMEs, the hiring manager will often be the company’s CEO as there won’t be a lot of different teams yet. In larger organizations, the hiring manager can be any employee who runs a team or department.

The manager works together with the recruiter on hiring the new employee. The recruiter focuses on the operational and admin part of the process while the hiring manager makes the actual decision. 

Hiring manager vs. recruiter

The hiring manager is often confused with a recruiter. However, these are different roles. 

  • The hiring manager is the future manager of the new hire. He or she is also the one who initiates and owns the vacant position as well as the final decision-maker; the hiring manager is the one who eventually gets to say who gets hired and who doesn’t. 
  • The recruiter is in charge of identifying, attracting, and (pre) selecting suitable candidates. 

The fact that the hiring manager has the final decision power can sometimes cause tension between them and the recruiter. More often than not, managers tend to be in a rush when it comes to hiring new people into their team. Rather than patiently waiting for a full slate of candidates to interview, they’re eager to jump into interview mode as soon as the first people apply.

Recruiters, on the other hand, want to be able to properly assess candidates, follow the first steps of the recruitment process, and fill a slate before they present a selection of potential hires to the hiring manager. It is, therefore, up to the recruiter to ‘manage’ the hiring manager and to convince them not to rush things when it comes to interviewing (and hiring) a new employee.

Rather than thinking of both roles in terms of hiring manager vs. recruiter though, you should think of them as two allies, sitting at the same side of the table.  

The role of the hiring manager in the recruitment process

As mentioned, the hiring manager is the one who initiates the recruitment process when he or she requests an employee to fill an open position. They are usually also the ones finalizing the process when they decide which candidate gets hired. 

In-between the beginning and the end of the recruitment process the manager is in close contact with the recruiter. Depending on the size of the organization and whether or not you have an in-house recruitment team, this can be a freelance recruiter or someone from a specialized headhunting firm or agency.

The first thing that needs to happen when a vacancy pops up, is to make a formal request to create a new position in the company in the form of a job requisition.       

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Once this requisition is approved, it’s time for the vacancy intake. This is where the recruiter sits down with the hiring manager to understand as much as possible about the vacant position.    

As a hiring manager, the information you want to make sure you give your recruiter during the vacancy intake includes:  

  • What makes THIS role more interesting for the ideal candidate than the same position in another organization?
  • What does good performance in this role look like?
  • How will the new hire positively impact colleagues, clients, and so on if they perform better than average in this role?
  • What is the negative impact on colleagues, clients, et cetera if they do a lousy job?
  • What are the elements this specific target group seeks in a job and organization, and in terms of compensation and benefits?
  • Details like the hours per week, how much unpaid overtime, salary, and other benefits.
  • How do you want to fill the vacancy differently than the last time?
  • What personality, knowledge or skills would make your team stronger than it is today?

The clearer things will become for the recruiter during the vacancy intake, the better the job description they draft will reflect the reality of working for you as a manager. This, in turn, will have a positive impact on the fit of the candidates with both the job and the company culture. 

Once the job advert is out there, the ball is in the recruiter’s court. Now it’s up to them to work their attraction and (pre) selection magic. At this point, the hiring manager can expect at least a weekly update about the progress of their vacancy.   

Once the recruiter has found a (selection of) potential candidates which have successfully gone through the company’s pre-selection rounds, the manager will, of course, get the opportunity to interview them before a hiring decision gets made.

The successful candidate will get a job offer and if accepted, the employee onboarding process will be put in motion. 

Hiring manager

Hiring manager responsibilities 

Apart from he hiring manager’s more administrative responsibilities during the recruitment process, they’re responsible for the let’s called it people side of hiring too. This includes the following aspects.

  • Finding someone who truly fits in the team. As obvious as this may seem, the person-team fit has long been forgotten about. Managers often looked for the perfect individual for the job (and maybe the organization). Finding a candidate who’d truly add value to the team too wasn’t the standard yet. But hiring someone who brings experience, skills, or competencies to the table that the team currently lacks should be one of the hiring manager’s priorities. New hires should, of course, also fit in the team personality-wise.
    In a way, the manager is a bit like Danny Ocean (played by George Clooney) in the film Ocean’s Eleven. They need to build a team full of people with a unique talent and skillset that, despite everybody having wildly different backgrounds and personalities, works together perfectly.
  • Learning and development. The hiring manager is also responsible for the development of both the team as well as its individual members. Here too, the focus has long been on individuals and their learning and development journey. Ideally, though, the manager has a clear idea of the direction in which he or she would like to see their team develop itself – based on the organization’s business goals – and what this means for each team member in terms of L&D.
    Having a team L&D strategy is a real plus (not to say a must-have) when interviewing candidates since you’ll be able to tell them about their future development opportunities.
  • Coaching. A lot has been written about the evolving role of the manager from someone who is mainly telling people what to do and how to do it, to someone who guides and encourages their team both professionally and personally. In other words, that of a coach. When it comes to people’s learning and development, the manager plays an important role. Because most people, no matter how cutting-edge and easy to use your company’s L&D program is, need a little encouragement to start a course or training. Even more so when they need to go out of their comfort zone. As a manager, it’s your job to truly know your team and spot development opportunities where they haven’t. If they’re hesitant, it’s up to you to give them a friendly nudge that will lead them to grow further.
  • Employee wellbeing. Of course, watching over the physical and mental wellbeing of the team has always been one of the responsibilities of the manager. The recent COVID-19 pandemic has, however, further emphasized the importance of employee wellbeing. The fact that people work remotely creates new challenges for managers in terms of, for instance, engagement, camaraderie, and employee experience. As many employees will continue to work from home managers need to pay extra attention to how people are really doing.

The coaching and employee wellbeing aspect can feel a bit far-fetched. After all, they’re not directly linked to the hiring process. They do, however, have an impact on how your organization is perceived by candidates as an employer (i.e. your employer brand). If your company is known for always putting its people first – for instance through its peer coaching, peer mentoring, or employee wellness programs – this will positively affect your reputation among jobseekers. This, in turn, will make it easier to hire people.

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Hiring manager salary

The salary of a hiring manager can vary widely depending on the industry they work in, the size of their team and the organization they work for, their location, experience, and so on. 

Actual roles and responsibilities are very different from one company to another. It is, therefore, rather difficult to give a reasonable indication of a hiring manager salary. 

Wrapping up

A hiring manager’s job doesn’t stop once the new employee is on board. In fact, that’s when it starts. During the recruitment process, the manager is in close contact with the recruiter. The recruiter is in charge of identifying, attracting, and (pre) selecting candidates while the hiring manager is the one who gets the final say. Once the decision is made and the candidate hired, the manager plays a key role in making sure the new hire fits right in, both from a job, organization, and team perspective.

If you want to learn more about Strategic Recruitment, Data, Metrics, Employer Branding, and Recruitment Analytics, make sure to check out our Talent Acquisition Certification Program.

FAQ

What is a hiring manager?

The hiring manager is the future manager of the employee. He or she is the person who is hiring the new employee into the company, hence: hiring manager. The hiring manager also initiates the job requisition and owns the vacant position.  

Hiring manager vs. recruiter: what’s the difference?

The hiring manager is the future manager of the new hire. He or she is also the one who initiates and owns the vacant position as well as the final decision-maker while the recruiter is in charge of identifying, attracting, and (pre) selecting suitable candidates. 

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