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What Is a Hiring Manager?

Small businesses rely on hiring the right candidates to support long-term growth and success. Hiring managers are professionals who are responsible for identifying and hiring candidates during the hiring and recruitment process. This article defines the hiring manager’s title, their responsibilities and their role in the hiring process.

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What is a hiring manager?

A hiring manager is the individual responsible for hiring candidates for a job vacancy within their organization. They are often part of the human resources (HR) recruitment team and collaborate with recruiters and other HR managers. If an organization doesn’t delegate hiring to HR, the hiring manager is the manager of a department or team with an open job position.

For example, the manager of the marketing department would be responsible for hiring for an open marketing associate position. The hiring manager’s primary responsibility is to oversee the selection, interviews and hiring of candidates.

Important hiring manager skills

Hiring managers must possess a variety of skills that help them determine whether a candidate is well-suited to specific roles within the organization. These skills include:

  • Communication: They must be proficient in communicating with team members, as well as interviewing and building rapport with candidates.
  • Critical thinking: Hiring managers should be able to closely assess candidate suitability to the job description.
  • Time management: Organizations often receive many applicants, so time management is important to an efficient hiring process.
  • Industry expertise: Hiring managers should know exactly what their organization needs from new hires according to its context and industry.

Who are hiring managers vs recruiters?

The terms hiring manager and recruiter are often used interchangeably, but these roles serve different functions. Recruiters, also members of the hiring and recruiting team, are tasked with promoting the job, attracting applicants and prescreening candidates. Hiring managers initiate the hiring process and are responsible for interviewing, selecting and onboarding candidates.

Related: Recruitment Tips: Concept Every Hiring Manager Should Know

What does a hiring manager do?

Hiring managers are generally responsible for identifying job openings and hiring suitable candidates. This involves screening and interviewing applicants, as well as negotiating with and hiring individuals. Hiring managers are also often tasked with organizing new hire onboarding and strategizing employee retention strategies.

Daily tasks

The day-to-day tasks of a hiring manager include:

  • Identifying open jobs and their requirements
  • Crafting well-defined job descriptions
  • Delegating tasks to and overseeing the hiring and recruiting team
  • Determining and implementing an interview process
  • Selecting qualified candidates and making formal job offers
  • Negotiating job and contract details with selected candidates
  • Managing the new-hire onboarding process
  • Analyzing hiring process for improved promotion, selection and retention strategies

The role of the hiring manager in the hiring process

Hiring managers and their teams collaborate during the hiring process. While they play an important role, hiring managers usually only perform functions for part of the process and oversee others for the rest. Their overall goal is to find a new employee who best matches the job description, the team and the overall organization.

Initiating hiring process

It’s the hiring manager’s job to identify roles within the organization to hire for, whether it’s as a member of the HR department or as the manager of another department or team. Hiring managers make formal requests to create or fill a position within the organization, initiating the hiring process.

Define candidate criteria and job details

Hiring managers analyze the vacant position and communicate the details and expectations of the role to recruiters. This includes information, such as:

  • Job title, duties and responsibilities
  • Required skills and experience
  • Important individual qualities and traits
  • Performance expectations for the job
  • Details, such as hours, pay and benefits
  • Industry and job market information relating to candidate preferences and trends

The hiring manager may write a job description or delegate the task to a recruiter after passing on the necessary information. Providing clear and detailed information to recruiters helps inform their recruiting process. When the hiring manager provides recruiters with job-specific details, they can align their recruitment process to find the best-matched candidates.

Screen and interview

Prescreening tasks are often given to recruiters and other hiring team associates. Once they filter out the best-matched resumes and create a shortlist, the hiring manager reviews each candidate’s resume.

Depending on the volume of resumes, hiring managers may perform screening or preliminary interview calls or meetings themselves or delegate them to other hiring team members. Hiring managers are present for later interviews, either leading interviews alone or with a panel of interviewers.

Following each screening and interviewing step, hiring managers collect feedback and input from the hiring team for respective candidates. It’s important that hiring managers are involved in all stages of screening and interviewing to build a relationship with candidates and get to know them better.

Read more: How to Conduct a Job Interview

Hire and onboard

Other managers may provide input, but the hiring manager is usually the decision-maker when it comes to which candidates to offer jobs to. Once they make a job offer, they may need to negotiate certain terms or aspects of the job, such as compensation or contract details.

Once a candidate accepts the job offer, the hiring manager begins the new hire onboarding process, meaning they provide new employees with an orientation and training plan. They also formalize the job description and provide a copy to the new employee, along with documents, such as tax forms and employee manuals.

Hiring manager FAQs

Is the hiring manager responsible for the new hire decision?

Hiring managers typically make decisions about which candidates to hire, although they may be assisted by other members of the organization. They benefit from getting input from team members who are directly involved with hiring or consulting with members of the department where the job vacancy exists. If new hires are unsuccessful, the hiring manager should analyze their process to improve hiring strategies.

How do hiring managers negotiate salary?

Hiring managers can use a few tools to negotiate strategy. Before recruiters promote an open job position, hiring managers should research average and expected salary ranges for comparable jobs. Prior to making a formal job offer, know how much you’re willing to offer and be prepared to offer non-salary benefits or incentives. While compensating employees fairly is important, hiring somebody above your organization’s budget often hurts its profit margins. If candidates are asking above the maximum salary range, consider whether you’re willing to offer more or want to move on to the next candidate.

What does the hiring process look like?

Organizations use a step-by-step hiring process to find well-aligned candidates. The phases of this process are planning, recruitment and selection. Broken down into steps, the hiring process looks like this:

  1. Research and analysis
  2. Write a job description
  3. Marketing and promotion
  4. Reach out to passive candidates
  5. Review applications
  6. Screen candidates
  7. Conduct interviews
  8. Negotiate with and hire candidates
  9. Onboard employee
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