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How to Be a Great Hiring Manager

May 21, 2015

hiring-managerAs one of the most integral pieces of any organization, the hiring manager can really make or break a company. The type of new hires they bring through the door has a massive impact on the success an organization can have. If they’re skilled, hard working employees, the organization will thrive, but if they’re lacking in motivation, experience, or ability, the organization will suffer. The hiring manager helps determine what recruiters look for, what the hiring criteria are, and ultimately whether or not a candidate will turn into an employee. Because of the important role the hiring manager plays, it is important to understand what separates the average hiring manager from the great hiring managers.

Determine Your Hiring Team

Even the best hiring manager can’t handle the entire hiring process themselves, so one of the most critical aspects of hiring is figuring out which internal partners are going to be a part of that process. From recruiters to HR, from department chairs to executive staff, many individuals may want to be able to give their two cents on potential new hires, but not everybody that wants a piece of the hiring pie can get one. An effective hiring manager will whittle down their hiring team to the correct number; too few and you may not get a comprehensive look at candidates, too many and there will be bottlenecks in the process. Making sure the right people are given access to the applicants as they go through the interview is a crucial step.

Balance External and Internal Hiring

When a position within their organization opens up, a great hiring manager will always look internally first. If there is a perfectly qualified individual already within the organization, pulling them up to this new position eliminates costs associated with searching, recruiting and onboarding an external candidate. However, there needs to exist a balance here, the desire to decrease these costs cannot overwhelm the need to place quality candidates into these roles. A great hiring manager knows when there is not a viable internal candidate and when to begin searching externally.

Remain Present While Looking Forward

The hiring manager is responsible for making decisions that will affect the organization both immediately as well as down the road. For this reason, a great hiring manager will balance their duties between attending to the immediate needs of the company in terms of hiring as well as keep an eye on the future. This includes the direction the organization is headed, as well as more global factors such as the industry as a whole, the economy, and the incoming generation of workers. Being able to perform their immediate duties of ensuring quality employees are brought into the organization at the present while making sure their hiring practices remain fluid with the ever changing landscape of the workforce is the mark of a truly great hiring manager.

There is no single quality that will make a hiring manager more or less effective than another. Rather, a combination of several important factors, such as the ones listed here, will contribute towards making a hiring manager more likely to distinguish themselves as great.

The Ultimate Hiring Manager’s Guide

Greg Kedenburg Greg Kedenburg is an I/O Psychologist who previously worked for PSI. He is living and working in Chicago, IL.