A hiring manager is person within a company who has a vacancy in their team and is actively looking to fill it. Hiring managers come in many forms, from restaurant owners looking for waiters, to CEOs looking for finance managers.
If you are applying to a job, the hiring manager will make the final decision on whether to hire you or not, and will usually be your direct supervisor once you start the job.
What does a hiring manager do?
During the recruitment process, hiring managers complete a range of activities to ensure they hire the right person for their team:
- Identifying the need for new hires within their team
- Creating new job descriptions and candidate requirements for vacancies
- Briefing recruiters and team members to explain the candidate profiles to look for
- Reviewing short-listed candidates’ CVs, skills and experience
- Rejecting candidates who do not have the skills and experience required
- Selecting candidates to invite for interview
- Requesting that the recruiter looks for more candidates if needed
- Taking part in the interview and assessment process
- Making the final decision on who gets hired
- Being involved in investigation if a poor appointment is made
What do hiring managers look for in a CV?
Once the recruiters and team members have shortlisted a number of candidates, those CVs go to the hiring manager to be considered for interview. Hiring managers review the CVs and are looking for:
- Clear evidence of skills that match the vacancy requirements
- Relevant experience from previous jobs that demonstrate capacity to do the job
- A well tailored profile or personal statement which explains why the candidate is suitable for the job.
- Essential qualifications needed to perform the role
- Quantified achievements which prove the contributions the candidate has made in previous roles
- Evidence of a good fit for their organisation
- A well written CV that is easy-to-read and looks professional through its layout and formatting
Do hiring managers read cover letters?
Hiring managers and recruiters will read cover letters – especially when the note is sent directly to them, and they will often decide whether or not they chose to read the attached CV. So, it’s important to write a tailored cover note which gives a brief outline of your suitability for the role and explain why the hiring manager should consider your application.
Do hiring managers look at LinkedIn?
Hiring managers use LinkedIn to search for new candidates and to find out whether the candidates on the shortlist really have the skills and experience they are looking for. Many hiring managers will now look at LinkedIn as a shortcut to get a more rounded picture of candidates.
For this reason, it is always a good idea to have an up-to-date LinkedIn profile which reflects your most in-demand skills and impressive achievements.
Unless applicants have limited the visibility of their posts/shares then as well as seeing profile information, hiring managers can see articles/posts candidates have written or commented on. This enables hiring managers to get a feel for the wider interests and activities of a candidate and whether they might fit well in the team. If some candidates have already followed the recruiting organisation, then that might be a helpful indication of genuine interest.
How hiring managers make decisions
Hiring Managers decide which candidates to hire based on suitability for the job in question and overall match for the company. There are many different elements of information gathering to enable them to make these decisions:
- Applicant screening process– reviewing CVs, cover letters and candidate’s general attitude during the process.
- Interview performance – How well the candidate did at interview stage – did they make a good impression and back up claims in their CV?
- Interview scoring systems – provide a quantitative picture of how well the candidate performed in interview
- Feedback from interview panel – If the hiring manager was not present at interview, they will gather feedback from the interview team
- Feedback from other staff – reception/administration staff can assess candidates on their courtesy or level of interest in the company
- Practical assessments – a computer/practical task may be added into the interview process to test practical skills for job specific functions.
- Informal assessments – a lunch/social activity may be arranged to observe how candidates fit in with the team atmosphere
How to find out who the hiring manager is for a job
Identifying and naming a hiring manager for a role can be challenging but is worth doing, in order to build a relationship with the decision maker.
- Search for information on their company website
- Look up the organisation and employees on LinkedIn
- Scan the job advert for contact details
- Speak to people in your network
- Call and ask (cautiously)
How to contact a hiring manager on LinkedIn
Reaching out to a hiring manager on LinkedIn is a good way to demonstrate genuine interest in working for them and get to the top of the shortlist:
- Re-read the job advert to make sure they don’t request candidates NOT to make contact directly.
- Ideally you want to find a colleague or connection who can give you a personal introduction via LinkedIn, but if that isn’t possible it is still worth a direct approach.
- Write in a personable but professional manner
- Keep the message professional, specific and brief
- Tell them that you have applied for a role X at their organisation
- Share one highlight from your CV which is a good match for the skills/experience they are looking for
- Add one thing about their organisation that really impressed you
Hiring manager VS recruiter
Hiring Managers and Recruiters work together to find the best candidate for the vacancy, but they both have specific and different roles to play in the process.
Hiring managers are the people who will actually hire the successful person into their team and be their boss once the hire starts. They usually have more hands-off role in the recruitment process, reviewing shortlisted CVs and attending final interviews.
Recruiters manage the recruitment process from start to finish and have a more hands-on role, creating job adverts, reviewing all CVs, speaking to hopeful candidates and sending a shortlist of candidates to the hiring manager. Recruiters can work internally within the company, or through external agencies.
Finding the best candidate for any position requires both the objective expertise and extensive connections of the recruiter, along with the in-depth organizational knowledge of the hiring manager
In the best organisations, recruiters and hiring managers work closely together, communicating clearly in their determination to seek out the best candidate for the role.