Hiring Hiring Managers – The Right Fit Matters


Hiring hiring managers is probably not something that you’ve thought a lot about, but getting the right fit for this crucial position can have a huge impact in your recruitment process. Here are just a few areas where your hiring manager can make or break your hiring:

  • Determining staffing requirements for new or replacement positions
  • Identifying job requirements and skills needed – possibly even writing job descriptions
  • Often the first interviewer after the candidate is screened
  • Sets expectations for the interview process and defines roles and responsibilities for the hiring team
  • May market job opportunities internally, including employee referrals
  • Often owns the final hiring decision

Depending on the size of your organization, the hiring manager may have a lot of additional duties too. That’s why hiring hiring managers is such a crucial responsibility. A bad sales manager might impact your bottom line when their department misses their numbers, but the mistakes that hiring managers make can be much more impactful and more difficult to correct.

Every hire that your hiring managers make impacts the future effectiveness of your employees and the culture of your company. When a hiring manager is miss-aligned with your company culture, then the people they hire will also be miss-aligned with your company culture. When a hiring manager is inexperienced, then their hires may also lack experience. When a hiring manager is only out to make themselves look good, by comparison, then they will only hire people who aren’t skilled enough to steal the spotlight.

Great hires are made by people with a great understanding for the role and a desire to make the hire who will do the best work possible in that role. Bad hires are made by people who do not understand the role they’re hiring for and people who make assumptions (positive or negative) about candidates.

When hiring hiring managers, you need managers who have the best interests of your company at heart, not someone who thinks they have a magic system. You need someone who cares about making good hires, not getting their manager off their back.

When it’s time to hire your next hiring manager, you need to be sure that they are:

  • Experienced
  • Relationship Focused
  • Responsible


For any role, a candidate with a great amount of experience will usually beat out a candidate who is still earning their stripes. For the role of hiring manager, experience is the difference between making good hires and making hires that look good…for now.

While the economy has improved since the Great Recession, there are still a whole lot of people out there who are still desperate to get back on their feet and who will do anything to get this done. According to an article from Inc, 85% of candidates in a lie on their resume. Here are some of the most entertaining lies that hiring managers encountered from a Career Builder survey:

  • Applicant claimed to be the assistant to the prime minister of a foreign country that doesn’t have a prime minister.
  • Applicant claimed to have been a construction supervisor. The interviewer learned the bulk of his experience was in the completion of a doghouse some years prior.
  • Applicant claimed to have 25 years of experience at age 32.
  • Applicant applied to a position with a company who had just terminated him. He listed the company under previous employment and indicated on his resume that he had quit.
  • Applicant listed three jobs over the past several years. Upon contacting the employers, the interviewer learned that the applicant had worked at one for two days, another for one day, and not at all for the third.

These are bad lies, but not all liars are bad at it. Some liars fall into the professional category, and they make their living when hiring managers make assumptions or fail to check their fraudulent references. In order to catch these liars, however, your hiring manager needs to be experienced enough with the role to test the technical knowledge of their candidates.

Besides being experienced enough to catch candidates in a lie, great hiring managers will have the experience to recognize true talent when they see it. They don’t need to have direct experience in the role they’re hiring for, but they need to have enough experience to know and recognize A-Player characteristics in your candidates. They also need to have the experience necessary to impress these A-Players in the interview. It’s one thing to talk the talk, but having hiring managers who have actually walked the walk will be a huge draw for talent and will help your company to attract the best minds in your industry.

The hiring manager you hire needs to be experienced enough to sort out the frauds from the fantastic candidates and experienced enough to impress top talent in the interview. If they don’t have the experience to recognize talent or lack-there-of, then they are bound to make some mistaken hires before long.

Relationship Focused

The best hiring managers remain focused on building and maintaining relationships with candidates throughout the hiring process and even after a hire is made. Your hiring managers are the main company representative that candidates will interact with, making them the “face of your company” for those candidates.

If this face is always friendly, professional and helpful, then your applicants are likely to form some type of connection with your hiring manager. If, however, this face is always pinched with irritation or flushed with frustration, then your applicants will wonder why they’re interviewing at your company in the first place.

Unqualified candidates need to be screened out, but that isn’t the only part of a hiring manager’s job. They still need to close with a highly skilled candidate, which is much easier to do when they have a good working relationship with that candidate.

The best hiring managers attempt to connect with every person they interview and are focused on providing every candidate with a positive experience. Further, world-class hiring managers will maintain connections with top candidates for future job openings. If they are truly relationship focused, then each round of interviews will provide you with more candidate contacts and passive candidates to contact for open jobs in the future.


The best hiring managers take responsibility for the hires that they make and are willing to own the success (or failure) of the hires that they make. Further, they see themselves as responsible for their part of the hiring process, not the hiring process as a whole.

While many hiring managers want to own as much as they can about their hiring process, responsible hiring managers understand that they are part of a team and understand that they are responsible for specific deliverables on a tight timeline.

Too often, hiring is held up when managers take on too much responsibility, forcing the entire hiring process to revolve around them. The best hiring managers understand that they aren’t the only person who needs to be satisfied with a candidate and understand that they need to make a good hiring decision as quickly as possible. They are the facilitator of the process, and they will understand their role and how it relates to other hiring decision maker roles within your company.

Responsibility also applies after the hire has been made. The best hiring managers care deeply about making good hires and will always follow the progress of the people they have hired. No matter how well or poorly a hire ends up doing, great hiring managers want to know and want to take responsibility for their continued success. Though they may not act as an official mentor, great hiring managers will maintain their relationships with your newly hired employees and help them transition into your company.

Hiring hiring managers should never be a decision taken lightly. These are the people who decide on the future of your company, so they need the experience to tell the movers and shakers from the liars and fakers. At the same time, they need to be focused on giving all your candidates a positive application experience and they need to be responsible enough to properly facilitate your hiring.


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