How to Become a Hiring Manager

As challenges continue to arise for organizations looking to find and retain high-potential, high-quality employees in a diminishing talent pool, the work of hiring managers is deemed more valuable than ever.

And recruiters agree. A survey conducted by the Corporate Leadership Council revealed that recruiters reported the hiring manager as being the most critical element to effective recruiting.

Hiring managers, as their title suggests, are responsible for ensuring that an employee is hired to fill an open position. As a key member of the employment recruitment team of a human resources department, hiring managers work alongside recruiters, compensation and benefits specialists, and HR managers, among others, where they oversee the selection and hiring of new talent.

Hiring managers work to ensure that the hiring process is efficient, productive, streamlined, and effective. Their coordinated efforts ensure that the candidate with the best qualifications and characteristics is selected and hired. The questions hiring managers typically consider when selecting and hiring a candidate include:

  • Will this candidate help us achieve our business goals?
  • Will this candidate help improve workflow and propel the company’s success?
  • What is the most efficient path to locating and hiring talent?


The Job Description of a Hiring Manager in the Corporate Setting

Job duties for hiring managers within an organization’s human resources department can be best broken down as follows:

Planning the Hire

The job of the hiring manager begins with a recruiting planning meeting, at which time the corporate recruiter, hiring manager, and any other necessary members of the HR team determine the need for the new hire and develop a job specification, which is created from a job analysis and job description.

It is the job of the hiring manager to ensure that the recruiter has a clear picture of what the organization needs in the new employee and to ensure that all members of the HR team are on the same page regarding what type of employee is needed and who will make the final hiring determination.

Posting the Job and Screening Incoming Resumes

The next step involves working alongside the recruiter to ensure that the job description and job ad are completed and posted through the appropriate networks and channels. Once the resumes begin to arrive, the recruiter will screen them and provide the hiring manager with a candidate pool.

The hiring manager may also complete phone interviews as to further narrowing down the candidate pool.

Setting up Interviews and Conducting Post-Interview Assessments

Once a list of candidates has been assembled, the hiring manager will determine who will interview the candidates and then will schedule those interviews. In some organizations, it may be the hiring manager who completes the interview; for others, it may be the recruiter or the department head. For some positions, the screening process may involve several interviews with various members of the organization and HR team.

Hiring managers, whether or not they engage in the interview process, are often responsible for assigning interview topics and questions. Depending on the position to be filled, hiring managers may write scenarios, behaviorally based questions, and role plays. These HR professionals must ensure that the interview is comprehensive and that the company professional responsible for interviewing the candidate is able to assess a number of areas of the candidate’s qualifications: technical capabilities, experience, communication, interpersonal skills, etc.

The interview process may also involve asking candidates to take standardized examinations. This process is also typically handled by the hiring manager, as is the post-interview assessment process, which involves a checklist that closely mirrors the characteristics the HR team has determined are the most important for the chosen candidate for the position.

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Determining Details of the Position and Extending the Job Offer

Once the HR team chooses a candidate, the hiring manager is the HR point person who is responsible for extending the job offer to the candidate. The hiring manager also works with other members of the HR team to determine compensation and benefits of the position. Once the job offer has been extended to the candidate, the hiring manager may then negotiate the details of the job offer with the new employee.

Planning the New Employee Process

The hiring manager, once the employee is hired, is called upon to determine the employee’s start date and subsequent orientation and onboarding process. This process often involves working with various members of the HR team to complete paperwork; reviewing benefits and company perks; providing the new hire with a company log-in, email address, information on the company/company handbook, parking pass, keys, etc.; and orienting the new hire with the workings of the building or office.

The hiring manager will also serve as a general point of contact regarding any new hire questions or concerns.

Degree Programs and Certification Options for Hiring Managers

As a senior-level position in an organization’s human resources department, hiring managers are key members of the HR team. These professionals work alongside other specialists and generalists of the HR team and are involved in many areas of the human resources process, including:

  • Recruitment
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Training and development
  • Talent management

It comes as no surprise, therefore, that many HR hiring managers possess advanced degrees in human resource management and related areas. Because of the wide breadth of knowledge these HR professionals must possess, both in business and in human resources, a typical pursuit in this profession is the Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Human Resource Management.

The MBA in Human Resource Management allows students to become key players in developing, managing, recruiting, and leading staff. Through a comprehensive course of study in both business and human resources, students are able to examine and understand current issues that impact HR and understand that broader business issues, such as economics, finance, and marketing, are important drivers of business decisions.

Coursework in an MBA in HR Management often involves study in:

  • Labor law
  • Compensation
  • Human resources law
  • Global HR management
  • Group process and facilitation
  • Strategic organization development and change
  • Staffing
  • Labor management relations
  • Collective bargaining
  • Performance management

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Professional Certification for HR Hiring Mangers

A senior position in today’s modern HR department requires not only a solid foundation of knowledge through a comprehensive education, but a clear commitment to serving as a business leader, as well, which is often accomplished by earning a professional designation through national accrediting bodies such as:

  • HR Certification Institute (HRCI)
    • Professional in Human Resources (PHR)
    • Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR)
    • Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR)
    • Human Resource Management Professional (HRMP)
    • Human Resource Business Professional (HRBP)
    • California Certification for PHR and SPHR certified professionals


Salaries for Hiring Managers

The average, annual salary for recruiting managers was $89,900 in 2013, while managers in employee relations earned an average, annual salary of $83,200 during the same time according to the 2013 Human Resources Compensation Survey Report-U.S. by Towers Watson.

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The Bureau of Labor Statistics, although it did not provide specific salary statistics for hiring managers, reported a mean, annual salary of $114,140 for HR managers, as of May 2014, with the top 10 percent in this field earning more than $183,590.

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