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Glossary: HR & Recruiting Definitions

What is a hiring manager?

A hiring manager is the individual who takes charge of the hiring process for an open position. A hiring manager will usually be the person who identifies the need for a new hire, defines the job description, and leads the interview process.

What does a hiring manager do?

A hiring manager will take care of most of the important steps during the hiring process. This will include writing a job advertisement and description, reviewing resumes, holding interviews, signing contracts, and in most cases onboarding the new team member.

In smaller businesses, the hiring manager may even lead the recruitment process and screen incoming applicants.

A hiring manager’s main responsibilities are:

  • Identifying open positions within a team

  • Creating a hiring plan

  • Providing complete lists of requirements and responsibilities for open positions

  • Writing job descriptions and advertisements

  • Choosing candidates for interviews from prospective CVs

  • Leading the interview process

  • Providing and reviewing candidate tasks

  • Being on hand to answer any questions from candidates

  • Helping to draft contracts

  • Leading onboarding processes

What is the difference between a recruiter and a hiring manager?

While in some SMBs a hiring manager and a recruiter may be the same person, officially the two roles have some key differences.

A recruiter will usually deal with the early stages of the hiring process, such as posting the job advertisement to a relevant job board, screening applicants, and passing the qualified applicants to the hiring manager. 

A hiring manager, however, is usually the direct lead for the new hire, and will take care of the later stages of hiring. This includes interviewing the candidate, providing and reviewing any tasks the candidate has to complete, onboarding the team member, and introducing them to the team.

This is as the hiring manager will usually be much closer to the role, and have expert knowledge of the industry, position, and department. Whereas, a recruiter will have more generalised knowledge of the department, and be much more skilled in recruitment and hiring. 

What makes a good hiring manager?

A good hiring manager is generally someone with expert insider knowledge of the team with an open position, and intricate knowledge of the role that is being hired for. This allows the hiring manager to answer questions honestly and in detail, giving the candidate the best candidate experience.

The hiring manager will also need to have enough spare time to review applications, lead interviews, and answer questions from the prospective hires. A hiring manager who is too busy for these responsibilities will slow down the hiring process and increase the risk of losing great talent to business competition.

Having interview and onboarding experience is also a good skill for a hiring manager to have, although not completely necessary. Willingness and an understanding of these processes is enough for a hiring manager to be successful.

Find out more about the hiring process in the following articles:

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