Educate Hiring Managers on These 5 Topics

actor Vince Vaughn posing in a stock photo for Unfinished Business about recruitment skills

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Recruitment is a hot topic right now and my prediction is that it will be for quite some time. A key player in the recruitment process is the hiring manager. Ultimately, the candidate reports to them. The hiring manager is responsible for onboarding, engaging, and retaining the employee.

But like the rest of us, managers have a tough job and a very full plate. In addition to staffing, the traditional definition of management says that managers are responsible for activities like department planning, organizing work, leading teams, and controlling resources. Because managers are often hired and promoted for their technical expertise, and not their ability to hire others, organizations need to give hiring managers all the tools they need to hire effectively.

Hiring managers need more than just interview skills training. Don’t get me wrong. I believe interviewing is hard and complicated and managers definitely need training in this area. But they also need to know more about the overall recruitment process. Managers need recruitment skills training.

So, here’s a list of five things that hiring managers should know when they are responsible for hiring. These recruitment skills topics could be shared during one-on-one sessions or added to the company’s existing interviewing skills training program.

  1. Their role in the recruiting process. Often managers are asked to interview without understanding the entire recruiting process – branding, sourcing, candidate experience, screening, selection, etc. There’s so much more to the process than the interview. Hiring managers would be better interviewers – and make better candidate selections – if they knew what happens before and after.
  1. Reviewing the job description. On some level, organizations have two job descriptions: the one that’s written down for legal purposes and the one we talk about to get a candidate excited about coming to work for the company. Hiring managers need to make sure the job they communicate to candidates aligns with the copy of the job description that HR provides to candidates. HR and legal departments might want to collaborate on this one.
  1. Understanding employment law. Speaking of legal departments, hiring managers need to know what’s legal to discuss and how to take good notes. Even if the company has an excellent recruiting technology solution, it’s possible there will be times when taking handwritten notes might be necessary. Legal information might vary by state or country. It could also vary by industry. Oh, and one more thing…hiring managers should know how to extend a proper job offer. They might not do it every day, but they should know how (just in case).
  1. The cost and impact of hiring decisions. Hiring an employee isn’t cheap. And a bad hire has an impact on everyone in the company. Managers should understand what it costs. I once worked for a company that, before we even started talking about interviews, etc., we had managers calculate cost per hire (CPH). Then we had a discussion about what CPH could buy (i.e., equipment, pay increases, bonuses, etc.) It set the stage for the rest of our training time.
  1. How to evaluate a candidate. Personally, I find that the selection part of the recruiting process frequently gets rushed. We spend so much time sourcing, screening, and interviewing, only to spend a few moments on selection. If that’s all the time needed, then great. But I do wonder if it should be longer. Hiring managers should receive self-awareness and bias training. They need to know how to objectively evaluate the skills and qualifications of a candidate.

We can’t emphasize enough that one of the biggest responsibilities that managers have is recruitment. Because if they don’t do it well, then the other functions of their job (planning, organizing, leading, and controlling) will not go well. Organizations need to give managers the skills they need not only to interview but understand the recruiting process. That translates into better hires who can help the company achieve its goals.

Image is a stock photo of Vince Vaughn from the movie Unfinished Business


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