In part one of this thee part series, “What Makes a Great Hiring Manager,” I talked about all the different hats that a hiring manager needs to wear. Interviewer, recruiter, networker, relationship builder – the list goes on and on. What I didn’t mention in part one of What Makes a Good Hiring Manager is that the difficult part about wearing all these hats is that to be truly successfully, you need to wear them all exceptionally well.
Sure, we all excel in different areas and we certainly have our strengths and weaknesses, but each of these hats, or skills, goes hand in hand. How effective is a recruiter who can’t build a relationship with candidates? How can a hiring manager, whose interview skills leave something to be desired, hire the right people? Each of these roles we play as hiring managers are part of a bigger picture. The best hiring managers excel in all areas, whether or not they are naturally skilled in that area.
In part one of this series, I talked about the foundational qualities I believe great hiring managers possess. In this article, are the specific skills I’ve seen in exceptional hiring managers throughout the years.
While good hiring managers use the reliable recruiting channels they have always used, great hiring managers go where no others dare to go. Ok, that may be a little dramatic, but it’s true. Great hiring managers think outside the box. They aren’t afraid to try new things in order to reach potential candidates.
Ability to influence
Great hiring managers are movers and shakers in their own right. They deal with two different audiences, management/executive team and employees, and are skilled at conveying their message to both. This ability to influence isn’t used in a negative, coercing manner, but is leveraged to help both parties see the bigger picture when it’s easy to get stuck in the small details. This ability stems from having the confidence to know not only that they’ve made the right decision about a candidate but that they’ve made a sound recommendation about compensation.
Like your mom always told you, patience is a virtue. Exceptional hiring managers know how to be patient without settling or giving up. Unless the stars are perfectly aligned, hiring a new employee takes time. The process requires patience as you meet with management to discover what the position entails and exactly what they’re looking for in an employee. It requires patience to recruit a new employee without settling or pressuring your management to settle and it requires patience as you interview your candidates, make a compensation offer and wait to hear about their acceptance of the position. While you certainly don’t want to draw the process out, rushing it will likely put you back in the same spot in a matter of months.
A great hiring manager doesn’t have to be the life of the party, but they do draw people to them. They’re inviting, open and approachable. They go out of their way to connect with candidates because they know a connection beats a mere introduction any day.
Since there’s so much back and forth that goes on throughout the recruitment and hiring process, it’s important to do what you’ve said you’ll do and maintain candidates’ trust. If you say you’ll follow up, follow up. If you promise to call by Friday, call by Friday, even if it’s just to say you’re still working on it. A great hiring manager is also honest about the position and compensation and doesn’t make promises that can’t be kept.
What other qualities do you think great hiring managers possess? If you have any to add, let us know in the comments below. Watch for part three of What Makes a Great Hiring Manager coming soon.