Hiring manager and its role in the hiring processes

Who is a hiring manager? In most cases, hiring manager definition is the person who is directly involved in the hiring process and determines the candidate’s fate. In a team, this is a completely independent stakeholder who understands and influences the hiring situation. At the same time, the functionality of a hiring manager and a recruiter is often confused. Let’s analyze why.

What is a hiring manager? 

To begin with, let’s understand what is a hiring manager meaning in general. Practically, this is the future manager of a new employee who participates in the hiring process to fill a vacancy in his or her department. They initiate the process, conduct interviews, select the strongest applicants, and make the final decision on the candidate. Therefore, hiring is only a part of their job, sometimes situational. 

A hiring manager can be any employee who manages a team, such as a sales manager or a supermarket manager. In startups and small companies, even the CEO can be a hiring manager. After all, he or she is responsible for the overall development strategy and recruitment, and knows how many sales representatives should be involved to strengthen, for example, the existing sales department.

Hiring manager and recruiter: the fundamental difference

Both a hiring manager and a recruiter are involved in the hiring process, and their tasks are not the same, but complementary. Recruiters are responsible for developing a strong pool of qualified applicants for a particular position, while hiring officers are responsible for hiring the most relevant candidates from that pool.

What do hiring managers do? Hiring managers can act independently or in collaboration with a recruiter. However, the recruiter mainly focuses on the operational and administrative part of the process. If necessary, he or she can help the hiring manager prepare a position description and a list of criteria, skills, and experience that are important to the candidate.

In other words, the recruiter plays an external role, actively looking for candidates for an open position in the company. Having carefully examined the candidates found and dropped out the irrelevant ones, he or she passes them on to the hiring manager. In turn, the latter gets involved in the next stages, conducts interviews with the best candidates, and finally decides which one is the most desirable. 

In other words, a hiring manager works with candidates only when they become… potential candidates. From that moment on, he or she “guides” and supports them until they become employees and go through the adaptation process.

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Hiring manager job description: roles and responsibilities

What does a hiring manager do? The hiring manager always has a lot to do, but as a rule, the following prevails:

  • Determining the staffing needs. The hiring manager decides whether there is a need for a new employee – either to replace an employee who has decided to leave the company or to create a completely new role in the organization.
  • Coordinate the hiring with the top management that controls key financial decisions (e.g., CEO, Executive Director or COO). 
  • Create a detailed application for the recruiter or sourcer – with realistic and reasonable requirements, which will then be used to base the job posting.
  • Setting expectations for hiring: nature of interviews, duration, number of stages, tests and tasks, etc.
  • Working with the candidate: reviewing resumes, taking the lead in conducting competency-based interviews with a recruiter or HR, assessing the candidate’s skills and experience, checking references if necessary, analyzing their compatibility with the team and corporate culture.
  • Selecting the best candidate, negotiating a contract, discussing and agreeing on the terms, drafting an offer, etc. 
  • Assisting the new colleague in adaptation, including training and mentoring, if necessary.


What skills does a hiring manager need?

A successful hiring manager has a mix of professional and personal qualities, such as

  • Sociability and teamwork. After all, you will have to communicate a lot with candidates and all participants in the hiring process during interviews and beyond.
  • Industry knowledge – in order to interview candidates to the best of his/her ability and to evaluate their answers fairly.
  • Reasonableness and logic. An unbiased and accurate assessment of potential candidates is important to ultimately choose the best or at least the most suitable one. 
  • Art of negotiation. This will be needed to communicate with the candidate about the contract terms and conditions, which will be beneficial for both the candidate and the company. 
  • Understanding of onboarding. Knowing the adaptation processes will help you integrate an employee into the team faster and move them from a “newbie” status to a full-fledged role.

Cooperation between a hiring manager and a recruiter

As we noted above, in the hiring process, the hiring manager often acts as the customer, and the recruiter is the contractor. But it is not about hierarchy but about partnership, so the recruiter is not a contractor, but a carrier of expertise. In addition to searching, they analyze the market, build a process, adapt job requirements to realities, broadcast the employer’s brand, and so on. However, the hiring manager also bears a great deal of responsibility. In particular, in a correctly formulated job application, in fact, the candidate’s “avatar”. The sample should include:

  • Critical and specific requirements for the candidate’s qualifications and experience
  • Questions to test technical skills
  • Desired personal characteristics, soft skills
  • Clearly defined tasks and functions
  • Goals for the first 3 months and half a year
  • Format of cooperation: remote, office or hybrid
  • Number of stages and interviews, etc.

It is recommended to discuss and agree on all these nuances with the recruiter, explain in more detail what business needs this specialist should address, what level of tasks will be assigned to him or her at the start and in the future. The clearer the information the recruiter receives, the more accurate the search will be. 

When a hiring manager and a recruiter understand their roles and areas of responsibility and communicate constructively, such cooperation will help attract the most qualified specialists.


Interaction with candidates

After the recruiter identifies potential candidates who have successfully passed the preliminary screening, the hiring manager will get involved in the process: create a test task or an additional request for a portfolio, schedule interviews in the required format, etc. During the interviews, the hiring manager should consider the specialist’s real potential and assess whether his or her experience, skills, soft skills, etc. are suitable for this particular position. This should be done impartially, separating the candidate’s personal perception from the purely professional one. 

After the interview, everything is carefully analyzed in order to make a decision. If the choice is made, it is important not to delay, so that the candidate does not change his/her mind or is not tempted by competitors. Therefore, it is time for the hiring manager to discuss the terms and conditions and promptly prepare an offer.

On the contrary, if no candidate is suitable, you should inform the recruiter about this with a wish to resume the search, and analyze the requirements in the application together once again.


As you can see, the hiring manager is involved in the process at almost all stages of hiring and is almost the main contact point for new employees. He or she also constantly provides feedback to recruiters, monitors and evaluates the effectiveness of new hires. For this to be effective, the hiring manager shall clearly understand the desired direction of the team’s development based on the company’s business goals, as well as understand which specialist will contribute to this.


What is a hiring manager?
A hiring manager is most often a department head looking for a new employee to join their team or a representative of a client company working with a separate recruiter or recruiting agency.
What is the difference between a hiring manager and a recruiter?
The hiring manager creates an application that reflects the key requirements for experience and skills of the candidate for the vacancy, while the recruiter directly searches for and offers a pool of candidates for the hiring manager to consider. In turn, the latter makes the final decision on hiring the candidate.
What are the main responsibilities of a hiring manager?
A hiring manager’s responsibilities include identifying staffing needs and coordinating hiring with top management, creating job applications for the recruiter, conducting interviews, assessing the candidate’s skills and experience, selecting the best candidate, making offers, and onboarding a new hire.
What should a job application prepared by a hiring manager include?
The application should contain basic and additional requirements for the candidate’s qualifications and experience, mandatory questions to test skills, tasks and functions in the context of work in the next 3-6 months, format of cooperation, number of stages and interviews, etc.