Recruiters Want Hiring Managers to Stop Doing These 5 Things

5 min read
Jun 16, 2015

Apparently, HR managers and hiring managers are in quite a bit of a pickle when it comes to agreeing on hiring. There are a number of situations that arise to highlight the differences in the way they do things, and this can be problematic for businesses. So it’s important to grasp the distinction between HR managers and hiring managers.

HR managers handle everything from recruitment strategies and change management and policies and practices. A hiring manager can be anyone in the organization who is on the lookout for someone to join their team.

Since HR managers usually work directly with the person they’re looking to hire, they feel that they have a better grasp on what they should be looking for in a person. On the other hand, HR managers argue that they are supposed to — and do — have a better grasp on what to look for in every member of the organization.

Below are the five biggest changes HR managers would like to see in the way hiring managers do things:

1: I will not be prejudiced

Racial-prejudice-My-Culture-Made-Me-Do-It_knowledge_standardEasier said than done. We spend our time blaming candidates for not "having it all together," judging them on everything from a lack of eye contact to the way they dress, even before they have a chance to prove they're qualified for the job.

Hiring managers must resolve to give a good thing a go. Ask candidates to have their skills tested before they come in for interviews. That way your judgment will be based on fact rather than prejudices. This will enable you to spend less time on disappointing candidates and more meaningful time with the right ones.

2: I will not fill a vacancy with just a body

Hiring Managers Comic 2

There are a number of unforeseen events which could create a vacancy overnight. Many managers are tempted to go on a hiring drive and pick up the best they can find rather than the best that is out there. The process of taking on a new employee can be a tedious one. And it's recommended that companies first look internally for an employee or a set of employees amongst whom the tasks that made up the job role can be comfortably distributed.

Not only would this give recruiters more time to find a good fit, but it would also broaden the scope of work for existing employees, who might welcome an upgrade and/or expansion on the kind of tasks they are handling. This time should be used to carry out a detailed handover. That way the number twos are well prepared at all times, ensuring the departure of one employee doesn’t derail the functioning of the company as a whole.

3. I will never go by just my gut feeling

Hiring Managers Comic 3

There is absolutely no denying that not following your gut feeling can plummet you to your doom in a second. Recruiters take pride in their gut feeling they have about a candidate’s ability to fit into their organization. During interviews or while looking at resumes, recruiters are often able to discern the likelihood that an applicant will thrive in their organization.

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Unfortunately, this gut feeling is inherently based on trial and error and follows no scientific path — very often being a result of an affinity formed due to insignificant details like dress code. As a result, there are varying degrees of accuracy in decisions based on gut feeling in a recruiter’s lifetime. Simply put, not every person can get it right, and no one person can always get it right.

4. I will consciously hire those different from me


"Birds of a feather flock together," "great minds think alike," and a number of other tasteful idioms suggest that people who are similar tend to stick together. It is only natural for hiring managers to want to hire people who are similar to them, in terms not only of skill and ability but personal traits as well. It's bolstering to have people on your team you get along with, thus eliminating unhealthy competitiveness and unpleasantness. When things are stressful, like when you’re just starting off a company, it can prove to be a great comfort indeed.

However, the whole point of a team — or really any unit that is greater than the singular individual — is to make up for the shortcomings of that one person and create a strong overall force. So if you have a cofounder who’s all about the ideas but lacks discipline, getting a partner who has that same spark but doesn’t know how to temper it either may lead to pure disaster. You need the yin and the yang to make a bang. Also, hiring managers sometimes like to "hire down" to avoid a new recruit outperforming them. This prevents fresh talent from entering the organization and can slow success down considerably.

5. I will spend more time on the right candidates and less on the wrong candidates

Comic Human Error

We aren’t for a second suggesting that you know who these right candidates are, and more importantly, who these wrong candidates are. But we are suggesting that you do everything in your power to identify who belongs to which category before committing your time and effort to them. There are skill assessment tools available that aid hiring managers in evaluating skill — from technical to analytical to marketing — reducing hiring biases, mitigating the impact of incompetent decision making, and assessing core capabilities before spending time in conversation. It's a duty of the hiring managers to employ such tools and find out as much as they can about candidates. Once the skills are tested, move the shortlisted candidates to the next round and use social media and references to find out more about how they project themselves, minus the biases we mentioned earlier.

I will be humble and heed the advice of my HR managers in the final hiring decisions: stability, culture, and values, as well their own prior people experience.

Hiring managers may sometimes feel that they know what they need in a potential employee since they will most likely be working directly with them. Sure, you may know the skills they need to have, but you cannot be sure of whether they’re a good fit overall in terms of values, culture, personality, etc. That’s where the HR manager is so crucial. HR managers are in the business of studying people, identifying what motivates them, and what makes them happy. It's the HR managers who come packed with prior people experience. It should be the HR manager who should give the final nod as to whether someone should be joining an organization or not. And other managers in the organization must learn to give them this power. If not, HR not only becomes toothless but begins to feel powerless, and there’s nothing more dangerous than a demotivated motivator.

Here’s hoping every individual gets the company they deserve, and every company gets the individual they deserve!



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