My Honest Advice for Hiring Managers to Succeed

4 min read · 6 years ago


Hiring an employee is probably the most important talent decision a company makes. Plenty of research has shown that the costs of getting it wrong is about 2 to 3 the the annual salary of the individual. A survey from Fast Company also provides some reasons why companies end up hiring the wrong person:

  1. Filling the position too quickly
  2. Not assessing skills/competencies of the candidate appropriately
  3. Not conducting adequate reference checks

Apart from the costs, another obvious impact of hiring the wrong talent is the impact on the quality of work, efficiency of the team, the time managers spend on dealing with consequences and decreasing employer brand. Certainly in smaller companies, start-ups or small teams the impact of one bad hire can be quite disastrous.

So the hiring manager, the person who sources the candidate, does the short listing and coordinates the offer process, has a hugely important role to play in the organisation. Unfortunately, I don’t see this often reflected in the quality of the people that are appointed in these positions. Often the hiring manager fulfill more of a ‘post-office’ function between the talent market and line managers and is unable to add value in the process.

To enhance the value that you can add to the organisation I would advise Hiring Managers to specifically focus on a number of key elements of their role. Doing this well, can not only increase your effectiveness but even more importantly, enhance the impact in bringing talent into the company that maybe one day, if you do your job well, will be leading the same company.

So here are my top 4 suggestions to Hiring Managers.

1. Take Ownership

My first advice would be to take ownership for the full hiring process (sourcing, selection, appointment, induction). Don’t let line manager bully you into a post box role. Know your stuff and be confident how you can add value. You are responsible for the quality of the overall talent coming in the organisation. Line manager are responsible for hiring the right person in the right role, but without your consent nobody should enter the company. Be clear what you are looking for, have solid processes in place and measure, measure, measure (nobody can deny facts).

2. Focus on Building Your Employer Brand

A hiring manager is part HR Manager, part brand manager. She is the gateway through which the organisation interacts with the talent market. Focusing on building a strong employer brand will not only allow you to more easily attract better qualified talent but also allows you to pay less premium to attract people. Building a powerful employer brand is not something that happens overnight although it’s probably less daunting than many hiring manager think. This Employer Brand Roadmap might be a good start to work on:

Hiring Manager Roadmap

3. Structure Your Interviews

The number of line managers but also hiring managers that still go into an interview without having thought through the questions they need to ask to assess the candidates is alarmingly high. How can you structurally assess different candidates if you ask them all different questions and basically ask whatever comes to mind at that moment. As a hiring manager split your interview into at least three different components. Have a ready set of similar questions for each candidate (no matter the role) on their passion, dreams, aspirations, learnings, set-backs and career highlights. Secondly have a set of questions that assess the ability of candidates on the competencies required to succeed in the specific role, department and challenges that will be in present in the role. The third set of questions is all about cultural fit (see #4).

4. Don’t Hire Clones

82% of employers indicated that cultural fits is the most important hiring decisions. And I can’t agree more. The ability of an individual to relate to the values of the organisation, find personal meaning in what the organisation strives to achieve and is energized by its aspiration are tremendous powerful levers to give and get the best out of an employee. However as a recent article in the NY times by Lauren Rivera shows, cultural fit is often misused to ensure line managers recruit people that they can relate to and can ‘hang-out-with-when-I-am-stranded-on-an-airport’.

This is where it can go wrong. Hiring people because they ‘fit-in’ is not the same as good cultural-fit. I am sure your company has a clear position on culture they desire to achieves its vision.

Beware though that culture fit doesn’t mean recruiting clones. And although the subconsious pressure to select people that are similar to the recruiting manager is significant, being aware of your own biases and purposefully selecting people that ‘fit-but-are-different’ will bring tremendous value to the company.

I like summer. It feels like a good time to reflect on how you’re progressing in the year. I’m going to be doing that this month by providing insights from lessons I’ve learned in various HR and Leadership functions – I hope you keep up with them and provide your insights too.

Photo Credit: Robert S. Photography via Compfight cc

This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: My Honest Advice for Hiring Managers to Succeed

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