Hiring Manager

Thursday, June 10th, 2010 - Hiring Manager

Hiring Manager

Job interview

When as a recruiter I ask job seekers who is the most influential person in a successful job application, the answers are diverse and wide. Could it be:

  • The HR manager
  • The board
  • The key director
  • The HR admin who opens your job application
  • The job applicant
  • Or how about members of the job applicants family
  • Finally, all of the above and possibly someone else

The truth is simple, and if more job seekers understood and thought about this during their job application rather than the single-path defined by HR job application process they choose to follow, more would be successful in their job applications.

The single most important person in any job application is the hiring manager. The position let alone the job advert would not exist without their agreement, and they get the final go/no-go decision on who is hired and on what terms and conditions. They decide on what type of daily work environment you will experience, and probably how long the successful job applicants stays in that position, or even that organisation.

So if the hiring manager is so important person in a job application, why do most job seekers know their name last in any job application process?

If you forward a Cover Letter and Professional CV to a company, they know not only your name but your contact address and telephone number, and your full work history. Thy know what combination of skills, qualifications and experiences you have, what you want to do next, and why you consider the job that they advertised the right next step in your career path. Yet in most job applications, the job applicant should know the name of the company (not always, if they applied via a recruiters “My client…” advert), and will possibly know the name in the HR department handling the recruitment process.

Now, if someone walked in off of the street to their local animal sanctuary, and ask if they could re home a cat or dog, what processes or amount of paperwork do you think that person would need to go through before they actually got the chance to choose the small ginger tabby cat that actually attracted them into the animal sanctuary in the first place? So, if someone who is rehoming a cat or dog gets checked out so well, why shouldn’t the job applicant checkout the key person in the whole hiring process?

I see nothing wrong if the recruitment process, if you have wholly proven you have the required combination of skills, qualifications and experiences to be a viable job applicant, to know the name of the hiring manger well before you step into the interview room. Think about: you are about to go through an HR team defined process which will probably have already taken 20hours of your time already to apply for, let alone get through the telephone interview. They then say come for an interview, which is their way of saying that they would like to see if you actually can apply what you claim on your Professional CV, and socially fit with their team. More specifically, the hiring manger. When they by this stage know so much about you, why would you not want to know more about them, and specifically the hiring manger themselves? So why not make it a condition of your next accepted job interview that you know not only the name of the panel, but have a short bio of the hiring manager?

Let me take this one stage further. If the hiring manger is so key to deciding who gets hired and what they do, why not go to them directly? If you were for instance a product marketing manager, and could list 50companies as your ideal next employer, why not check them out using social media who the key managers and directors are there for that discipline? Why not then use social media such as LinkedIn or Doostang or an Informational Interview approach to create an opportunity for a conversation over coffee so see if your external perceptions of them as an ideal next employer are correct, and what the potential hiring manger is like?

Once you as the job seeker realise how important the hiring manger is in the decision on who is hired and how they worked, the significance of the HR defined job application process becomes far less influential on where you next deploy your skills and how you might get the job you really want.

Good Luck!


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