What Is a Hiring Manager

What Is a Hiring Manager and What Skills Should They Have?

Learn about the role of hiring managers, including their required skills, key responsibilities, and impact on the hiring process.

What Is a Hiring Manager and What Skills Should They Have?


This is some text inside of a div block.
a blue circle with the word linked on it
share on linkedin
the letter x in a black circle
share on twitter
the instagram logo in a circle
share on instagram

The role of a hiring manager is critical in the recruiting process, helping organizations fill open positions with the right talent.
But what exactly does a hiring manager do, and what skills set them apart? On top of answering these common questions, this article will explore:

  • The core responsibilities of a hiring manager
  • The skills hiring managers should possess
  • How hiring managers are involved in the recruitment process

What Is a Hiring Manager?

A hiring manager is the person in charge of evaluating and selecting suitable candidates for specific job roles within their department or team. They are usually involved in:

  • Defining job requirements for the open position
  • Conducting job interviews and other assessments with qualified candidates
  • Making the final hiring decision by selecting the best fit for the position

Since geographical barriers have dissolved, they must also possess a keen understanding of virtual collaboration tools, effective communication techniques, and the nuances of remote hiring and virtual team dynamics.

What Skills Should a Hiring Manager Have?

The modern hiring manager is not just a facilitator who helps the human resources department or recruiters perform their tasks but also a strategic partner in organizational growth. Here are some essential skills a hiring manager needs:

Communication skills

Hiring managers must excel in articulating job requirements and providing feedback to candidates. They should also foster a positive candidate-manager relationship.

These professionals need to be capable of active listening and empathetic communication, making sure that the potential hire knows where they are in the hiring process at all times and feels heard and respected. A friendly yet professional approach helps create a positive candidate experience. 

This includes responding promptly to any inquiries and respecting deadlines for evaluating potential tasks or tests, all while keeping a conversational tone and being open to answering candidates’ questions.


Work environments are constantly evolving. A hiring manager must be capable of navigating changing priorities, technologies, and team dynamics. This includes adjusting to shifts in the labor market, organizational changes, and evolving job roles. 

For instance, a hiring manager should stay informed about emerging industry trends like AI in automating marketing tasks. Then, they should incorporate that knowledge into their job descriptions and recruitment strategies. Using resources like LinkedIn Learning and online forums in their field can keep them updated and adaptable.


Proficiency in virtual collaboration tools, video conferencing platforms, and applicant tracking systems is essential. A hiring manager should be adept at using applicant tracking systems like BambooHR or Lever, as well as virtual collaboration tools such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams.

Problem-solving skills

Hiring managers should possess strong problem-solving abilities to address issues such as time zone differences, communication gaps, and team cohesion. 

This could involve finding solutions for skill gaps within teams, navigating time zone differences for global teams, or resolving miscommunications. Critical thinking and the ability to think on their feet will enable them to find effective solutions quickly. Engaging in regular team brainstorming sessions or problem-solving workshops can sharpen these skills.

A hiring manager talking to her team member

What Are the Key Responsibilities of a Hiring Manager?

Hiring managers are the backbone of the recruitment process and the hiring team. They help define the work environment with each new hire, shaping the trajectory of organizational success. 

A hiring manager has a diverse set of responsibilities. Let’s explore each of them below:

Defining job requirements

Hiring managers collaborate with other stakeholders, such as team members and the human resources department, to outline job roles, responsibilities, and qualifications crucial for success. This helps define the skills and qualities that qualified applicants should possess.

For example, in a software development role, they may emphasize proficiency in specific programming languages or experience with agile methodologies.

Pro Tip: Use tools like a job description generator to ensure clarity and alignment with each new position your company opens up.

Thorough candidate evaluation

Beyond evaluating technical and soft skills, hiring managers must also assess the fit between potential candidates and the company culture.

They achieve this through screening methods like reviewing resumes, giving skills assessments and test projects, and conducting interviews.

Final decision-making

Hiring managers weigh candidates’ qualifications against organizational needs and values. Then, they select the individual who best aligns with the team’s dynamics and strategic objectives for the new job.

The onboarding process

Post-hiring, the role of these team leaders extends into the onboarding phase, ensuring new hires have a smooth assimilation process. They provide them with the necessary resources, introduce them to team members, and clarify job expectations.

How Hiring Managers Influence the Recruitment Process

According to Gartner, the number of candidates who would re-choose their recent job offers dropped from 83% in 2021 to 59% in 2022.

In today’s dynamic job market, candidates also screen potential employers and reconsider their commitment after signing an offer. Hiring managers play a vital role in shaping the organization’s appeal to potential hires.

At any stage of the recruitment process, future team members may or may not choose to proceed based on the way hiring managers showcase the organization and present themselves during each phase, including the final interview.

Hence, hiring managers’s ability to conduct the recruitment process effectively can make or break your company’s ability to achieve a successful, long-lasting hire. Here’s how the ideal recruitment process should go:

  1. The hiring process typically starts with job posting and candidate sourcing. In this step, hiring managers must work hand in hand with recruiters or hiring teams to define job requirements and create job postings that reflect real-life situations, expectations, and job guidelines.
  2. Recruiters or hiring managers screen resumes, conduct interviews, and assess candidates based on skills and fit.
  3. During the interview process, hiring managers assess skills, experience, and fit for the role.
  4. Lastly, finalists may undergo additional assessments or interviews before the hiring manager makes a decision. They check references and extend a job offer if the right candidate is identified.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between a hiring manager and a recruiter?

Recruiters and hiring managers are both involved in recruiting candidates but have somewhat different job responsibilities and are responsible for different stages in the hiring process.

Unlike recruiters, who focus on sourcing and initial screening, hiring managers take a hands-on approach tailored to departmental requirements. They offer insights into role-specific competencies, guiding recruiters in identifying candidates with the precise skills essential for success.

These roles complement each other, as HR workers have to communicate constantly with specific team leads who are the hiring managers of their departments.

Do hiring managers determine salary?

Yes, hiring managers often have input into salary decisions, especially when it comes to negotiating offers with candidates. However, final salary determinations may involve input from HR departments or higher-level management.

Is a hiring manager different from an HR manager?

Yes. A hiring manager focuses on filling a specific team vacancy and selecting candidates suited for that job post. In contrast, an HR manager oversees broader HR functions, including recruitment across the organization, policy development, and ensuring compliance with labor laws.

Final Thoughts

By this point, you’ve gained valuable insights into the critical role of hiring managers and how they shape successful recruitment outcomes. Now, let’s sum up the key takeaways:

  • Hiring managers drive the recruitment process, from helping define job requirements to making the final hiring decision.
  • Their involvement streamlines recruitment, aligns selections with organizational needs, and enhances team and organization dynamics.

Remember that although hiring managers vet candidates and help establish job description guidelines, it’s not their responsibility to source candidates in the first place.

This is where recruiters and talent acquisition specialists come into play. To learn more about what distinguishes their role in shaping your team dynamics, see our article on the differences between talent acquisition and recruitment

Receive remote hiring insights delivered weekly.

a white and yellow background with a diagonal triangle

Discover Why Hiring in LatAm is a Cheat Code. Download our FREE Guide Now.