ATD Blog

5 Ways to Be a Better Hiring Manager

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Most hiring managers dread having to fill a position or try to find new talent to grow their team. It can be time-consuming, frustrating, and costly. However, if you have a strategy in place before you need to hire somebody and invest your time and energy in the right way, it can be easy, fast, and free!

1. Become a Talent Magnet

The key to attracting top talent is getting people to want to work for you before you even have an open position to fill. If you build a strong reputation both within and outside your organization for being a true leader that helps your team learn and build their skills, for making fair and quick decisions, and for clearly communicating expectations with ongoing coaching and feedback, then people will gladly get in line for the next opportunity to join your team.

2. Step Up Your Social Media Game

It is crucial to be active on social media. Create a robust profile on LinkedIn so potential talent can learn all about your professional brand. Share the success stories of your team members and company using visuals, pictures, and videos; comment on articles; promote thought leadership through original posts; and engage with those who have unique experience and insights that could benefit your team. You want people to be excited to hear what you have to say, want to learn more about you and your company, and be eager to find out about opportunities to work with you.

3. Figure Out What You Want and Need


The recruiting and hiring process can become unnecessarily frustrating when hiring managers know what type of candidate they want only “when they see it.” It is essential to partner with the recruiter or a HR business partner in creating a job description that clearly outlines the qualifications and expectations of the role. What are the skills you need to fill the gaps on your team? What are the new skills and experience you want to grow the team and business? Collaborate with your HR support network in determining what you want to “hire for” versus “train or coach for,” and help them determine where your ideal candidate can be identified. Create a job posting with compelling content that engages candidates and gets them excited to apply.

4. Ask Pointed Interview Questions

Once you know what you want and need in terms of skills, education, and experience, you’ll need to determine how to evaluate a candidate’s fit for the position. Will you need to conduct a behavioral- or competency-based interview? A technical skills interview? Perhaps a case study or presentation? Determine the most vital “walk in the door” skills you need someone to have on day one: Strategic thinking? Knowing how to deal with difficult clients? Project management? And how will you know if you “hear it” in their answers? The more targeted questions you can ask at the interview, the faster you will be able to find the right candidate.


Asking questions to understand a candidate’s experience in these areas and what they did in a particular situation is most helpful, such as, “Tell me about a time when you had to manage a project that was not going as planned. What happened, what was your role, and what was the outcome?” or “Tell me about a time you had to work with a difficult client or team member.” You could also present information about a fictional client who needs a recommendation to address a business issue.

5. Make Decisions Quickly

The most important thing a great hiring manager will do is make a fast decision on a candidate and quickly communicate that decision to the recruiter or HR business partner as to not let the process drag on too long. Do your due diligence, review the candidate’s social media profiles (what do they “say” about the candidate?), confer with the other interviewers, and consider what questions the candidate asked you.

Don’t sit around waiting for an empty chair to appear in your office or on your team. Before you need to hire someone again, think about what you can do today to make sure you are a better hiring manager next time.

For more information about how to be a better hiring manager, register for this upcoming webcast with Jennifer Malach.

About the Author

Jennifer Malach is a certified executive and career coach and the founder of 20/20 Career Solutions. She has more than 20 years of experience in the professional services and software development industries, including 17 years with Accenture. She has extensive experience in recruiting, interviewing, hiring, coaching, and training teams across North America. Jennifer received a master’s in industrial/organizational psychology and executive and career coaching certification from New York University. She is a noted panelist, presenter, and workshop facilitator and member of the International Coach Federation. She is certified in Everything DiSC and is a contributor for leading career sites. Jennifer is also a strategy adviser and volunteer coach for Stand Beside Them, a nonprofit that helps military veterans transition back to civilian life and work.

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