Hiring Managers vs. Recruiters: The Breakdown | Glassdoor for Employers
Hiring Managers vs. Recruiters: What's the Difference?

Hiring Managers vs. Recruiters: What's the Difference?

If you own or manage a business, you know that your organization's success depends on hiring the right candidates. After all, it's your employees who keep the business' day-to-day operations running smoothly. But to attract, vet, hire, and onboard talent, you'll need to work closely with two key parties: hiring managers and recruiters. Each has a unique role to play in helping you find - and keep - top talent. Here, we tell you everything you need to know about both parties.  

What Does a Hiring Manager Do?

A hiring manager is a manager hiring for an open position on his or her team. For example, a director of sales looking for an account executive who will directly report to them would be a hiring manager. Generally, hiring managers are in charge of defining and scoping out a role: It's his or her responsibility to identify the skills and qualifications a new hire needs, the tasks they will own, and the bigger-picture goals and milestones they will work toward. 

Typically, a hiring manager will share this information with a recruiter before the hiring process begins, potentially writing a job description or asking the recruiter to create one. The recruiter sources candidates, but the hiring manager will likely read resumes and interview the most promising candidates. Although other employees may be looped into the interview process, the hiring manager usually has the ultimate say over whether to hire a candidate.

RELATED: How to Write Great Job Descriptions

What Does a Recruiter Do?

While a hiring manager plays an active role in the hiring process, it's usually not his or her full-time job. Whether they work in finance, customer service, sales, IT or human resources, a hiring manager's primary duty is to leverage his or her own area of expertise to contribute toward the company. Recruiters, on the other hand, spend their days working to identify, attract, and hire great employees. This might involve tasks such as searching for and contacting qualified candidates, reading resumes, conducting phone screens, scheduling interviews, and more. While hiring managers are responsible for people - that is, evaluating and ultimately managing hired candidates - recruiters are responsible for the process of hiring overall.

Collaboration: The Key to Success

Recruiters and hiring managers play different but complementary roles in the hiring process. A hiring process goes smoothly when both are aligned on their goals and objectives. Here are a few ideas to help recruiters and hiring managers work together to find the best candidates.

1. Hold a Thorough Intake

The initial meeting between a recruiter and hiring manager - often called an "intake" - sets the expectations for the search and kicks off the recruiting process. Hiring managers should educate recruiters about their team and the function the role will play within it, while also specifying the desired qualifications and experience. This gives recruiters a place to start by narrowing the search parameters, and the background knowledge they need to successfully engage with candidates. In turn, recruiters can help set a timeline and define the overall recruiting strategy.

While you might think that skipping an intake session will save time, it may not: it can ultimately increase your company's time-to-hire by sending your recruiter on a wild goose chase. 

RELATED: How to Hire Collaborative Employees

2. Sell the Company

Recruiting should be treated as a top priority, given the same dedication as any other business project. Your company doesn't exist without your employees, so recruiting should be an essential part of your business strategy. Encourage the recruiter and hiring manager to widen their reach by communicating their hiring needs to their company teams and in their network.

Every interaction with a candidate is a chance to sell your company - whether you end up hiring the candidate or not. Recruiters and hiring managers must act like salespeople, and never stop selling. A candidate might have referrals or may even turn out to be a client down the road. The best teams are formed by the companies that can sell their culture and the opportunity at hand.

3. Create a Culture of Communication

Recruiters and hiring managers must be in constant contact with one another to be effective and efficient - and a great way to do this is to hold post-interview debriefs via phone, Skype, or in person. This kind of regular communication will help both recruiters and hiring managers stay on top of market challenges, applicant expectations, and competitors. On the flip side, if feedback is delayed or non-existent, interview scheduling, hiring decisions, and onboarding can be postponed.

Of course, open communication with candidates is essential too. Setting clear expectations on next steps and providing prompt feedback, transparent negotiations, extending offers, and onboarding all require regular communication. Even if you don't ultimately hire a candidate, it's important to offer a positive interview experience. Companies such as Glassdoor are increasing transparency in the workplace, and a negative candidate experience can have a detrimental effect on your employer brand.

Remember: If you don't take recruiting seriously, no one will. Everyone involved in the hiring process should be working toward the same goal: finding the best talent as quickly and cost-effectively as possible. Continue to foster positive relationships between recruiters and hiring managers for the best hiring process possible.

Learn More: How to Conduct Better Job Interviews