The Middle Manager

Surviving & Thriving as a Leader

Are You Hiring?

One of the primary responsibilities of being a manager is the oversight of staff. That includes the hiring process when it’s time to add to the team or replace someone who has left.

Many years ago when I first started managing people, most of the process of hiring resided with me, from creating the job description to coordinating the help-wanted advertisement. I reviewed the resumes as they came in and decided which ones I felt were worth calling in for an interview.

canstockphoto7773477sToday, all that has changed. In most large companies, the job of managing the job descriptions, collecting resumes, and deciding who might be the best for a given role and warrant an interview is all done by dedicated human resources professionals. The hiring manager has really become a footnote in the process, with the job becoming simply letting HR know when a new job requisition needs to be opened at the front end and interviewing the two or three candidates that HR has selected on the back end.

To be honest, I really don’t like this change. We no longer look at applicants as people – they’re simply a group of skills that someone who is totally unfamiliar with the actual work decides meets a generic job description. It’s true that it’s less work for the hiring manager, but I think we’ve lost something in the translation.

When I owned the hiring process, I could bring people in based other aspects of the resume rather than simply the skills listed there. They may have valuable industry experience, or held former positions with experiences that  were different than the initial job description, but might have a positive  and complementary impact on the whole team. I’m much more interested in how motivated someone seems, how excited they are about learning a new job or picking up new skills. I want to feel like I’m hiring a person, not a list of bullet-points on a resume.

Today, we have to make the best of it even if the recruiting process is less than optimal. If you can, insist on seeing more than two or three resumes. Try to have more input into the criteria used to select a candidate. If we start off thinking of new hires as individuals rather than bullet points, it’s easier to integrate them into the team and makes for a better employee.

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