The Hiring Manager is usually the person that an open position reports to and is ultimately responsible for the selection of an individual to fill any slots. The Hiring Manager may receive support from others during the selection process, such as a Recruiter or a Human Resources professional serving in this recruiting role. The Recruiter may post the position internally/externally and manage the initial resume review and screening. A Recruiter may then (on the back-end) come back into the picture when a candidate has been identified and is ready for the offer, followed by employment testing, etc.
A Hiring Manager may also receive support and guidance from others, such as their Manager. They may want their Manager to interview the person and provide feedback to assist them in their decision. But, ultimately, the decision to hire someone (or not) resides with the Hiring Manager for the position.
Since the Hiring Manager is generally the ultimate decider of who will be selected for a position, it would strategically make sense to contact this person during the selection process. Yet virtually no candidates spoken to are even aware of the Hiring Manager’s identity until an interview has been scheduled with this person.
When you see a position posted or hear of an opening via your network, then your Hiring Manager connecting efforts should begin.
• First, try to find out who the Hiring Manager is for the position. Rarely will it be easy for you, as most postings do not include the name of the Hiring Manager. You may have to do some research utilizing your network of people in that industry or already within this company. If you have a lot of luck, then you may even find out that this Hiring Manager is already in your networking circle. Most likely, however, your efforts will be more manual and will consist of you calling the company or the Recruiter to try to find out who it is.
• If you are fortunate enough to find out, up front, the identity of the Hiring Manager, then reaching out by phone or e-mail to express your interest can place you on their radar screen. If reaching out by e-mail, keep your message short and direct, focusing on how you are interested in the position, why you are perfect for the role, and next steps. You will most likely either be asked for your resume to be e-mailed or to be directly sent to the Recruiter. Even if you are just redirected to the Recruiter, this contact with the Hiring Manager allows you to communicate that you are doing so on the direction of the Hiring Manager, giving your submission a little more cache. It is also hopeful that you will be remembered as someone who is pro-active and took the initiative to reach out like you did. Finally, your conversation with the Hiring Manager may provide you with a tip or two of what is being valued that can be used with the Recruiter.
• When you are being scheduled to be interviewed by the Hiring Manager, make sure you clearly understand their name and position title. If you can get more information such as how they fit within the organization or how long they have been with the company…even better! With minimal information such as their name and position title, you should be able to do a social media research and find out more about the person. Then the big question is whether you attempt to connect with the person (prior to the interview) via business-focused social media. I generally view this as too far of a leap and recommend sticking with just phone and e-mail contact.
• During the interview, you can utilize information you have learned in the making of small talk (for example, a mutual alma matter) or while answering questions. You can even use information gathered to make your questions to the Hiring Manager stronger. For example, if the person has significant tenure with the company, you can ask a question regarding how the organization has evolved over the years.
The Hiring Manager is usually the key player on the employer’s side when it comes to filling an open position. It makes sense then to try to connect with this person as soon as you can, to make them aware of your interest, skills, and experience. Furthermore, it makes sense to learn as much as you can about this person, so that when you do connect, you have the knowledge that comes from this information.
As always, the best of luck in your job search.
The following has been prepared for the general information of WNYJobs readers. It is not meant to provide advice with respect to any specific legal or policy matter and should not be acted upon without verification by the reader.
Joe Stein WNY Human Resources Professional
Feel free to contact Joe Stein regarding questions or comments at: Joe Stein