Stop! You're Setting up Your Hiring Manager to Fail! Implement these four practices to support your manager in the very important function of finding you the best talent.

By Heather R. Huhman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


It's impossible to overemphasize the impact the hiring process can have. When it's poorly executed, bad hires and poor employee retention will be the result.

Related: Tips for Interviewing Every Hiring Manager Should Know

And, as much as technology has sped up the process in recent years, human actions still cause bottlenecks.

In fact, a Jobvite survey of 831 U.S. recruiters, released in September, found that 56 percent of respondents said that just the way in which hiring managers move candidates through the interview stage causes delays.

Forty-three percent, meanwhile, said that the amount of time hiring managers spend reviewing resumes also slows down the process.

As the founder, you know that when you're trying to grow your company, these bumps in the road can make it impossible for you to keep up with hiring demands. Want to smooth things out? Consider these four tips for setting your hiring manager up for success and speeding up the overall process during periods of rapid company growth:

Emphasize that "I'll know it when I see it" is not the way to go.

Often, hiring managers say their "gut" will let them know when they've found the right candidate. But, in fact, this phrase signals that they're unsure about what to look for. It's an excuse that only leads to a large number of unqualified candidates.

"Hiring managers go wrong by not putting time in up-front to really consider what they're looking for in a replacement or a new hire," Barbara Mitchell, co-author of The Big Book of HR, said via email, from her base in Washington, D.C. "If work is done before the hiring begins, it will go quicker."

Related: What Hiring Managers Don't Understand About Hiring for Data Science

Whenever a position opens up, have a conversation with your hiring manager. Ask why the previous employee left voluntarily or didn't work out and if there are new traits he or she should be seeking. Create clear criteria of what you consider nonnegotiable requirements and optional preferences. Finally, show the hiring manager how to objectively assess each candidate.

Go mobile.

When hiring managers need to find a new employee, their normal duties don't disappear. They have to balance the hiring process with their day-to-day tasks, and this can be overwhelming. Often, hiring managers push their hiring tasks to the backburner.

"One of the biggest recruiting bottlenecks is the hiring manager not being responsive enough when it comes to reviewing resumes and submitting interview feedback," Dan Finnigan, CEO of recruiting platform Jobvite, said in an email from San Mateo, Calif. "It can delay the process days -- even weeks -- and by then, the perfect candidate has already accepted a job elsewhere."

The easiest way to fit resume-review into a hiring manager's workday is to take hiring procedures mobile. By using mobile hiring platforms, a manager can assess candidates any time, whether he or she is riding in the elevator or in line for coffee.

Breaking down the large hiring task into smaller pieces also makes everything more manageable. Instead of staring at an intimidating mountain of resumes, hiring managers will get one resume at a time on their phone. While they commute to the office, they can quickly review candidates, make notes and then be ready to start their day by the time they reach their desk.

Don't abandon your hiring manager.

Hiring managers aren't members of HR. They don't assess talent on a daily basis. So, when they're unsure about what to do or whom to hire, they need to know whom to turn to for support.

"The best thing hiring managers can do to smooth the process is to ask for help," Michael Escobar, HR business analyst at property management company Castle Group, in Plantation, Fla., said in an email. "No process is perfect, so by sharing feedback and asking for help when something isn't working, HR teams are then equipped with the information they need to tailor the hiring process."

Have HR meet with your hiring manager throughout the talent hunt. Tell your manager to check in so you can learn what challenges he or she is facing. This will open the door for a discussion about what can be done to land the best candidate quickly. Over time, your manager will also learn how to be a more effective at hiring.

Solve the problem before it starts.

When your company is growing, your focus needs to be on filling new roles. If managers also have to replace employees due to high turnover, they'll get overwhelmed.

"In my experience, hiring managers make two mistakes, especially in the currently tight labor market: going too slow and letting turnover get out of hand," Indianapolis-based Howard Bates, CEO of the job search platform WorkHere, said via email.

Related: How Long Does it Take to Decide on a Job Candidate? The Answer May Surprise You.

He went on to point out that the best way to avoid hiring-process bottlenecks is to retain current talent. This means making great hires and sustaining a strong culture. If every employee is happy and fulfilled at work, that's one less position to fill.

Wavy Line
Heather R. Huhman

Career and Workplace Expert; Founder and President, Come Recommended

Waldorf, Md.-based Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager and president of Come Recommended, the PR solution for job search and HR tech companies. She writes about issues impacting the modern workplace.

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