You may be wondering when you need a hiring manager and when you need a recruiter. And what exactly do they do anyway?
We’ll tell you everything you need to know about these hiring heroes. What’s that? You’ve never heard them being called heroes before?
Well, think about it. Attracting, vetting, interviewing, hiring and onboarding the right candidate for a job takes courage, strength, perseverance, empathy and discernment – and when the person hired finally takes on their new role, it’s often life-changing. So yeah, they’re heroes in our book. ⭐️
A hiring manager and a recruiter have distinct responsibilities, but you’ll find they have similar goals – and as a result, a few similar tasks when hiring. In this article you’ll learn the difference between a recruiter and hiring manager, what each one does in their role and who makes the final decision in the hiring process.
Table of Contents
- <a href="#manager">What does a hiring manager do in recruitment?</a>
- <a href="#recruiter">What role does a recruiter play in hiring?</a>
- <a href="#need">Do you need a hiring manager, a recruiter or both?</a>
- <a href="#responsible">Who is responsible for hiring?</a>
- <a href="#mishire">What if the candidate ends up being a mis-hire? Then who is responsible?</a>
<div id="manager">What does a hiring manager do in recruitment?</div>
The hiring manager is the person in charge of hiring someone for their team. They will work with others – usually those within their direct team and sometimes with a recruiter – to determine who will be the best candidate to fill the role.
As the title indicates, they are the one leading the process and they have the final say on who gets the offer. You don’t need to have a Human Resources or recruiting background to do this, but of course it helps if you have some hiring experience or practical ideas on how to start hiring.
A hiring manager’s tasks typically include:
- Creating a job brief
- Ensuring the job post is well-designed and includes an engaging job description
- Getting the word out that there is an open position
- Reviewing applications
- Interviewing candidates
- Gathering feedback on candidates from the hiring team
- Making the final hiring decision
It’s important to note that the hiring manager is often doing these tasks alongside their day-to-day work, which means they have to set aside ample time and be very organized to ensure a smooth hiring experience for candidates and the team. Hiring managers may choose to work with a recruiter to manage the hiring workflow or they may rely on recruiting software to keep everyone on task and communicating successfully.
📣 Check out the 10 best recruiting software for small businesses
To learn more about hiring managers, we spoke to Homerun’s Content Marketing Lead, Lydia Kooistra, about her experience in this role.
<div id="recruiter">What role does a recruiter play in hiring?</div>
Recruiters connect job seekers with businesses by finding qualified candidates for their open roles. A recruiter can be part of a recruitment agency helping various clients fill vacant roles, they might work on their own as a freelancer or they may work in-house to find talent for a single company.
Filling open roles is a recruiter’s #1 responsibility. In addition to industry experience, they usually have a degree in Human Resources, Business Administration or a related field, plus certification.
- Work with companies or hiring managers to determine their hiring needs and set up a hiring process
- Come up with a personalized recruitment strategy for each role
- Help with the creation and advertisement of job posts
- Attend job fairs and events and use other sourcing techniques to build a robust candidate pipeline
- Review applications and conduct initial interviews as part of the screening process
- Coordinate interviews between qualified candidates and the company
- Ensure background and reference checks are completed
- Assist in the negotiating process
Depending on the needs of the company, the level of involvement can go much deeper. A recruiter might conduct interviews alongside managers and other stakeholders, oversee prep of interview questions, identify and recommend salary ranges and incentives, and ensure there is compliance with federal, state and local employment laws.
An internal recruiter (one who works to fill positions within their company) will receive a salary while an external recruiter (someone who finds talent for various clients) will earn a recruitment fee – either a percentage of the candidate’s first-year base salary, a flat fee or an agreed upon hourly rate.
To better understand the nuances of this position, we spoke to Gareth Cartman, Founder of Example, a digital marketing recruitment agency.
<div id="need">Do you need a hiring manager, a recruiter or both?</div>
When hiring for a role, you will most certainly need someone to manage the hiring process. So do you need a recruiter or a hiring manager, or both?
The short answer is: it depends on the amount of time you have for hiring, your bandwidth and your budget.
There will always be a hiring manager (a person on your team in charge of hiring) but you may or may not end up working with a recruiter. Let’s explore why.
In an ideal world, companies could hire a recruiter who'd use their expertise and connections to bring in top talent and free up the team to focus on their own tasks! But this may not always be possible for a variety of reasons.
Let's say you're a small business with limited financial resources or you’re hiring for a straightforward junior or entry-level position. Then a recruiter might not make sense for you.
📣 New to hiring? Check out our helpful guides, including:
- Homerun's Guide to the Hiring Process
- Homerun's Guide to Job Interviews
- Homerun's Guide to Remote Hiring
- Homerun's Guide to Attracting Talent
If you're organized, have a well-thought-out hiring process in place and a team that's game to help, you're in good shape. But if you're hiring for a role with a shortage of talent (meaning there are more open positions than there are qualified people to fill them), that's where it gets trickier. 😬
Recruiting for these roles can be difficult and time consuming, so you can do your best to prepare yourself for that scenario or make room in the budget for some professional help. Once we were able to hire a Software Engineer without a recruiter, but another time it simply wasn't possible and we ended up working with an amazing freelance recruiter to help us with sourcing.
More and more recruiters are offering their services in a variety of ways (hourly rates for example), which can allow them to focus on the specific tasks you need help with. If you find you're struggling to fill a role, it's worth it to get in touch and see what they can do.
When a hiring manager and recruiter join forces, they usually kick things off with an intake meeting to make sure their goals for hiring are aligned.
They'll typically discuss:
- the role in depth
- required experience or qualities a candidate should have (the must-haves vs. nice-to-haves)
- the ideal hiring timeline
- salary and benefits
- the hiring process – e.g. how things will work and who will be in charge of what
If a company is not working with a recruiter, then these are all points the hiring manager can flesh out with the hiring team, which we'll take a look at in the next section.
<div id="responsible">Who is responsible for hiring?</div>
Although a hiring manager and a recruiter each have a key role, there is never just one person responsible for hiring. Whether you’re a small business, a larger company, a nonprofit or a startup, the principle is the same: It takes a village.
The best hires are made when teams pitch in to create an engaging job post, interview candidates, discuss their thoughts and eventually decide who will join the team.
Let’s take a look at some individual roles within a hiring team and what the team itself could look like.
You may need a hiring team like the one above for important roles, but you can definitely succeed with a much smaller team as well. In many cases, a hiring manager plus one other team member could be enough to get things done! Just keep in mind that getting more team members involved in the process (also known as collaborative hiring) makes it easier to discern if a candidate is a good match for your team.
Be sure to keep your hiring team in the loop throughout the hiring process. You can and should treat hiring like any other project at your company so that there's clarity around roles and time commitment.
If projects usually involve kickoffs, stand-ups and retrospectives, then do those for each new job opening too. Making hiring a designated project with allocated time and a clear beginning and end will help your team to keep your hiring organized and set you up for success.
<div id="mishire">What if the candidate ends up being a mis-hire? Then who is responsible?</div>
If for some reason the candidate you’ve picked turns out to be a mis-hire, it’s not time to play the blame game.
We’ve heard stories of companies who’ve used recruiters asking for partial refunds on their fee and it’s simply not fair (unless there was some serious negligence).
Gareth explains it this way, "If you've been through two or more interviews and an offer process, and your candidate turns out to be a bad hire, it's more your fault than that of the recruiter. There is an element of responsibility on the recruiter, however, there are tools available to assess cultural fit, there are screening techniques that you can use to make sure both skills and behaviours are aligned. So if the recruiter has gone through these processes, a.) it shouldn't happen, and b.) the onus is really on the hiring manager at this point.”
That said, if your company agrees to hire someone and it doesn’t work out, the best you can do is move forward and learn from the experience.
Of course everyone wants to steer clear of mis-hires. In a survey from CareerBuilder, 74% of companies who made a mis-hire reported an average loss of nearly $15,000 per hire. Some experts put that figure as high as $240,000 😱, depending on the position and type of business.
Not only does it hurt financially, it can be very frustrating and demoralizing for your team. That’s why it’s so important to have a solid hiring process in place and to avoid hiring biases, which can cloud anyone’s judgment.
Hiring with confidence
Having a clear and organized hiring process in place and a hiring team whose goals and expectations are aligned will help you hire with confidence and ease. Whether you’re using the services of a recruiter or hiring on your own, you always want to give candidates a top-notch hiring experience.
This means having a structured hiring workflow, collaborating and communicating effectively with your hiring team and adding personal touches to improve the candidate experience, like well-crafted and designed job posts and simple-to-fill-out application forms with thoughtful questions.
When you work together and utilize your strengths, you can make hiring a positive experience for everyone involved and find the right person to round out your team!