A Day in the Life of a Hiring Manager4 min read

October 23, 2018 Industry Insights

The relationship between talent acquisition staff and hiring managers is crucial to a smooth recruitment process. While recruiters are laser-focused on the hire at hand, managers may have a million other things competing for their mind’s attention. Here’s a look at what typical hiring manager does over the course of their day.

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When a new requisition comes in, recruiters — especially at large corporations — often have no idea who the hiring manager is or what their job entails.

“Managers have a tough job and a full plate. They’re responsible for their department planning, organizing, leading and controlling. They’re also responsible for hiring. But managers themselves are often hired and promoted for their technical expertise, not their ability to hire others.”

Sharlyn Lauby, HR consultant and blogger

So, what does a hiring manager do all day? Let’s walk through a typical workday in the life of a fictitious hiring manager at a Fortune 500 renewable energy company. We’ll call her Stella.

8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.

Stella settles in at her desk and attempts to gain control of her overflowing email inbox. She replies to a few right away, and moves others into a “to-do” folder to deal with later. Several of the pending emails are from the talent acquisition department regarding Stella’s search for a new regional coordinator. She has trouble keeping up with developments and responding to questions that compete with other high-priority tasks on her plate that aren’t related to the hiring search.

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

The meetings begin. Stella meets with her team to discuss the day’s priorities and get status updates on various projects. Her deputy manager has been working with a recruiter to schedule phone screens and first interviews with candidates for the regional coordination position, but he’s increasingly frustrated with the scheduling nightmare on his hands. Some candidates are unresponsive, all information gets funneled through talent acquisition and coordinating internal staff schedules to find a time that works for everyone feels like mission impossible. The deputy urges his boss to push for automation — imagine if these candidates could see our availability and self-schedule their interviews, he says. What a time-saver that would be! Stella agrees to chat with TA about how to streamline the interview process.

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Meeting number two is completely unrelated to the regional coordinator search as Stella huddles with top executives to hammer out campus recruitment budgets for the coming year.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Stella had set aside this hour to check in on midwest region operations. Since the abrupt departure of her previous regional coordinator, she’s been stepping in to fill the gap until a replacement is hired. With every hour spent doing someone else’s job instead of her own, the need to accelerate the candidate search becomes painfully clear.

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12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Lunch! Stella tries to get out of the office to grab a bite and steal some fresh air, but let’s be honest: More often than not, it’s leftovers or a sandwich at her desk while multitasking.

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

The talent acquisition team has blocked off this hour in Stella’s schedule to sit down and familiarize her with the company’s applicant tracking system (ATS). The software hasn’t been upgraded in five years, so it’s clunky and unintuitive. After the training session, Stella is more confused and frustrated than when it began.

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Stella works toward a three o’clock deadline to submit invoices and paperwork that’s been piling up on her desk for the last month. She has to dig through a hefty pile of paper resumes to find the documents she really needs.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Break time. As part of management’s effort to improve the work culture at headquarters in the hopes of attracting young talent, there’s fresh fruit in the kitchen, and a cake to celebrate the month’s birthdays. Stella takes the time to attend because someone in her department has a birthday.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Late afternoon meetings are the worst, but this one seems urgent and necessary. As renewable energy becomes more mainstream, the company has embarked on an aggressive growth strategy, which means the hiring blitz is on. Upper management is now aware of the bottlenecks and roadblocks in their corporate hiring process, so they’ve called a leadership meeting to discuss solutions. Stella explains her pain points and advocates a significant investment in talent acquisition software that would alleviate her concerns. They’re ready to do their research and put their money where their mouth is.

Thankfully, a trying day for Stella ends on a hopeful note.

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