The 6 Most Common Types of Hiring Managers

October 30, 2017

Hiring managers vary in experience, education, and natural talent for the role. These attributes may be wildcards, but when you examine hiring managers closely you will see specific similarities take shape.

We’ll go over a few interesting hiring manager types in a second, but first… we have to acknowledge that the responsibility hiring managers have is enormous(!). After all, at the heart of every company is its people, and it’s up to hiring managers (with the help of other helpful team members) to make sure the right people come onboard. One bad hire can cost your company thousands – and just think of how negatively an unqualified or undependable employee makes on your and your team members! 

HR execs and company leaders who are able to recognize the unique traits that most hiring managers have are much more likely to hire better team members than those who aren’t.

Here are 6 of the most common types of hiring managers, along with their strengths and weaknesses of each. Do you see your hiring manager in one of them? (Or maybe YOU’RE one of them?)

Nosy Nelson

Yes, the interviewing process is peppered with questions. However, Nelson goes beyond the scope of the job. Questions about the candidate’s personal life and other probing inquiries is off-putting and in some cases, illegal. While Nelson probably garners tons of information to use in his decision, he could land your company in the hot seat if the questions skirt discrimination issues. Periodically reminding him of the boundaries is an excellent idea.

Planning Penny

Penny is all about the hiring and onboarding schedule. She lives by her calendar and stresses out if she misses a deadline. Penny excels at moving the hiring process forward. Unfortunately, she tends to be inflexible and isn’t adaptable to unforeseen obstacles. Sometimes she chooses a new hire because she doesn’t want to miss a deadline, not because she believes he or she can do the job effectively. Since hiring is all about humans, it would benefit her to cultivate better people skills to add to her sharp planning strong points.

Judgmental Jack

Choosing new employees for your company is complex, and all pertinent information should be reviewed. Jackson, unfortunately, doesn’t stop there. He notes every tattoo, piercing, eye wrinkle, or extra pound he dislikes and uses it to sway his opinion of the applicant. Jack’s strength is that he takes his job seriously and does everything possible to make a smart decision. He just needs to realize he can’t form his opinion of whether or not a person can do the job well by judging aspects of the person’s appearance that don’t directly impact the job.

Worried Wilma

Taking her job seriously is Wilma’s pride and joy, but she paralyzes herself with indecision. She frets if she interviewed enough people, asked the right amount of questions, and reviewed the applicant’s background carefully enough. While every HR pro wants their hiring manager to be thorough, Wilma’s misgivings cause her to avoid a decision. Hiring times increase and jobs stay empty longer. Wilma needs to be encouraged to believe in the process and have confidence in her decisions.

Arrogant Alex

Alex knows he’s a rock star. When he interviews job applicants, he wants them to know it, too. Instead of finding out as much as he can about the candidate, he regales them with his stories of success and overall fabulousness. Alex’s passion and enthusiasm are positive, but he needs to listen better and more often. Otherwise he won’t have enough information about the candidate to reach a sound hiring decision.

Cloning Clarissa

Organizations need employees with diverse backgrounds and unique ideas. Clarissa, while a top-performing employee, is a bit close-minded. She thinks every employee should be just like her. During the hiring process, she tends to prematurely dismiss candidates who aren’t around her age, with a similar work history, education, and demeanor. “They just won’t fit in” is one of Clarissa’s favorite explanations of not hiring a job seeker. The HR pro who manages Clarisse needs to help her see that, sometimes, different may actually be the better choice.

Choosing a new employee poses challenges, and making the wrong decision is costly. Hiring managers need to perform well to navigate the interview and hiring process so they choose wisely. HR pros can help them by pinpointing their strengths and weaknesses, and then coaching them to improve on their soft points. A high-performing crop of new hires is worth the effort!



Linda Le Phan
Senior Content Marketing Manager at kununu.

Back to posts