Working as a hiring manager often means wearing a lot of different hats. The initial hiring process is daunting and complicated in and of itself. But, contrary to what some may think, sifting through applications, conducting interviews, and extending an offer is not where the job of a hiring manager ends—it’s where it begins.

Hiring managers are not only in charge of finding the right people to fill open positions, they also often serve as the direct superior to new hires. Additionally, much of the onboarding process can fall on their shoulders. This means hiring managers have to train new employees, and find ways to make them feel safe and comfortable in their new work environment. They do all of this while also operating as a problem solver for any issues that may arise throughout the hiring and onboarding proceedings.

These tasks, along with the many other job responsibilities we haven’t listed, require a special skill set.

Most people probably already know that a good manager possesses skills such as adaptability, compassion, and that they are typically excellent communicators. But what about the skills that make a good hiring manager in particular?

We’ve narrowed it down to the top five—Critical thinking, Leadership, Time Management, Creativity, and Collaboration. Let’s take a look at each of these more closely.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking, in this context, refers to the ability to analyze relevant information, in order to make evidence-based decisions and effectively solve problems. It’s a very coveted skill for all managers, but especially those in charge of hiring, considering they are often responsible for putting out fires that may ignite in more than one department.

Other leadership roles typically only require managers to make decisions regarding just their department. Hiring managers, however, have to make decisions regarding any person that has recently been hired in the company, or is currently being trained. Regardless of what department a new hire works in, during the first three to six months on the job, the hiring manager is responsible for that person and any/all mistakes they make.

When you are managing that many people, and solving any number of problems at once, critical thinking is a must.


Because hiring managers are often the point-person when it comes to onboarding/training new employees, they have to possess effective leadership skills. Hiring managers must be motivating and understanding, while also being able to set strict deadlines and conduct performance reviews.

Lower-level employees should feel comfortable talking to their hiring managers when there is an issue, meaning managers should strive to have an approachable and compassionate attitude. On the other hand, hiring managers need to feel comfortable going to their own superiors if/when the issue at hand is above their pay grade. This means they need to be confident and willing to ask for help.

All of these attributes fall under the umbrella of good leadership, and being a good leader is what can separate a mediocre hiring manager from an excellent one.

A note to startups and any other young businesses looking for the perfect hiring manager—leadership skills are rare!

In the hiring process, many, if not most, applicants will say they possess leadership skills when asked, but according to Gallup, only 10% of people actually have the necessary traits to effectively lead in the business world.

So, how can you weed out the applicants who say they know how to lead from the ones who actually can? Let us help! At IsoTalent, we have access to top-tier applicant pools, and our hiring process is streamlined but sophisticated. We can find you the perfect hiring manager—someone with all five of the skills listed here and much, much more!

Time Management

Time management is a good skill for all employees to have—but it is particularly important for those in leadership positions. As a hiring manager, you want to make yourself as available as possible to new hires, and in order to do that, managing your time effectively is key.

If you spread yourself too thin, are disorganized, or do not stay on schedule, that will likely have a negative effect on those working under you. In fact, it may lead to higher levels of employee turnover. According to a BambooHR Survey, reported on by Vultus, two of the top reasons that people stated for quitting their job within the first six months were that they felt neglected, and there was a lack of mentorship/collaboration.

One way that hiring managers and business owners can ensure their new employees are getting all the attention they need, is to build a team of qualified and hard-working VPs within the HR department. Executives such as the Chief Human Resource Operator or People Success Managers, can provide a much-needed support system to overworked hiring managers. Not sure how to find these people? Maybe let IsoTalent find them for you. We are experts in placing talented leaders in executive roles.

Read more about our services and how they can save you time and money here.


Creativity may not be the first quality one thinks of when talking about what makes a good hiring manager, but it’s actually a necessity. Hiring managers have to find unique ways to attract talented people to the company, and also have to adapt their onboarding process so that it is effective for each individual employee.

These tasks require creativity, and out-of-the-box thinking. That said, it may be unrealistic to expect your hiring manager to have the skills or technology to implement all their creative ideas in ways that are accessible to everyone.

For example, a hiring manager might be an expert in cultivating the perfect, most appealing job posting—one that will bring out the best of the best in terms of applicants. But, if the hiring manager doesn’t have access to a reliable translator or to international job posting sites, the talent pool they are reaching will be inherently small.

That’s where third-party recruitment firms come in. They can help boost the number of people that see your job posting, so all the hard-work and creativity that went into making it doesn’t go to waste.

Collaboration and Delegation

You have good critical thinking skills, you’re a natural born leader, you manage your time well, and you even have a creative side—what’s missing?

Nothing! You’re an amazing hiring manager, reliable and skillful. But even the best managers need help now and again, and one of the most important skills you can have in your arsenal is the ability to know when to collaborate and delegate. Handing out tasks to co-workers, higher ups, and even to third-party firms is a great way to ensure that you have enough time and energy to focus on the most important aspects of your job.

Collaborating with a recruitment firm can provide hiring managers with an option to relieve themselves of busy-work and/or tasks that they know can be done better by a professional group with more resources.

IsoTalent offers everything from intuitive recruitment software, to EOR services, to start-to-finish hiring. We are here to support all the hard-working and devoted hiring managers in every way, big or small.