How to Engage Managers in the Hiring Process

How to Engage Managers in the Hiring Process

Help managers take an active role in finding new employees

The hiring process is full of possibility. There’s the possibility of gaining a talented new employee who works well with the team—and the possibility of uncomfortable discrepancy between HR departments and hiring managers about who the new employee should be.

In some hiring scenarios, HR screens applications first and then gives hiring managers the opportunity to determine whether or not an applicant gets the job. (After all, it’s the managers who spend 40+ hour workweeks with the new employee, so it makes sense for them to have the final say.)

Hiring managers look at how well a candidate will fit into a specific role or complete a specific task. Will the candidate get along with the other team members? Do they have a good sense of humor? Are they dependable yet still fun to work with? When looking to fill a new position, hiring managers search for someone who will help their department function.

But HR departments often view applicants differently than hiring managers do – they worry about things like company values, risk and liability. When HR looks at applicants, they look for people who won’t cause the company any problems down the road—people who will follow the rules and policies designed to keep everyone safe and content.

So what happens when HR departments disagree with hiring managers about whether or not applicant is a good fit? How does HR avoid conflict and keep everyone happy? (Hint: the answer is manager engagement.)

And that’s where technology comes in. Applicant tracking software can help HR departments keep managers engaged in the hiring process by allowing them to explain:

  • What they expect from a new employee
  • What kind experience candidates should have
  • What kind of skills candidates need
  • What kinds of personalities will mesh with current team member

So can HR rest easy? Not yet. Keeping managers engaged is easier said than done. HR departments need to find the right applicant tracking tool—a software that is easy to implement, easy to navigate and easy for hiring managers to use. With the right technology, HR departments can help hiring managers:

Get involved on the front-end of the screening process: The right tool provides the ability to create effective screening questions, which streamline the application process by determining which applicants qualify for further review. HR can work with hiring managers on the front-end to create screening questions that aid in the scoring of each candidate.

Review candidates: Managers are busy and don’t have time to sift through stacks of paperwork or navigate cumbersome application formats. Applicant tracking software gives managers the opportunity to quickly review the applications that passed through initial screening from the HR department. A successful tool allows them to recognize the best applications and decide which applicants should come in for interviews.

Collect feedback: Interview evaluation forms, scored questionnaires and rating systems help managers connect with HR and discuss what they thought of each candidate. With online applicant tracking software, HR departments no longer have to email managers and wait for a response—everything is just a click away.

Choose their level of involvement: HR departments should recognize that each manager brings different values, opinions, and flair to the process. The best applicant tracking systems help managers get as involved as they wish in the hiring and onboarding process. If they want to see every application, they need a tool that lets them review every candidate. If they only want to see candidates with the top talent, they need a tool that allows HR to score candidates and decide who moves forward.

With an organized recruitment process, HR departments can work with their hiring managers and their employees to find new hires who match company values and department needs. And it all starts with open channels of communication—communication between the HR department and the hiring managers. The right applicant-tracking technology makes this communication easy.

Why HR Invites Manager Involvement

HR departments who actively engage their hiring managers in the hiring process have a better chance at finding employees who embody company ideals while getting the job done. The right applicant-tracking tool gives HR departments the chance to collaborate with their hiring managers to find the best fit for an open position. By encouraging managers to get involved up-front to create screening questions and communicating with them throughout the hiring process, HR departments can avoid uncomfortable disagreement about which prospective employees will do the best job.
Why Managers Love Getting Involved

Managers enjoy having the chance to decide who joins their team. (And why wouldn’t they?) With the right applicant-tracking tool, they can let HR know what kinds of candidates to look for and rest easy knowing that only the most qualified candidates will show up for interviews. They no longer have to worry about interviewing prospective employees who aren’t qualified. for the job.. The right tool empowers managers to take charge and find the best candidates.

Case Study: Maryland University of Integrated Health

Case Study: Maryland University of Integrated Health

It’s one thing to tell you how we can help, it’s another to see for yourself. We’ll regularly post case studies so you can see how ApplicantStack has been able to save our customers time and get more qualified applicants in the door.  


Maryland University of Integrated Health is a graduate school of integrative medicine, serving roughly 1,400 students. MUIH offers doctoral degrees, master’s Maryland University of Integrated Healthdegrees, graduate certificates, post-master’s certificates, post-bachelor’s certificates, and continuing education in areas such as health and wellness, nutrition, and acupuncture.


Maryland University of Integrated Health was drowning in spreadsheets. Candidates were emailing in their applications, hard copy resumes were stacked on desks, and all positions were being tracked manually. As a result, positions were taking four to five months to fill, and MUIH was missing out on top talent. And with many virtual employees and faculty members all over the world, once positions were filled the process to get them into the system was cumbersome and inefficient. Forms were not filled out correctly, if they were completed at all.


As a new Human Resources Director assessed the situation, she knew they had to streamline their processes or they would never be able to get ahead. Busy HR departments simply can’t be effective without an applicant tracking tool. She had previously used several different applicant tracking systems, and knew the simplicity, flexibility and cost of ApplicantStack would make it a good fit. Within two weeks, the system was up and running with all the hiring managers trained in the system. The Director was able to post a new job, list it on the website and linked job boards, and utilize the complimentary advertising — all within an hour.

Best of all, MUIH didn’t have to manage or maintain ApplicantStack. And, the University loved how easy it was to use. They have 32 hiring managers using the system effectively with little training time.


Since implementing ApplicantStack, MUIH has seen more diverse candidates apply, from a greater geographical reach, and a higher caliber of candidates overall. Hiring managers are able to review candidates much more quickly – hiring time has been reduced from four or five months to seven or eight weeks. The University is now filling 4.5 jobs per month, most being adjunct faculty, academic directors and staff positions. The addition of ApplicantStack Onboard has also simplified the new hire paperwork, so all paperwork is housed in one place and easy to deploy no matter where an employee may live.