The Hiring Manager Maturity Model

April 1st, 2021 - Jacco Valkenburg

Hiring managers are responsible for most of the delays and mistakes in hiring staff.

Do you agree?

So, if you want to improve the quality of the recruitment process, improve diversity hiring or shorten the time to hire, it makes sense to try to get managers more involved in recruitment. But the HR/Recruiting department and the Hiring Manager/Leadership team may have completely different views concerning the effectiveness of the organisation’s recruitment process.

The Hiring Manager Maturity Model

The Hiring Manager Maturity Model from the team at Recruiting Toolbox may help to understand gaps and identify where you need to invest to improve hiring speed, quality, and diversity at your organisation. It ensures the creation of a culture that breeds and rewards engaged, skilled and high-ownership Hiring Managers. Such a culture is the key ingredient for winning top talent.

This model aims to improve hiring managers’ skills and gaps and the complete transformation of their role into active participants in the recruitment process. Their role will be elevated from being mere criticizers and complainers to one of being true talent champions, ready to lead the recruiting process, interviewing strategy, diversity and training, as demonstrated in the following Hiring Manager Maturity Model.

Passive aggressive Hiring Manager

“Recruiting doesn’t get me good resumes”

  • Doesn’t see recruiting as “my job”
  • Act more like a hard-to-schedule interviewer than a hiring manager
  • Gets “leftover”, low-quality talent because they don’t engage effectively with recruiters or candidates
  • Makes a lot of noise about bad recruiting support


“I have hiring pain, so tell me what I need to do to fix it”

  • Follows minimum recruiting processes needed to make the hire
  • Hires with a short term orientation
  • Recruiter still has to chase them to get feedback and move quickly

Leader / Partner

“Let’s work together to find our team the best talent”

  • Seeks a partnership relationship with recruiter
  • Helps to source and sell talent
  • Leads the interview process

Talent Champion

“Recruiting is core to our success, so we’re going to do…”

  • Proactive and always recruiting- not just when a job is open
  • Champions diversity and high hiring standards
  • Mentors other hiring managers
  • Creates a culture for recruiting


Talent Champions become talent magnets

Talent Champions are great advocates of both the direct benefits deriving from their investment of time and leadership into filling vacancies, as well as of the extending of their recruiting culture to the entire organisation. The list below summarises the benefits that the company can expect when more talent champions are present in the organisation.

  1. Higher response rates to outbound messaging to top talent
  2. Faster time to fill (more proactive and responsive recruiting)
  3. Skinnier recruiting funnel (fewer, better candidates)
  4. Better quality hires (company gets more of the talent it needs)
  5. Higher offer: hire close rate
  6. Better diversity ROI
  7. Industry reputation for high hiring bar
  8. Less culture risk (new people learn how to hire from champions)
  9. Better-funded TA Programs (diversity, referrals, events)
  10. Reduced agency fees

Recruiting culture eats recruiting strategy for breakfast. But not without some hard work.

Are you setting Hiring Managers up to be Talent Champions?

We suggest a two-step process that is a prerequisite for organisations to follow before the implementation of the Hiring Manager Maturity Model, if they are committed to transform their Hiring Managers into becoming Talent Champions. The first step is to conduct the following assessment, to get a clear picture of your existing recruitment culture.

The second step is the essential behavioral change of Hiring managers. There is this common saying which goes as follows “If you can’t measure it, you can’t fix it”. In order though to measure it, it is vital for organisations to have hiring managers who do not stay idle and feel frustrated about the current state of the speed of the process, quality of hires, or diversity of hires. Only such a mentality can truly trigger change.

Finally, highlight actions that you can take to persuade hiring managers to change. Company-wide strategies, processes and (interview) training must be defined around what Hiring Managers care about; speed, quality and diversity. Next, set Hiring Manager behavior expectations, responsibilities, timelines and deliverables to improve recruiting results.

Because recruiting is a service. It’s not a place to throw your vacancy over the fence.

Written by Jacco Valkenburg and Dionysis Skandalos. Source and images: White Paper from Recruiting Toolbox.


For more information feel free to contact Jacco Valkenburg, by telephone +31 6 2825 7098 or by e-mail

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