Recruiting vs. hiring manager: Who is really responsible for hiring?

When you’re looking for a new job, the process can be grueling. The process of landing a new job takes a lot of patience, and truthfully, quite a bit of time. 

In between filling out countless job applications asking the same thing over and over again, just in different formats, you sometimes begin to feel bogged down constantly tailoring your resume for each job opportunity. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the fact of the matter is, when you’re doctoring your resume so you can increase your chances of getting hired, you find yourself constantly wondering, “Who is really responsible for hiring me?”

Is it the recruiter, or is it the hiring manager?

Today, we will tackle this pressing question and help you learn how to figure out who is hiring you when you apply for that next job! 

How to tell who does the hiring

Unless you’re interviewing specifically with the owner of a company, there is a chance you could be a bit confused as to who really does the hiring! 

To help clear it up, let’s first establish the recruiter’s traditional role and the hiring manager. 

  • Hiring Manager: A hiring manager is exactly what their name states, a person in charge of hiring new team members. Typically, a hiring manager is a team leader and is in charge of defining things like qualifications, the scope of work, and even pay grade for the new team member. 
  • Recruiter: Once a hiring manager/company decides to hire known by laying out what they’re looking for, it’s the recruiter’s role to find qualified candidates to fill the role. Recruiters can be outsourced position such a talent firm. 

While the two differ in many ways, they do complement each other well and work in unison. To ensure the best and most qualified candidate is selected, the recruiter and hiring manager’s process is vital. 

Which leads us back to the question at hand, of the two, who does the hiring? 

Hiring managers hire and recruiters recruit

It’s a pretty simple answer, but in the end, hiring managers make the final choice when it comes to hiring a candidate.

Of course, the recruiter plays an integral role in the process and is aware of the candidate’s capabilities. Be sure to put together the best pool of possible applicants for the hiring manager to choose from! 

Here are the key roles of each to make sure you understand!

Hiring Managers

  • Evaluate candidates
  • Discover the real person behind the resume
  • Make the decision to hire or not hire a candidate. 
  • Keep in communication with a recruiter on the applicant pool.
  • Make an offer to the selected candidate. 


  • Provide the hiring manager with the best possible pool of applicants
  • Communicate and help the hiring managers with proper approaches to hiring 
  • Attract applicants for positions 

What you should do if your applying

Now that you know the hiring manager and recruiter’s roles, you might be asking yourself, how do you use this to your advantage. 

Ultimately it’s the recruiter who gets you in the door, and it’s the hiring manager who decides whether you get to come through or if you have to find a new door to enter. Knowing this is vital for you so you can figure out how to land a new job. 

To help you, it would be silly to think the recruiter doesn’t impact building a case to the hiring manager why someone might be a great fit for the spot. So look at the recruiter as your new best friend if it is a job you’re serious about. 

In addition to a great resume, cover letter, and perhaps a few high-quality references, you need to get in with the recruiter and build the relationship. While there is no guarantee, this certainly won’t help. To do this, stay in appropriate professional communication and reply promptly. Also, get on the phone whenever possible; this is how relationships are built. 

Next, the hiring manager. 

If the recruiter is the nurse that sees the patient first, the hiring manager is the doctor who comes in and ultimately signs the prescription! Knowing this, you need to make sure you make the same impression on the hiring manager. While there are certain circumstances out of your control, figuring out how to make yourself the ideal candidate for the hiring manager means interviewing well. Interviewing well means being prepared, practicing, and strategizing! 

Just remember, always be yourself. 

The verdict:

If you’re someone looking to land a new gig, it’s important to know both the recruiter and the hiring manager’s distinct roles. While that might seem pretty simple, sometimes the roles can overlap, which may cause a little confusion. 

That being said, use the nurse/doctor analogy to help you, and if you happen to be the owner of a company looking to distinguish the two roles, hopefully, this all helped!