Raise Your Hands If You Know A Bad Hiring Manager

It simply amazes me (and I am not amazed too often) how bad some people are at hiring or building a team. It’s almost as if, and I am not trying to be sarcastic here, some people are trying to mess things up.  Otherwise I can’t imagine how someone in a management role could stop and think, and then still do the things they do.

If you are a manager trying to hire someone, shouldn’t it be common sense that if you don’t follow up with someone you interviewed three weeks ago, that there is a pretty good chance they are not going to be interested in working for you if/when you call them back.

A saying that comes to mind is.…the thing about common sense is that it isn’t that common.

I heard a story once that I would like to share in hopes of getting the attention of people responsible for hiring and building a team:

There is a room full of 1000 people listening to a speaker.  The speaker says, “How many people in this room know someone they would say is a liar?   If you do, please raise your hand.”  All 1000 hands in the room go up.  Then the speaker says, “Ok, everyone in the room knows a liar. Now keep your hand up if you are a liar.”  All of the hands in the room go down.

Interesting isn’t it?

At the very least it shows that if you are a liar, it is not something you are going to admit in public.

I would like to get a group of hiring managers in a room and take them through the same exercise.  First I would ask everyone in the room to put up their hand if they know someone who is a bad hiring manager.  I am sure everyone in the room has been through a bad hiring experience.  Either as a potential candidate, or they have witnessed some bad practices by people they have worked with.  But when asked if they are a bad hiring manager, I am sure all hands would go down.  Again, I am sure this is not something you are going to admit in a room full of people.

Many people have led an interview process and hired someone.  They can say they have done it.  But doing something and doing something well are two different things.

Part of the problem is that there is no real standard for what constitutes a successful hire.  Therefore, when the process is completed and a hire is made, there is no way to determine whether the hiring manager has done a good job or not.

Has someone done a good job of hiring or filling a position if:

The position was filled within a certain amount of time?

All the required skills were met for the position?

A good cultural fit was found for the organization?

The employee has stayed with the company for a period of time?

The employee has attained a certain level of production?

Now everything I list above is subjective.  Each hiring manager should have the ability to determine what skills are best for their team.  So right here there can be a reasonable discrepancy between one manager and the next.   They may be hiring for a similar position, but this could be within a different department and/or a different organization all together.

But at a minimum can we say that a good hiring manager should:

  • Follow a defined hiring process as opposed to having each hire be a journey of its own
  • Be consistent in the process they use to identify potential candidates
  • Follow a consistent system of determining whether a person is qualified as opposed to each interview taking on a life of its own.
  • Consistently articulate why someone would want to join the organization and the team the position falls within.
  • Have an assigned group of people dedicated to a hiring process who have been prepped as to what they are trying to accomplish at that stage of the interview process, as opposed to whoever is available at the time of the interview.
  • Follow up with the candidates they are interviewing in a timely manner or at least at the time they say they will follow up

As the market for Healthcare IT talent is growing more and more competitive, it is time for managers who are trying to build a team to get serious about what they are doing.

Managers should start to treat the positions they are trying to fill with the same level of seriousness as the projects they are leading within their organizations.

The ones that do will be very well positioned to accomplish the objectives that have been set for this industry over the next several years.  The ones that don’t will still be sitting in a room full of their peers with their hands down wondering why their department is continually falling behind.

About the author


David Kushan

David Kushan is the President of Healthcare IS and has spent the last 18 years of his career working in the Healthcare Information Technology industry assisting over 120 healthcare organizations nationwide. Visit www.HealthcareIS.com for Dave’s company blog, articles, podcasts and more.


  • I find this most interesting David and forwarded your article to my Daughter. She is not in the Healthcare IT field however she does hire/fire employees and currently manages a team of 16. Being she is only 25yo and only managing this team for 8 months, she is thankful each time I pass along good information from trusted individuals.
    Thank you for all the brilliant information you have afforded us!

  • Hi Michelle,
    My apologies for the delay in responding. Thanks so much for your kind comments. Glad to hear you find the information valuable.

Click here to post a comment