I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard a manager complain, “The HR department included ‘must have college degree’ in the job req even though I don’t care” or “They asked for 5 years of experience in a technology that’s only been around for 3” or “I have no idea why they rejected this candidate without even contacting me.”

Still, in many cases you don’t have a choice. If you want to hire someone, you need to deal with HR, at least to a small degree – especially if you work in a big company.

So I’m writing a feature story for technology managers, collecting real-world advice from people who learned their lessons the hard way.

Let’s say you have a new opening in your department. In what ways do you involve HR? (That could be anything from, “give them general guidelines and let them choose the best candidates for me to interview” to “I do the search myself, and use HR only for on-boarding.”) What makes you choose that path? How much choice do you have in the matter?

What do you wish you knew “n” years ago about dealing with your company’s HR department?

Please don’t assume that I think HR always sucks. However, there isn’t as much to learn from “why HR is your friend.” The idea here is to help techie managers cope when HR doesn’t offer what you hoped for.

closed as primarily opinion-based by mhoran_psprep, IDrinkandIKnowThings, gnat, Myles, scaaahu Jan 8 at 4:37

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    Welcome to The Workplace SE. I'm sorry your question is likely to be closed as off topic as there are a couple angles that it doesn't fit here. However chat would be a really good venue for it. chat.stackexchange.com/… – Myles Jan 7 at 21:32

Let’s say you have a new opening in your department. In what ways do you involve HR?

You, as the manager, have to write down a list with the requirements and aspects needed from potential candidates (years of experience, degree or not, etc.).

If you are letting HR come up with these then that is part of the problem, as it is unlikely they know things like "this technology has been around for 3 years, no way I'm asking for 5 years of experience on it."

After that (each company is different though), you send that list to HR, and ask them to do the initial screening. Ideally you want to double check they got the correct list. When they finish the initial screening then you can proceed to the second round, where you can go deeper and more technical on the subject.


HR are facilitators in the hiring process, not drivers. You need to be in charge of your own hiring.

  1. Write your own job descriptions.
  2. Only let HR screen candidates for HR related issues, for example, right to work, possible visa sponsorship, etc
  3. You and your team conduct interviews, not HR.

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