Table of contents
  1. Benefits Of A Hiring Manager Checklist
  2. Refine Your Company Forms with Connecteam
  3. What To Include On A Hiring Manager Checklist
  4. What Else You Need To Consider
  5. Conclusion

A hiring manager checklist is a means through which businesses can organize the steps involved in interviewing, selecting, and onboarding new members of staff.

In addition to helping you find the right person for the job, an effective hiring manager checklist will ensure the recruitment process runs smoothly—and consistently—across the various departments within your organization. 

A hiring manager checklist may be put together by members of the HR team and distributed to those recruiting within your company. Alternatively, a hiring manager may compile this themselves to ensure they accomplish all the key milestones in the recruitment process and treat all applicants fairly.

Depending on the structure of your company, you may have a single checklist for the entire recruitment process or use different checklists for various stages, such as screening, interviewing and onboarding. 

Likewise, your company might have one checklist for all recruitment or create a specific checklist for every vacancy.

Benefits Of A Hiring Manager Checklist

Introducing a hiring manager checklist can have several benefits for your business. These include:

Ensuring good practice is followed

If members of your company who work outside of HR are conducting interviews and onboarding staff, having a hiring manager checklist can ensure these individuals adhere to your company’s recommended protocols. As well as introducing safeguards for your business, this can empower your interviewers to feel more confident when meeting candidates.

A more consistent hiring approach

As all individuals have their own interviewing and recruitment styles, having a hiring manager checklist can ensure that the recruitment process remains as consistent as possible for all candidates. Being judged by the same criteria will ensure a greater level of fairness when determining who has been successful.

Increased efficiency

With recruitment processes becoming increasingly complex and often involving an increased number of stages, there is, unfortunately, a greater likelihood of things being overlooked or missed. A hiring manager checklist can help prevent this from happening and act as a memory aid for those involved in recruitment, interviewing, and onboarding.

Improved candidate experience

A well-organized recruitment process offers a better experience for your candidates, regardless of whether they are successful in their application.

As a business leader or HR professional, you are no doubt aware that your candidates’ experience of interviewing with your company can affect how your business is perceived in the professional community. 

If an applicant has a poor experience, they may share this information with others, which could deter skilled candidates from wishing to work within your organization in the future. Likewise, you may believe that you have found an ideal candidate, but they may decline your offer of employment if they have had any difficulties during the interview process.

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What To Include On A Hiring Manager Checklist

While the exact content of your checklist will depend on the nature of your business, you may well find it useful to include the following points:

The responsibilities of the role

Having this information as part of your checklist should help ensure that you draw up an accurate candidate profile and craft a job advert that will attract suitable applicants.

Information on compensation

Before you begin the hiring process, you’ll need to decide on the compensation available to the successful candidate through both wages and any additional benefits, such as health and life insurance. You should also decide if there is any flexibility in increasing this compensation for the right candidate.

Details of appropriate recruitment sources

Your checklist should include details of where and when you will advertise your vacancy. For instance, you may want to include details of any job fairs you may want to attend or industry publications you may want to use to publicize your vacancy.

Employee screening requirements

If the role requires your candidates to submit to certain vetting processes, you should include this as part of your checklist. Otherwise, you may discover that a candidate who initially seemed a good match for the role is, in fact, unsuitable.

Guidance on interview questions

Providing a steer on suitable interview questions is one of the key components of a hiring manager checklist. It should contain questions relevant to all interviewees (relating to company values, for example) and questions specific to the role in question. 

Crucially, your checklist should also contain detailed guidance on any questions that your interviewees are prohibited from asking by law, such as those that could result in an allegation of discriminatory hiring practices. 

Having this information is especially important if your hiring manager does not have a background in HR, as they may not understand the sensitive legal issues surrounding the appropriateness of interview questions. If your interviewees have any doubts, it is essential they contact your HR or legal departments for further training and guidance.

Your assessment criteria

If several people from across your organization are involved in the hiring process, they may have different ideas about who is the right candidate for the role. Identifying the criteria by which you will assess your applicants should help focus your interviewers’ minds.

Process for references

Your checklist should also include details of how you will obtain references for your chosen applicants. It should state the number of references you’ll need and whether these should be personal or professional. You’ll also need to state at what stage in the process you will obtain references and whether you will notify your candidates that you are contacting their referees.

The process for making an offer

As well as information on selecting the right candidate, your checklist should include details of how you will formally make an offer to the successful applicant. It should, for example, include details of the format in which the offer will be made and details of the person who will make the offer.

Feedback for unsuccessful candidates

It is also helpful to decide on the type and level of feedback you will provide to applicants who were not offered the job. Although these candidates may not have secured a position, their experiences of the application process will inform their view of your business, and they may share these experiences with others in your industry.

First day/onboarding checklist

As the recruitment process doesn’t end with hiring a candidate, your checklist should also include details of the correct process for onboarding the candidate into your organization, such as sending out welcome letters, arranging payroll, and tips for ensuring their first day is a success.

What Else You Need To Consider

Formatting your checklist

When you’re drawing up your checklist, you will also need to decide on the correct formatting for your document. For instance, you may choose to have this as a Word document or Excel document. Alternatively, you may decide to find an existing free checklist template online to use as the basis for your document. However you decide to format the document, it is a good idea if your HR department has ownership of it and retains editing rights of the master document. This can prevent those without the correct qualifications from potentially removing or altering information that is vital to a fair, streamlined, and legal recruitment process.

Regularly review your checklist

Remember, you’ll need to update your hiring manager checklist to reflect any new legislation regarding employment law or any new hiring policies within your organization. It is therefore essential that representatives from your HR and legal departments routinely review the document to ensure it is up to date.


As all business leaders and HR professionals know, finding the right candidate for a vacancy can be time-consuming and potentially expensive for a business, although it will ultimately be worthwhile. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help ensure a better experience for your business, your hiring managers and, most importantly, your candidates.

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