Tricks to Finding the Hiring Manager’s Name

Contacting the hiring manager increases a job seeker’s visibility and success rate, but it’s hard to connect when you don’t know his or her name. Control your destiny—and your ability to score interviews—by using these techniques to unearth the hiring manager’s name.

Pick up the phone

Red TelephoneThe shortest distance between two points is a straight line, so call the company and ask to speak with the appropriate manager, for instance, the manager of tech support or engineering. Your goal is to make a positive impression and to verify whether he or she is the right contact. So when he answers, politely explain that you’re a veteran engineer who is interested in the senior development opening and offer to send him your resume.

You may not get the right contact, but it’s a start, so ask for the name of the appropriate hiring manager or someone who may know. Drop the name of your last contact each time you call, and with perseverance, you’ll eventually uncover the name of the hiring manager.

Remember, there’s nothing wrong with ferreting out the name of the hiring manager; in fact, employers expect it. If someone tells you to contact HR or apply online, agree to do so, but explain that you would still like the name and title of the hiring manager for your cover letter.

Tap your network

Do you know someone who works at your target company? Do any of your friends, relatives or colleagues know someone who works there? Search social media, alumni directories, chat rooms and forums, meet-up and user groups and professional networking sites by company name to identify former co-workers or friends of friends who might know the hiring manager’s name. Better still, ask for an introduction, and be sure to mention the name of your friend when calling or crafting an introductory email.

Just remember to return the favor.

Start at the top

It’s easy to find the name of the CIO or head of IT on the “About Us” page of the company’s website or by searching the Internet. Depending on the size of the company, you may be transferred to the CIO or an assistant, so be ready to introduce yourself before asking for the name and title of the hiring manager. If the CIO’s assistant won’t divulge the hiring manager’s name, ask for his job title so you can look him up on line. CIOs are responsible for sourcing and hiring top-notch talent, so she may ask to see your resume or even volunteer to send it to the hiring manager if she’s impressed with your technical experience and chutzpah.

Executives are great networkers, and they have no reason to deny your request. In fact, you’ll probably encounter more resistance from receptionists and junior professionals.

Search the Internet

Search the Internet and your local business news using the company’s name and the manager’s job title (IT director + ABC Company) to see who comes up. Also, search social media, blogs, professional networking sites and directories like ZoomInfo and Spoke that list key managers by company and location, as well as trade publications and IT associations that may yield names of managers or their colleagues. You still need to verify your find, but it’s easy to navigate dial-by-name phone directories and ask for referrals once you have a name.

Final tips

  • Avoid voicemail and gatekeepers by calling before the office opens or after 5 p.m.
  • Don’t worry about having the right name you; may uncover unadvertised or future opportunities during your quest for the appropriate hiring manager.
  • Send a thank-you note to everyone who helps you, and always attach a copy of your resume if you speak to an executive or an IT manager.
  • It takes time and persistence to uncover the names of hiring managers, but it’s better than leaving your chances to fate.

13 Responses to “Tricks to Finding the Hiring Manager’s Name”

  1. when I was in a position to hire people, I was often short on time since I had to do my regular job PLUS seek out candidates for filling the open positions. When I got phone calls from potential candidates, I inevitably felt that they were wasting my time. If their resume warranted being called, I would call them. If they called unsolicited, it was usually a mark against them since they interrupted my time looking for candidates. In a sense, they already had their allocated time and used it up on a cold-call to me. Of course, if their resume warranted it, I might call back but would already be holding a mark against them for being overly aggressive.
    Anyway, that was just me; as they say, your mileage may vary.

  2. Like a lot of advice, the content of this blog might, or not, be useful. “Ferreting” out some people will simply raise their hackles; others will be tickled pink you cared. I do believe the only solid advice is to rely on your network, but like an IT network it needs to be made up of useful nodes not simply hardware taking up space and using bandwidth. Additionally, don’t be surprised, it happens, even if you briefly have the ear of a top-executive (I have) that your resume is ignored by the folks who will actually be your co-workers. As I said, your “network” has to actively “ping” on your behalf, otherwise you will get no where.

  3. I find that candidates who call me out of the blue are not following the process. To me, it may be an indication that they cannot follow the rules. Our company does, indeed, have a process to obtain positions. Yes, I will listen to my network for good candidates, but when job seekers call me directly, I wonder if they are able to follow protocol – a red flag. How will they do their jobs, by not following company policy? Can I afford the risk?

  4. HELLO Dont waste a lot of time in Resume and Cover letter
    CANADA is a country where Uncle and Auntie ,cousins and siblings are hired for
    Work in the companies.Most people are watching ice hokey or celebrating BIRTH DAY
    At their work place. No wonder there is nothing getting done this way …..
    USA is more ethical in hiring the talent Canada is ALL ABOUT WHO YOU KNOW
    It is shame but true…Millions of professional engineers and doctors working ODD JOBS
    Cleaning and Mopping the floors of stores bexause of DISCRIMINATION at the Job Market

  5. John Freedman

    On the surface, it would seem that contacting the hiring manager would be a great way to get a company to consider you for a position. And it would be if the manager was receptive to be contacted. But in my own experience, managers, hiring or otherwise, do not take outside calls from people they don’t know. They are constantly beleaguered by prospective vendors looking for their business, or people looking for work. Most phones these days have caller ID and they will not answer the phone unless they know the caller. If the manager is very senior they may even have an executive assistant screening their calls. No matter how charming you are, the assistant is not likely to put you through to their boss, but will rather deliver your message to them, or put you into their voice mail. And, short and polite though it be, they will likely ignore a voice-mail from you. They will also generally skip right by an email from you should you try that route.

    My suggestion would be, to instead, send in a cover letter and resume in via snail mail (even if you applied on-line). That makes you stand out from the 1000’s who are applying through an on-line application. Include in the mailing a small handwritten note/card re-stating your interest in meeting with them.

  6. Agreed with everyone here on the comment thread — calling to get the hiring manager may have been appropriate in the olden days before the invention of processes and software designed to take in a massive amount of applications and filter them based on keywords and etc. But, since 1998, hiring managers do not want to be bothered by unsolicited calls, they want the process to work itself out. If you find yourself in the final four of applicants, a well-timed call couldn’t hurt. But if you’re trying to find the hiring manager in a company where a recruiting department does most of the leg work first, its like asking a football coach what type of sod is best for the field — at the end of the day, he’ll have an opinion, but at the beginning of the day he’s got other things to worry about.

    • The Heretic

      YUP, I think you’re right. Depending on the goal this process driven hiring is working for them. Only desperate applicants push to the end and are beat up so bad that by the time the process is over the applicants are willing to take what ever is offered. If the goal is suppressed wages it is the best system in the world.

      If the goal it to get the best applicants, then the process is dysfunctional. The best applicants don’t need the aggravation and walk away fairly quickly. If you spend an hour filling out an on line application and another hour getting past each layer, then the costs add up very quickly. By the time the applicant makes it to the interview they have spent hundreds of dollars in lost opportunity costs. After a couple attempts, pedigrees usually stop looking or learn to cut their losses quickly when they see a long process. If you are not working you may be willing to pay the price.

      I have to laugh at some of the comments from the Peter Principle managers that cannot be bothered with applicants willing to go the extra mile or applicants who just wish to avoid the expense of the process. They may be great techies, but as managers they truly have reach the level of their own incompetence.

      If you spent 10 hours on each interview process and you are a $65 dollar an hour employee, that is $650 dollars for each interview. If you are a pedigree and see one of these long drown out hiring processes with multiple head hunters then walk a way. It is just not worth it. Find an employer that respects you enough to be respectful of your time because the disrespect usually doesn’t stop there and manifests its self in a low ball offer wasting your time.

      These hiring processes externalize costs almost totally on the applicants and employers don’t appreciate what they are not paying for.

      • HERETIC, while I agree with you that many of these processes are dysfunctional and overly drawn out (probably with the mistaken thinking that they are weeding out the incompetents and lazy) what is likely to happen, as you said, is that it also weed out the better talent that will look for a better process for determining worth.
        Where this becomes a problem is that, unlike in sports where talent is known and recognized, it the IT world, there are not a lot of people with proven talent and verifiable talent so employers set up arbitrary processes to try to filter out the weaker links. The side-effect is that they don’t usually look for proven methods of determining IT talent but rather proven methods for determining “general talent”.
        For example, I’ve found that good IT talent has very strong analytical skills but this is rarely verified during these tests…they only seem to ask if you know the lingo, which any newbie will likely know but the skilled talent who hasn’t brushed up on the latest lingo (even though highly competent) will fail during the tests.) In other industries, the lingo is much slower to change so those who know the lingo better are more likely to be the seasoned talent.

        So the seasoned IT members are stuck with “age discrimination” caused by quickly changing lingo, and businesses miss out on talent because they’re looking for the talent in the wrong ways. The word-of-mouth references will help overcome this, but doing cold-calling to hiring managers will not likely get you there.

      • The Heretic

        Rob, I have to agree with you that there is both disparate treatment and disparate impact of older worker currently occurring in this labor impaction. There are two main factors in the causation; the cost of health care and the cost of training. In both cases it comes down to who is paying the costs and who receives the bulk of the benefits.

        The employers feel they are not the cause because they will hire any pedigree they can find regardless of age regardless of higher health care premiums. That is a pretty big copout because the problem is not happening in that particular labor grouping. There is a severe supply shortage of pedigree’s (people with the current in demand skill sets) in relationship to a huge growing demand. They occupy a lesser impaction above the main or greater impaction.

        The causation relationship between the two impactions is simple. The greater impaction is not allowing new entrants into the upper bounds where the secondary impaction resides. The greater impaction in the IT labor market in particular is being caused by the cost of on the job training, the technology learning curve, and the employer’s refusal to acknowledge any responsibility for said costs. From the employer’s perspective the government and employees are responsible for their labor supply not them.

        They are behaving like a bunch of spoiled children, “I want. I want. I want. Give it to me or let me import what I need.” The problem is that the world wide supply chain cannot keep up with the growing level of demand with out a transfer of costs back to them. Someone has to pay the costs and they will consume the current available supply of trained foreign workers completely falling short of reaching equilibrium.

        The US government cannot comply for national security reasons as well as political reasons; stalemate. Employers looking for a cheap fix for their cheap labor fix are going to have to start paying for their own supply of train workers. The employers are going to get tough love whether they like it or not. There is no infinity in a closed environment

        Pedigree wages have to double in order to incentivize job training and as a result breaking up the impaction getting new entrants into the supply chain once again. Adding more collage grads with collage funding gimmicks simply will not work. Collage grads will continue to pile up behind the impaction. At some point employers will have to compete for a rare commodity; trained labor.

        I understand that the impaction is having a desperate impact on older workers. To make things worse, the rising cost of health care is at the same time causing another desperate impact specifically directed at older workers force by circumstance to compete with collage grads for a dismal number of positions that provide training. Older workers seeking retraining with a newer technology are all but locked out. We really need to completely disconnect health care from employment. That would solve the second desperate impact, but the first one is the real problem. How do you get employers competing for a limited resource when colluding thru proxy is working so well for them?

  7. Related, I find that employers are willing to ask for 5+ years experience in exchange for $20K (which, of course, if about $60K-$100K too low!!!) and if you are over age 30 then they won’t hire you because they know that you’ll leave ASAP because the salary is too low.
    So that basically limited the supply base to those from age 25-30 (or they won’t have 5 yrs experience) and, of course, people in that age range typically don’t have enough experience to solve problems that occur on the job and will often create quick-solutions that also are quick-failures rather than the robust solutions (which minimize future failures) that come with experiences workers.

    I know we’re a bit off-topic, but employers who don’t recognize HOW to find good workers, and their corresponding value to the company, are doomed to repeat the same problems generating revenue. Rather than locking in the hiring process to the same-old same-old, they need to look at how to find good talent in appropriate ways, then advertise the proper channels for people to contact them. I think that Google did that a while ago with billboards showing encrypted messages; those who could interpret the messages were rewarded with a website link to contact Google so the base of candidates was automatically filtered by those who could pass the first level of the hiring process.

  8. Richard Morgan

    I found a link to a possible job at CIGNA, but their website doesn’t accept cover letters.

    It was also the most backward design I have ever seen. It expects various codes for some answers, and the only lookup is by the code number, so an outsider has to scroll through most of the codes to find the correct answer.

    Somehow I don’t think I would be very happy there.