Secrets of Identifying and Hiring Good Managers

Decision-making & Problem-solving 28th November 2016 Richa Borkar

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Every business owner knows the importance of hiring the right people, especially managers. Finding the right one is however challenging and almost like searching for a needle in a bundle of hay. If you do find a good manager then be assured that the team they are to lead in future are in safe hands. But then how do you identify and go about hiring good managers to be able to put an end to the growing tribe of terrible managers?

Scan the less experiences people suitable to lead

Some candidates may not have experience yet at the same time be ready to take on a role of a manager. Lookout for these signs:

They’re proud of their team’s accomplishments and don’t shy away from putting their success in the limelight.
Assigned bigger projects with more responsibilities. It reflects their potential to take on a role because they can.
Curious to lead team projects. Candidates who want to graduate to management role generally show the streak to lead when they time and again volunteer to take lead. Their success rate should help you pick them. And, even if not you can still identify where they’re falling short and coach them.

Some prefer playing the role of guiding light which is a sign enough that they can work as coaches. If it’s one candidate that most turn to for advice then you need to dig beneath the surface. They’re the ones who’re prepared to take on a coach’s role.

Are they putting their contributions over teams’?

Deliberately ask them about their accomplishments if they have experience of leading teams. See where they focus more: their own accolades or of the teams. When they begin to gloat on their personal wins it should be a thing of worry because a good manager is one in whose hand is a team that is either performing or under performing. The responsibility is theirs.

What’s the size of team they’ve managed over years?

Were they leading a team that grew as they gained experience or did it remain the same or shrunk? If they’ve worked in the shoes of bigger management roles then they were promoted because they did a good job managing teams of every size. Perhaps even suited to lead an entire vertical.

Related: Why Managers Hate Doing Performance Appraisals

Do they have a development plan for the team?

If you’re hiring internally, vet their plans for the team they’re currently leading. Find out what is their plan of action for professional development of team members. Do they have a road map ready? Do they know how to assess the requirement of each team member to outgrow? Can they identify who is a weak link in the team and how they’ve managed them till now without weeding them out? Can they really arm the team with skills?

Related: Ways to Foster Collaborative Environment at Work

Ask them to rate their team members

When you talk about development plan of the team ask them to also rate the members. Probe and ask why do they think some are strong and some weak? Do they blame them or themselves for not being responsible enough? Ask how they hired the team and on what basis their roles were defined. Have many people wanted to join them when there were vacancies in the team that were posted internally. If there weren’t many applications that should be a warning sign.

Related: Recruitment Tips: Five Kind of Employees You Want to Hire from the Indian Cricket Team

These questions should help you arrive at a decision. You may surprise yourself if you find someone within the organization who may have less experience but ready to lead. Or someone from outside who has a streak to lead and nurture talent. Take time to hire because a poor fit will quite expectedly affect the business. Haven’t you heard that employees leave managers not organizations? Make sure you hire the good managers for they are the torch bearers.

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