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Five things to think about when hiring a manager

A managerial hire can be one of the most important and influential hires you’ll ever make and has the power to make or break your department, so it’s essential you get it right.

A good manager should be experienced, dynamic, trustworthy and have strong leadership skills — but finding a candidate who ticks all these boxes is a challenge. Here are 5 things you should consider when hiring:

1. Does their experience hold up to scrutiny?

When assessing a candidate’s CV, ask yourself whether it shows understandable career progression, with enough time in each role for the candidate to learn the management skills you’re looking for. It’s essential to assess each candidate’s unique skillset in relation to the job rather than simply jumping to conclusions about their experience based on previous job roles and titles.

2. Have they progressed too quickly?

A candidate appearing on the job market just a year or so after first moving into a managerial role could be cause for concern when it comes to hiring a manager, as it could mean they were promoted beyond their comfort zone in their most recent role, or that they simply don’t have the resilience for a career in management.

Similarly, if a candidate has progressed through the ranks of a company quite quickly, it could mean they won’t have spent long enough in any single role to gain the type of experience you’d expect from a candidate of their seniority.

However, this isn’t always the case, so you should use the interview process to explore a candidate’s career progression, asking questions about their management responsibilities in their roles to date.

3. Do they have a unique talent?

When interviewing for a management role, try and discover what a candidate’s unique talent is, because ensuring they can utilise that talent in the workplace is one of the best ways you can accurately assess whether they will be successful in their role with your organisation and make a positive impact on a situation, an individual, or a team.

4. Can they make important decisions?

One question you should always ask candidates is, ‘What is the most important decision you’ve made as a manager and why was it so critical?’

An essential part of being a good manager is the ability to feel comfortable making important decisions independently when necessary. Another part is dealing with any conflict that might arise within your team.  You can assess a candidate’s communication and decision-making skills by asking them to describe any conflict management experience they may have had and how they overcame this.

5. Will they fit into your workplace culture?

Making sure a candidate’s management style is a good cultural fit for your company is essential and you can get a sense of whether a candidate is right for you by asking how their current director would describe their managerial technique. Not only will this reveal their style, it will also give you a good indication of how they perceive themselves.

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