In growing businesses, it’s important to staff leadership roles strategically. Managing operations and personnel well takes a diverse skill set. Here are some key traits that you should look for when you’re filling a managerial job opening.
A strong experiential background is highly desirable for filling a managerial job role. It isn’t always necessary for a person’s background to be industry-specific, but it matters considerably in fields that are highly specialized or require advanced training.
In addition to managerial experience, you should also value time that managers spend in job roles that make up part of the team they will be supervising. Firsthand know-how about how to perform individuals’ job tasks will make managers well-equipped to give their teams good directions and also evaluate their performance discerningly.
When possible, look for opportunities to promote someone within your team to take on a management position. Giving people an avenue for career advancement is an extremely advantageous business practice. Your team members will want to stay on with the company when you help them grow into more challenging job roles and responsibilities. Your entire team will be encouraged and motivated to see someone rise up by putting in hard work.
People who are overly preoccupied with advancing their individual objectives or a little bit too fixated on what people think about them may not relish the role of a leader in a growing business. While this type of personality typically thrives on attention, they don’t always make good team players. They may lack the empathy that a great manager needs to form strong positive connections with their personnel.
Managers need to be ready to take responsibility for their teams’ performance. They can’t take credit for a team’s hits and assign blame to other people for their misses. Even in situations when managers aren’t directly to blame when something goes wrong, great managers respond to the situation with an air of accountability instead of finger-pointing.
Strong Communication Skills
Good team leaders are able to engage with people in a way that puts them at ease. They express themselves clearly and articulately in person and in writing. Whether they’re sending a two-sentence message or driving a social fundraising campaign, they get their point across succinctly.
They’re extremely responsive when other people engage them to ask questions, share ideas, or get feedback. In general, it is helpful for managers to convey authenticity in how they represent themselves and how they approach any type of dialog. People who appear to mean what they say are regarded with greater authority. Interacting with someone who seems genuine and frank evokes respect.
Someone who has the makings of a good leader is confident and conveys competence. People want to follow a person’s lead because they trust that person can take them in the right direction. The best leaders are good at rallying a group and also motivate people effectively one-on-one.
Individual applicants’ references may be helpful in sharing insight about their ability to lead a team. Ask references questions about how prior positions required people to function as team leaders. You might also consider requesting references from people who previously worked as employees under a manager’s leadership.
A leader doesn’t have to be the smartest person in the room all of the time. In fact, the best people to put in charge of things are individuals who ask a lot of questions in group settings. Smart factfinders want to make sure that they thoroughly understand the dynamics of any given situation in order to make well-informed inferences and choose the best course to proceed. Job applicants who ask smart questions are likely to be good critical thinkers.
You should try to start filling a role as soon as reasonably possible so that you won’t have to make a rushed hire. Hiring a manager is a big decision, and the wrong choice can hinder productivity significantly. Methodically sticking to your criteria and identifying the right traits will help you choose an excellent candidate.