Hiring the best people for your team is tricky, but choosing a leader? For many recruiters, it can fast become an impossible task. Recruiting for a management position requires particular attributes and experiences which differ from other roles and need to be carefully noted on your interview checklist.
Any management job, regardless of sector or business size, requires a professional capable of thinking on the spot, creating innovative solutions, and juggling a number of responsibilities — all at the same time.
Natural drive, passion for the work and a keen emotional intelligence are among the leading qualities that indicate your next great management hire.
1. Positive Can-Do Outlook
It’s no secret that the attitude of a manager is contagious. If they’re having a great day and let it show, this will boost the morale of the entire office. If a manager has a bad day? You might find other employees slack off in line with the low standard set by their boss.
A can-do attitude means that no task is too overwhelming, challenging, or difficult to devise a sustainable solution. An individual who will work hard and continue to drive the business forward during trying times is invaluable to a company and this will come across in the interview immediately.
2. Strong Cultural Affinity
In 2016, the workplace is a diverse setting. Contributions from professionals of different backgrounds and ages must be balanced in order to achieve a positive work culture. The environment in which we work (everything from our colleagues to our desk space) affects mood, productivity, and communication.
The best manager will be invested in the culture of the business, and this will help to set your company apart from competitors. If a potential hire doesn’t exhibit the core principles and pillars of your brand, then why should their team?
3. Sense of Accountability
Ah, the blame shifters — a short-sighted solution to a potentially long-term problem. Choose to hire a leader who will hold themselves accountable. To do otherwise is to the detriment of your business. A manager should understand the value of responsibility and be able to acknowledge the good choices and the bad.
A management hire requires a person who is ready and experienced to take on this key role. So, by extension, they should actively seek to be held accountable for their actions. This means that if a team fails to complete a task, the manager is able to own a shared responsibility for this action. A truly accountable manager encourages the respect, trust, and loyalty of those around them by doing so.
4. Honest and Transparent
Sometimes, projects meet major roadblocks. The path to success is rarely short or straightforward, and while downplaying the problem might seem like a good idea at the time, this can turn into large issues in the future — at great personal cost.
A transparent system needs to be spearheaded by an honest individual. A manager should be clear and realistic with their team, superiors and any stakeholders that are involved. During an interview, be sure to ask potential hires for details around their experience and cross-check this against their references.
5. Emotional Intelligence
An individual’s capacity to understand and be patient with another person feeds back into emotional intelligence. Push a team member to meet an unrealistic deadline without support and all you’ll have is a stressed-out employee. Managers need to be able to take a step back, analyze the individual situation at hand and make a considered response.
6. Limitless Empathy
The ideal manager will not only be patient and thoughtful, but truly empathetic. The ability to put yourself in another person’s shoes is highly sought-after and unique to only the best leaders. During an interview, discuss with the candidate times when they have had to consider the personal life of an employee and what the appropriate response was.
If a project begins to derail and mistakes start to pile up, the team will need a manager who is able to band everyone together and move forward. Empathy allows an individual to understand the difference between an honest or careless mistake.
7. Lifelong Learning
Naturally, a leader is a lifelong learner. If your candidate walks in with recent academic credentials — be it a short course, diploma, or degree — you know you might have chosen a winner. Adult education is an important step in career growth. Professionals that are focused on adult learning beyond their college years and who keep updated with best practices are far more likely to stay one step ahead of the competition.
If you’re thinking about saying ‘yes’ to that fantastic management applicant, consider their work experience as well as their ‘after hours’ endeavors such as their education. A motivated, engaged, and impassioned individual is exactly what you should be looking for in your next great management hire.
About the Author
Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. She has designed, developed, and authored many workplace leadership and training programs, both in Australia and overseas.