Executive Report

Hiring And Promoting “Great” Managers

The war for talented managers and executives is heating up in the U.S.  Recent articles in the Baltimore Sun and USA Today suggest that the hiring process has gotten a lot more attention because of this war for managerial talent. More than ever, you need to hire and promote the right candidates for the right positions to ensure that they feel competent and satisfied with the work, otherwise you’re likely to lose them to you competitors.  Your company needs to use employment tests and interviews to ensure that managerial and executive candidates will maximize your company’s profitability. By hiring people who fit your unique culture and who possess the requisite managerial skills, these hirees will stay with you. Numerous companies such as Albertson’s grocery chain, Finish Line stores, and Universal Studios Hollywood theme park are doing it. Is your company?

Are you like most CEOs who have hired and promoted your managers based mainly on their knowledge and skills? While skill is important for achieving managerial success, you should never underestimate the importance of how well a candidate will fit into your company’s culture.  We agree with Stephen Robbins (The Truth About Managing People) who contends that managerial performance typically has a large subjective component. Is Morgan a team-player? Is Max too competitive? Is Dave too much of a risk-taker? Is Christine loyal enough to the company?  Whether the perceptions of these people are positive or negative will depend, to a great degree, on how well they fit into your organization. Good fit goes a long way in ensuring that individuals are perceived by you and others as high performing managers.

Before hiring any manager, you need to first think about your company’s unique culture. Ask yourself – “What core values are shared by a majority of my organization’s members?” Then, choose tests and interview questions that will allow you to assess how well a candidate’s value system is consistent with your company’s culture. For instance, one of our client companies highly values integrity, being the best at what they do, providing unparalleled customer service, being adaptable, and having company loyalty. They choose tests and interview questions that assessed these values. If you make a mistake and hire people who aren’t a good fit, they’ll be dissatisfied with their jobs and the company, and their job performance will suffer. Often, they will leave the first chance they get.

You work extremely hard to create a culture that enables your employees to grow and develop within your company.  We feel it is very important to promote people within your organization whenever possible.  However, at times it may be better to go outside your company to bring in someone with specific expertise who may be needed to fill a specific position that you are currently unable to fulfill.    Having established career plans for your personnel is important because it sends the message that people can move within your organization and achieve their goals.  Communicate your intention with your people and let them know that you only want to hire the very best and your goal is to grow with the personnel you have, as best you can.  Again, be fully upfront and let them know that, at times, you may have to go outside company channels to fill the voids that you have.

Executive Report

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