Recruit Managers!

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A manager in any organization is an indispensable role. operations, finances, inventory, planning, as volume increases must be streamlined and managed. Personnel with special skills are required to execute such activities efficiently and profitably. Once you have an endeavour going, you will soon need managers. To choose a good manager is a very critical decision that will have long term impact on your business. Therefore, the process needs meticulous evaluation and utmost care during selection. To enable you to do this, it is best to have a game plan ready. That is, you must have a paradigm set up to be able to parametrize potential candidates for the job. This process is trickier than usual not just because of the critical role of the job, but also because of the fact that many parameters of the requirements cannot be quantified easily. Since the nature of reviewing candidates is highly subjective, you should know what exactly you should be looking for. Though at the end, a person is much different from a sum of his parts, it is not recommended that you should go with a vague assessment. Therefore, we present you with a general method of screening managerial candidates.

These are primarily the characteristics that one should be looking for in a manager:

Able:

The potential manager should be able to do the task that is assigned to him or her. This is a very basic parameter.

Mature:

The manager should be mature enough to be able to overcome various sticky situations, take informed decisions, and handle tough and tricky eventualities.

Forceful:

The manager should be firm and have force enough to be able to implement tough decisions that may not be in agreement with popular opinion. Lacking this, a manager is useless and the venture will soon become fragile.

Dynamic:

Dynamism is an extremely important aspect of managerial posts. One cannot manage situations and people if one cannot fluidly tackle events and changes as they occur.

Honest:

Honesty pays in the long run, and should be a highly valued property in any manager. One must remember that if a person is not honest now, he cannot be honest when the going gets tough. This will typically come at a huge cost to the company in various forms.

Experienced:

A manager must have prior work experience, especially managerial experience. It would be quite futile to expect a freshman to start working as a manager where he or she has to deal with real life problems as well as with veterans in the work field.

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To test these qualities is difficult, because none of them can be quantified directly. Since these are subjective parameters you are dealing with, it is best to go for a subjective approach.

Firstly, ask applicants or prospective candidates to write in a resume. A resume speaks volumes about a person in not just what is written there, but more importantly, how it is written. A consistent resume which reflects intelligent use of the space and language bears great promise.

Screen such candidates, and call them in for interviewing. However, one should not judge too harshly by the resume alone because the command of the written language may not always reflect the expertise of the candidate. So if you come across a resume which is not good in form, but has satisfactory content, feel free to shortlist that candidate for an interview.

Once you have shortlisted candidates, move on to the interview. At the interview, make sure to have a copy of the candidate's resume at hand. Proceed according to the material at hand. Make sure to ask the candidate to substantiate their claims. To detect if they are lying is quite easy. Just check for subtle expressions which might give them away. Also, make sure to ask them about their shortcomings and how they plan to work around them. During these answers, look for the candidate's attitude towards himself and towards negativity and duress. These should ideally agree with the candidate's strengths. This is an approach which is applicable to any interview, but especially to those which demand subjective analysis.

Finally, ask the candidate how he or she would tackle certain managerial problems. Ideally, you should think of a few managerial deadlocks which would require delicate handling and require making intelligent trade-offs. During these answers look out for clarity of thought, idea and the ability to handle unexpected situations and their business sense.

Try to attach weighted scores to at least four basic sections. Resume, Character, Skills and Problem Solving Ability. You could also try using annotations beside every section, or an overall summary of the candidate for later review.

You could also consider putting the candidates through standardized psychometric tests. These might cost you money, or might be available online, free of cost. The result/s could provide deep insights into the nature of the candidate and help you tally your own assessment.

Since a managerial candidate should be having prior work experience, make sure to take reviews from his or her previous employers. This is very concrete data, and can speak volumes about a person.

On a related note, conduct a general background check, and check the veracity of the candidate's statements whenever possible.

Now that you have the required data, just go ahead and choose a new manager!

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