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How to hire a good manager for your small business

If you are in need of hiring a manager, you probably realize that as the owner of a small business you can't be there all the time. Hiring someone that can manage the business while you are away is an important task. It's more important than hiring a secretary, because this person has to be you while you are not there. Remember, hiring a "good" manager is very subjective. You want to hire a manager that has a management style that fits well with your own, and will be able to deliver what you need for them to deliver.

The first thing you should do is to create a list of the characteristics you are looking for.Be very specific. Then order them by importance. Create a brief description of what those characteristics mean so that you can help to define them for your candidates later. If you have this done ahead of time it helps to make sure you are consistent with all of the candidates and better clarifies what exactly you are looking for. Below are some suggested traits and descriptions to help:

  1. They hire individuals smarter than themselves. They want people to work with minimal direction and be experts in their respective fields. They want someone that will go the extra mile.
  2. They define success if the team is successful. They believe in team work and recognize that no one person can accomplish success alone. They want to ensure that everyone in the team can thrive in their respective positions.
  3. They publicly credit individuals for a job well done. They don't take credit for others work. They give credit where credit is due and are pleased to see others being successful.
  4. They encourage publicly and reprimand or direct in private. They understand it is important to be positive and uplifting in public. They understand that direction and reprimands should be handled with tact and in private. They provide immediate feedback and help in devising action plans and goals to help individuals be successful.
  5. They treat individuals fairly but realize that everyone is different. They understand that not everyone can be handled in exactly the same way because no two people are alike. However, they make sure that no matter how different individuals are; the treatment of everyone is seen as fair.
  6. They cut their losses when they make a mistake. They are quick to admit and realize when an error has occurred and are quick to correct it. Even if that involves letting go of an individual once they have been hired if it isn't a good fit.
  7. They recognize that everyone is a human being and that this is just a job. They value the human nature. They encourage individuals to keep balance between work and family. They encourage time off for recharge if needed. They genuinely care about their personal well-being.

When advertising your need for a manager, don't just relegate your search to the classifieds. Since this position is important you should treat it as such when you advertise it. Put it in trade journals, etc. Select the top ten candidates and have them fill out a thorough application and provide references. Genuinely check out each of their references. Then only call in the ones you feel really matches the criteria you have established. In the interview, ask penetrating questions that don't go against any legal statutes. If the interviewee is not what you are looking for, cut the interview short in a positive manner but don't continue to waste time. If you like a candidate let them know so they can give the position serious thought. Be competitive with salary and benefits if you wish to keep the manager you really like.

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