7 Best Practices in Hiring a Small Business Manager

Manager is probably the most important person for small businesses, after you. He is the one who manages day-to-day operations when you are not around, ensures that employees perform their job and is responsible for customer satisfaction. Yet many small business owners rush to hire managers without doing sufficient due diligence and end up regretting their decision afterwards and paying price in terms of business decline.
It is true that not every business needs a full-time manager, however in many situations it is a necessity for various reasons. For example, if you are running an absentee business manager is the one who will run the show. In some cases, business operating hours are more than you can provide yourself. Or you may just want to focus on high-priority strategic items and let the manager take care of operations. No matter what your reason is for hiring a manager the best practices described here will help you hire a manager who will help you grow your business.

  1. Pay careful attention to personal qualities to ensure a match with business needs. The characteristics of the manager you are looking to hire depend on the type of business you are in and what role you expect him/her to perform. For example, to manage a restaurant you need someone who is a go-getter and can handle variety of crisis situations quickly, whereas for retail business you need to emphasize customer relationship and look for a “people person”.
  2. Try to promote from within. Too many businesses, large and small, make the mistake of automatically looking externally when hiring a manager. This may be a mistake. Many times the talent you already have can be the best candidate to take over manager duties. These employees already know your business and, more importantly, you know them well and trust them.
  3. Emphasize attitude over skills. Skills can be learned, attitude cannot change. It is easy to train someone who has the right attitude and is willing to learn. Making a mistake of hiring someone who CAN do the job well, but does not WANT to can lead to a disaster. That is why it is so important to focus on behavioral questions rather than skills when interviewing someone for a manager position.
  4. Conduct a team interview. The manager being hired needs to work with the team you have in place. If the newly hired manager and current employees cannot get along well and if the employees do not like the manager you are going to face number of issues down the road. My suggestion is to have at least 2-3 employees “interview” him. Even better would be to have a meeting with all employees where they can ask questions to the interviewee about his working style, experience, attitude and so on.
  5. Ask for references. You can only find out so much about the candidate from few hours of interviewing. If the person is good, he can fake it and get a job. It is only after working with him for few days that you will uncover true colors, but it may be too late by then. That’s why it is important to ask the candidate for personal and business references and follow up with them to get a different perspective. It is true that the interviewee is not going to give you the names of the references who he thinks are not going to portray him in good light, you can still get better perspective by talking to few more people.
  6. Avoid personal bias. It is human tendency to like and hire someone who shares similar characteristics with you. My suggestion is to avoid this personal bias and look for a candidate who can complement your deficiencies. This way he can fill the gaps and help the business grow.
  7. Provide performance based incentives. After you have selected the best candidate for the job, it is important to give him sufficient incentives so that he will want to stay with your business for the long term. As you already know it is not easy to find a qualified candidate. Giving him performance based incentives will bring his skin in the game and create win-win for both.

What is your experience with these or other practices for hiring a manager?

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  1. If we choose a person as a manager among all the people who are already employees of our organization then we can find a good manager and it is a good step for improving business because other employees are aware to that manager already and that particular manager are also aware about all business issues.

  2. These are great tips! I really like promote from within! great post


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  4. BizSugar.com says:

    7 Best Practices in Hiring a Small Business Manager…

    Manager is the most important person for small businesses, after owner. These Best Practices will help you hire the best manager to help grow your business….