Finding the right management candidate isn’t easy. And it can be a daunting task because of the importance of the role. Get the right person and it can change your organization for the better. Get the wrong one, and it can cause serious and systemic problems.
One option, of course, is to turn to a recruitment agency for help. A staffing agency like The Hire Firm specializes in sourcing and hiring the ideal candidate for your organization, whatever your particular needs might be. Whether you need to fill skilled labor jobs, industrial jobs, or a management-level role, we can help.
Aside from getting help from a staffing agency, though, it’s up to you to make the ultimate decision on who will fill your management role. And don’t despair—the right candidate is out there. Read on to learn more about finding the perfect management candidate, how unintentional bias might be seeping into your hiring process, and what to do if you find more than one perfect candidate.
Reframe Your Idea of the Perfect Management Candidate
Realistically, there is no “perfect” candidate. It’s important to reframe your idea of what the right candidate will look like. It might be quite different than what you expect. Ultimately, that’s a good thing—looking outside of the box and selecting a candidate with a different approach and background than you might have expected is a good way to bring a fresh perspective to your organization.
The Perfect Candidate Might Be Less Experienced
When the 2008 recession hit and unemployment reached an all-time high, many employers responded by placing more stringent requirements into their job posts. The experience needed for many roles suddenly increased, and more advanced education was required, as well. Now—as the country deals with another recession thanks to the pandemic—those additional requirements are often being rolled back.
What does this mean for you? The “perfect” managerial candidate might have less experience than you’re expecting. It doesn’t mean they’re a bad candidate. Be aware that you might miss out on some great candidates if you pass up candidates when they have only eight years of experience, rather than ten. Try relaxing your experience requirements a bit and see the talent that you attract.
The Perfect Candidate Should Be Teachable
The trade-off with a less experienced candidate is that candidate’s teachability. If a candidate doesn’t have quite the amount of experience you’d prefer but they’re highly trainable, you have a good candidate on your hands. Teachability or trainability is the candidate’s ability to learn quickly and pick up on training, becoming a contributing member of the team in short order.
How do you know if a candidate is highly teachable? You can use aptitude tests in the hiring process that measure things like cognitive ability, or you can trust your gut. Either way, choosing a candidate that can easily learn the ropes and start going above and beyond in a management role is one of the best ways to achieve success.
The Perfect Candidate Will Have Passion
Whether it’s a hands-on industrial job or a high-level management role, we tend to focus a lot on hard skills. The skills that the candidate uses day to day, on the ground, to do their job. Assembly, computing, engineering knowledge. But the truth is that soft skills are equally important. And one may just be the most essential for your perfect management candidate to have: passion.
You want a manager to come in and set a new tone, get the team excited, and turn over a new leaf at your organization. One of the best ways to make sure that happens is to hire for passion—if you’re interviewing candidates who don’t seem truly passionate about what they do, it’s smart to continue looking.
Is Unintentional Bias Costing You Great Management Candidates?
Many organizations don’t realize that unintentional bias is one of the reasons that they’re missing a lot of great managerial candidates. That’s the funny thing about it—it’s unintentional, so it often flies under the radar. But that doesn’t mean it’s not a problem.
Here are some ways to combat unintentional bias at your organization to make sure you’re not missing out on great candidates:
Examine Job Descriptions
Take a second look at your job descriptions. It’s easy for gendered, ageist, or other restrictive language to seep into them, however well-intentioned the creators are. Using terms like “rock star” can come across as male-centered and exclusionary to older individuals, for example. And make sure you’re clearly defining the skills and experience that is truly required versus the nice-to-haves. Research has demonstrated that women tend to interpret job requirements more literally, and won’t bother applying to something they feel they don’t meet the exact requirements for.
Stop Sticking To the Same Job Boards
By constantly posting on the same job boards over and over, you’re not reaching a diverse audience of candidates. Consider posting on niche sites, college job hubs, and other areas outside of the mainstream job boards. Depending on the job you’re hiring for, it can make all the difference in finding a qualified candidate that just isn’t looking where everyone else is.
Be Sure Your Hiring Team is Diverse
It’s a fact of life that we all make automatic assumptions and generalizations based on society’s stereotypes. And that’s okay. The trick is setting up a diverse hiring team to make sure those assumptions and generalizations don’t negatively affect the hiring process. Your hiring team should consist of individuals from a wide range of cultural backgrounds and worldviews.
Apply Same Interview Questions and Processes Equally To All Candidates
Standardizing your interview process seems like a no-brainer. That way, every candidate has the exact same experience when they interview with your company. But you would be surprised how much standardization doesn’t happen during the interview process. What that causes is a chance for bias to seep in and affect the equality of the interviews.
Make sure your interview questions and process are standardized so that they’re applied equally to every candidate you interview. It’s the only way to objectively evaluate each candidate based on merit, without any kind of unconscious bias seeping in.
What Happens When You Find Two Great Management Candidates?
Recruitment agency professionals run into this sort of thing all the time: there are two ideal candidates for a position, and it’s nearly impossible to pick between the two. Whether you’re working with a staffing agency or hiring on your own, this might happen to you. So, how do you pick?
It’s tough to decide between two great management candidates. Here are some tips for narrowing it down and making the final choice:
- Think about what your organization really needs. If both candidates have gotten this far, they’re both skilled. But think about what skills your organization really needs—even if one candidate checks off fewer boxes, they may have a unique skill set that can push your company into the future. Thinking about the core needs of your organization is the best way to narrow down your choice.
- Consider the culture fit. Remember, hiring a great managerial candidate is about more than just skills and experience. The culture fit is important as well. Think about which candidate you get along with better and which one will fit seamlessly into your organization in the long-term.
- Weigh the candidates’ requirements of your organization. If one candidate is asking for higher compensation than you can realistically provide, or if they’re used to certain perks from their previous job that you’re not able to give, you might not be able to convince them to join you. Weigh each candidate’s requirements of your organization before making the final choice.
Ultimately, if you’ve narrowed things down to two highly qualified people, you’ll end up with a great hire either way. It’s a good problem to have. Use the recommendations above and trust your gut—it’s the best way to make an informed decision about who you’re going to hire for the role.
Are You Looking for the Perfect Managerial Candidate?
Let’s face it: finding great managerial candidates isn’t easy. That’s why trusting our staffing and recruitment agency is always a wise decision. Partnering with The Hire Firm means you’ll gain access to the most qualified candidates to staff your business. From manufacturing recruitment, skilled labor staffing, management hiring, and everything in between, our team of professionals can get your organization staffed with the individuals you need to achieve success.
Contact a member of our team today to learn more about our employer services. We’re the leading job placement agency serving employers in Wichita, KS and beyond. We can’t wait to learn more about you and get started.