01/27/16

How to Choose the Right Manager for Your Small Business

Running a small business involves many aspects that you might find difficult to manage by yourself. And, when you realize that despite putting in long hours at work, you’re still unable to keep up with all the responsibilities of the enterprise, it’s time to look for help.  Consider hiring a manager that can oversee the day-to-day operations and direct the activities of your staff.

Finding the right manager can be a difficult task, and you’ll need someone who is honest, dedicated, trustworthy, and as enthusiastic about your business as you are. Use these tips and you should be able to find just the person you need.

List the Needs of Your Business

Every business is different and needs a person with the experience and specific skills to manage it. Take into consideration the roles and tasks you’ll need the manager to take on. Keeping these factors in mind, draw up a list of qualities you need the applicant to have. For instance, if you business is a fast-paced, dynamic enterprise, you’ll need someone that can think on her feet and deal with any kind of crisis efficiently.

Also, look for a person who is an expert in managing aspects that you’re not very good with. For instance, if you’re not comfortable with marketing strategies, hire a person with these skills. In this way; you’ll find a complement for your own abilities. In addition, consider where you expect to see your business a few years down the line and choose a manager who can meet its evolving requirements.

Placing Your Job Posting

Prepare a posting that highlights the requirements you have in mind. Also, touch upon what your business is all about. Then, you’ll receive applications from candidates who feel they can deliver on your specific requirements. Before placing your ad, screen the employees in your company. The people already working with you know exactly how your business works and could possibly have the skills to manage it. You could train the candidate you trust to take on more tasks and responsibilities.

If you would prefer to hire from outside, place ads in trade journals, publications, and websites connected to your industry. Also, try posting ads in the local newspapers in the classified ads sections. You could consider hiring professional recruiters to find you just the people you need. Make your phone number or email address available so candidates can contact you.

Choosing Prospective Candidates

Draw up a list of the characteristics you need and make a bunch of copies. Each time you interact with a potential candidate, add names and contact information, tick off the skills you need that they have, and make additional notes. This will help you remember each one when you’re making the final decision. Begin by talking to applicants over the phone. if you’ve given out your email address, candidates might send you resumes that you can study and filter. However, sometimes, it is advisable not to rely solely on resumes. For one, it could be written by a hired, professional resume writer and not very accurate. Or, a not-so-appealing resume might be written by a great candidate who is simply not good at writing one.

Having talked to the prospective managers, you should be able to narrow them down to a list of 10 to 15 people. Ask them to submit references from past jobs since previous employers can give you a fair idea about the person you could be hiring. Though, candidates are likely to provide you with references of people that will give positive reviews. Also, enquire about their work and salary history. Use your list to mark out the people you could invite for personal interviews.

Conducting the Interview

Set aside enough time for each candidate so you can conduct the interview without rushing. In this way; you can ensure that you’ve discussed every important factor carefully. It also helps if you make a list of questions you need to ask so you don’t miss anything. Be friendly when talking with the interviewees, but keep it short and relevant. Keep in mind that the candidate will be taking decisions for your business and directing its operations.

Begin the interview by talking about the company, operations, ethos, and other basic details. Ask the candidates questions that can reveal their attitude and personality. You must choose a person who may not have the skills but is open to learning as against choosing someone who is a know-it-all and unwilling to adapt. Frame questions relevant to your business and ask about the interviewee’s methods of working and how he would deal with hypothetical situations.

Choosing the Right Candidate

It’s possible that during the first stages of the interview process you will realize that the candidate is not the right person for the job. Honestly, it’s best to just let those people go quickly. Thank the interviewee for applying and tell her that you’ll let her know of your decision soon. If you think a person is an ideal candidate, let him know. Ask him to call and let you know if he’s interested. Also, ask about expected salary and other compensations.

After the interviews are done, you’ll have time to read your notes and pick out the best applicants for the job. If you have any questions about the resumes, references, or any other information in the applications, write them down. When the candidates call back to talk about the job, you can ask for answers. Inform the unsuccessful candidates that the position has been filled.

Some Final Pointers

Remember to put aside your personal opinions and instead, focus wholly on whether the person is right for the job and your enterprise. Many business owners prefer to have two or three existing employees present at the interview. This helps assess whether the interviewee is good with team interactions and can work well with colleagues and subordinates. Once you have chosen the perfect candidate, offer the appropriate compensation package that will entice her to remain with your company for a long time to come.

With these directions, you should be able to find the perfect person to help you manage your business.

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About the author

Erik Larson
Erik Larson frequently writes for Lendio about SEO, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing, Business Loans, and whatever else strikes his fancy. He can be found on and Twitter.

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