Written by: Kristin Savage
The interviewing process can be extremely stressful, both for the interviewer and interviewee. When you hire a first-time manager, the process becomes even more challenging. It requires special skills from both parties. On one hand, the interviewer needs to have enough experience to discover the potential in the candidate and see beyond his curriculum vitae. On the other hand, the interviewee has to show its best attributes and convince the interviewer from the first discussion that he can do the work he will be assigned to.
When you are an interviewer, you know how high the cost of a bad hire is. Therefore, you need to be extremely vigilant and use your recruiter skills to find the ideal candidate. It is not comfortable to have to re-hire and re-train a new employee in case you discover that your initial choice was not the best. So if you find yourself hiring a first-time manager, there are a few things to consider.
A first-time manager will have to deal with decisions and conflicts that he has never faced before. Even though he has proven in his previous roles that he can easily handle management duties, he has still never been put in the situation to really do it as a manager. Therefore, when offered the manager position, the candidate will be given not only a huge opportunity, but he will also be exposed to a lot of stress. So, if you want to make the right decision in employing your first-time manager, here are 5 things you need to consider.
1. Define the job description and KPIs
If you want to really find the best manager for your team, you need to know exactly what you are looking for. You can develop a list with the most important duties, necessary hard and soft skills, together with the requirements for that specific job. This is the first step for a comprehensive job description. After all, the job description is going to be the basis which indicates your manager what he should do on a daily basis and where he needs to focus more.
On the other hand, a candidate who knows what you are looking for will become more open to speak his mind and come with improvement proposals. What is more, a clear job description will help him also evaluate his skills and understand whether he can handle the job or not. It is very important to be transparent when it comes to job responsibilities and help your first-time manager plan his future activities and establish what are going to be his next steps.
2. Give feedback
Even from the interview phase, you need to tell your candidates what you think about them and their experience. If you want to hire a good manager, you need to be open with your first-time manager and provide feedback about his performance. Use your communication skills to tell him what you expect from him and help him understand what he needs to do. In case you have very specific rules, give timely and constructive feedback from the beginning.
Don’t wait for your first-time manager to do the mistake and then correct it. It is better to make things clear from the beginning. When you provide feedback, focus always on observable and measurable facts. Your employee should understand what is the purpose of your comments and explain if your feedback will help you grow, improve your image, or protect you.
3. Provide structure
When you hire your first-time manager, you need to clearly explain the company rules. One of the most common mistakes new managers make is to not take management responsibilities seriously. Even though he will manage a very small team and maybe have just one direct report, this doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t organize formal meetings. After all, it doesn’t matter how many members you have in your team. What matters is to have a structure and do things in an organized way. A first-time manager might not know these rules that come with experience. So, it is very important to make things clear from the beginning.
Your first-time manager needs to understand that respecting the structure is critical for his individual success and also for his team. Therefore, he can organize “one-on-one” meetings once per week with each member of his team. Even though your desks are very close to one another and you talk every day about various things, this doesn’t mean that you should skip your weekly one-on-one. If he has more than one team member, he can organize team meetings every week in which he can establish the weekly priorities and understand what was good and what went wrong the previous week.
4. Talk about getting too emotional
The business world is more like a marathon than a sprint. Your first-time manager needs to understand he cannot be everywhere at once and he needs to trust his team. What is more, it is absolutely normal that his team might fail or have difficulties in developing their processes. This doesn’t mean that he, as a manager, should spend his energy and get too low or too high emotionally whenever something happens. He needs to dose his energy and understand that he needs to save his energy for the most important and intensive moments.
So, it is important to talk to your new manager and help him understand that a leader cannot get down. It doesn’t matter how difficult the situation is. He has to bring the best on the table and motivate his team whenever “failure knocks at the door”. The team shouldn’t be put on an emotional roller coaster. They need consistency and find an example in their manager. Therefore, your first-time manager should know and consider all these.
5. Set a good example
A first-time manager doesn’t have as much experience as you. You cannot demand professionalism from his side if you don’t offer the same. As a business owner, you need to establish the culture and set the tone to help your employees handle various situations. Think also that, when you hire a first-time manager, he will need a bit of guidance until he understands what he has to do in various situations. Therefore, you will be his best example and reference. This means that your behavior should be flawless, and you will be always there to give him advice.
There is no doubt that any new manager will have a great professional trajectory. He will be driven by his motivation and ambition to show you that you did the right decision when you hired him. Therefore, it will be easy to explain to him what he has to do and help him become extremely efficient.
Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. She does her voodoo regularly on the Pick Writers blog and occasionally contributes to other educational platforms. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishersand authors. Now she had found herself as a freelance writer.