What to Look For When Hiring For a Manager

Managers play important roles at your company. When you’re hiring a manager, you want someone who can properly represent your company to employees and customers.  An unprofessional or disengaged manager can alienate clients, discourage employees, reduce morale and productivity. To help avoid these issues, there are some key things you want to look for in candidates for management roles.

Management candidates typically have more experience and education than other employees, so it may seem like they would be easier to evaluate. However, like all employees, their experience and education is of little value if they don’t fit in with your business.

Autonomous, But Not an Automaton

A one-size-fits-all guide to hiring a manager is difficult. But here are some general traits to look for that can help you assess qualified managerial candidates:


  • Motivation – Managers need to be able to work, and manage the work of others, without constant supervision. They should be focused and dedicated to giving you their best work every day.
  • Communication – From daily reports to conflict resolution, managers must be able to effectively communicate with workers, customers and their superiors. Whether it is answering client questions or addressing employee concerns, they need to always be representing your company in a professional manner consistent with your firm’s policies, culture and brand.
  • Attitude – The attitude of a manager will affect the attitude of everyone who works under them. While they don’t need to wear rose-coloured glasses, they should remain upbeat about the company and their job while around other employees.
  • Fit – A business works best when a variety of people, with different ideas and backgrounds, are able to work together. A group of identical workers will always produce the same ideas, and the same problems. You want to look for a candidate who can bring new ideas into your business, without disrupting the current workflow. It’s not an easy balancing act, but it’s better than a workforce made up of clones.


Manager, Self-Management

To perform the necessary tasks with minimum supervision, a managerial candidate must be able to demonstrate they can effectively manage themselves. This means they must understand your business model and goals so they can properly motivate employees and engage with clients. A good candidate will also complement your existing management staff, without being a copy of existing managers. They need to be able to think for themselves and must be willing to present their own, original thoughts.

Doing It Right Takes Time

Finding the ideal management candidate can take a lot of time and effort. Hiring any employee has potential pitfalls, and all of those are multiplied when you’re looking for a manager. To do it right, you’ll need to spend many hours:


  • Posting advertisements, networking, and collecting resumes.
  • Evaluating and verifying resumes, and contacting references.
  • Contacting candidates and conducting interviews.
  • Conducting secondary interviews
  • Filling out paperwork for payroll, insurance, etc.
  • Onboarding new hires


By the time you’ve found and placed your ideal candidate, you could have hundreds of man-hours invested in the process. If anything goes wrong during the process, you could be back to square one with nothing to show for your investment.

A Better Option

The burden of time and effort can be shifted onto a recruitment agency, freeing you to conduct more important aspects of your business. Recruiters have the experience to identify and evaluate management candidates, and likely may have a pool of qualified managers ready to present for your assessment.  With decades of experience in placing employees, permanent placement agencies also know how to navigate the legal complexities of ever-changing employment laws. Entrusting a perm agency with your hiring initiatives can help ensure finding qualified managers who fit well with your business and employees.

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