With HR practices transforming around the globe, it is imperative to let go off some stringent policies and be more accepting of the evolving world around us. Millennials are now entering lead/ managerial positions in organizations which makes it even more important to attract the right kind of talent for sustained growth of your company. These managers will be taking over the reigns and the obscure, non-transparent and inflexible management which worked in the past, will no longer serve the purpose. In my opinion, the following might help in recruiting future leaders/managers.
Formal Training/ Certifications:
While a formal training and certification in management is a must-have for most managerial positions, I would mark them as ‘good to have, but not mandatory’. The reason behind is the fact that there might be candidates with solid leadership and management skills due to their prior experience in dealing with teams. And to be honest, there is no better way to learn management than by being in a role which required you to be one. There might not be a ‘Manager’ label attached to the candidates prior job position, and filtering out such a person’s resume’ would only result in a talent waste. So, before you just trash out such a candidate’s CV, give some benefit of doubt and look for more meaningful metrics -some of which are discussed below.
Years of experience:
Personally, I do not hold number of years of experience as a hard and fast criteria. Even if the company norm says 8 years of experience as a ‘Manager’, I would still consider someone a bit below the year count provided the candidate has a more diversity in the career path. There is a higher chance of such a person to have had exposure to varying work environments and consequently diverse people, processes, customers and stakeholders. Even if the candidate has not been in the defined department as per say throughout, he/she would have a broader perspective -which indeed is required for any good manager.
Travel experience may or may not be evident from the resume’s, but it can be easily identified during an interview. Why I place importance to a manager’s travel experience is the fact that there is no alternative to the understanding one gains by face-to-face interaction. Candidates who have traveled to different places have more chances of encountering people at various levels in the society. This helps in broadening one’s vision and giving the hands-on experience in dealing with people -which in essence is essential for any manager to handle the stakeholders involved.
This has to be a key skill for any management role. Not only should the candidate should have exceptional speaking and writing skills in the language required, but also should have the capability to use the language effectively bearing in mind any cultural differences. Linguistic skills can be easily tested via a testing system prior to the interview and later interviewer can conveniently gauge this during the face-to-face evaluation.
Decision making skills:
Making decisions quickly and thinking on the feet is sometimes really crucial for managers. Effective decisions can make or break a deal, can retain or loose a key team member and even retain or put off a loyal customer. To evaluate a candidate, the human resources department can have a time-based testing system which could help figure out if a person’s thinking and decision making skills are quick and effective.
There is certainly a difference in being just a manager and a leader. A leader leads by example. I would personally support somebody who has the capability to motivate and impart optimism. It is really important to have a leader to foster support and guidance, rather than to just have an authoritative figure. Leadership skills can be assessed initially by a screening questionnaire and later by evaluating the attitude of the candidate during the interview.
It is also important for a manager to possess emotional intelligence, by which I mean the ability to effectively understand his/her own emotions and channel them accordingly. Only if a manager is emotionally intelligent, he/she can keep poise and control under stressful circumstances and at the same time encourage the team members. Being empathetic is a part of emotional intelligence and helps one recognize others needs and consequently manage conflict well. This can be evaluated by encouraging a casual chat with the candidate and listening to his/her career progression or life story.
I truly believe the right talent with leadership skills can be attracted by a more open-minded approach with the ability to empower candidates rather than demotivate them with a list of must-have’s. You need to see between the lines and think outside the ‘known’ norm. The ‘leader’ will have a more holistic approach to life and will most probably be found conveniently making space in an absolute chaos (the image attached says it all).
What do you think? Please feel free to add to the list by commenting below :)