Best Practices for Hiring a Management Team (Plus Tips)
Updated June 24, 2022
Part of running a thriving organization is building a management team that embodies the company's values and strives to promote growth and innovation within the business. The process that human resources professionals and other company leaders use to select and hire members of management can make a significant impact on the quality of leadership within the organization. Learning strategies to form a successful team of managers can help you be proactive. In this article, we discuss several tips and best practices you can use when hiring a management team and explain why they're important.
Why is having a plan for hiring a management team important?
It's important to plan ahead when hiring a management team because leaders at a company can influence the workflow of the rest of their team. The management team includes top executives and leaders from each department who establish procedures and expectations for their areas of expertise within the company. When you have a strategic plan for what kinds of leadership styles, perspectives and skills to incorporate into an organization's management team, you can predict how each of those factors may influence outcomes for the entire business.
How to hire a management team
Here are a few steps you can use to guide your process of finding and hiring candidates for the management team at your organization:
1. Review internal candidates
Some of the best candidates for management positions already work at the organization. Internal recruitment can be a great strategy for developing a management team because these candidates already have in-depth knowledge of the company culture, current operational practices and the long-term mission of the business. Hiring from within for the management team can also promote positive morale within the team because it shows employees that they have the opportunity to advance to leadership positions and influence major business decisions.
2. Seek candidates with a leadership background
When reviewing applications, look for candidates who have a background leading, managing and mentoring. Although it's important to have some context for the company's industry, candidates who understand general leadership trends and strategies can often adapt those skills to any environment. You can train someone on your management team to learn specific technical abilities, but it takes years of experience to develop a nuanced understanding of how to build and guide a team.
3. Develop an ongoing networking strategy
Be proactive about creating your management team by constantly looking for potential company leaders at industry events. Whenever you network with other professionals, consider if someone may be a good option for a leadership position at the company. Make notes about their contact information, main skills and why they attracted your interest as a a possible future manager.
Even if an opening isn't currently available, you can create a list of potential candidates for when an opportunity arises. This makes it easy for you to reach out to your networking contacts and inform them that they impressed you with their qualifications and you want to discuss their future at your company. When an executive resigns or retires, you can minimize the amount of time you spend searching for candidates
4. Gather input from team members
Ask current company team members about what characteristics they value in company leaders. It's useful to get feedback from the people that the leadership team are going to oversee and direct so you can understand what kind of management styles they value. You may even consider incorporating your team members into the hiring process by having them meet potential candidates during the interview phase or giving them the opportunity to submit questions that they want to know about future leaders.
5. Assess your current leadership team
If you already have a management team, perform a skills and experience assessment to learn about what qualities you already have on the team and what you want to gain from hiring new team members. Knowing what assets you already have and what you're missing can help direct your hiring strategy, allowing you to select candidates who provide a unique, innovative mindset to the team. The more you understand about past and present leaders, the better you can direct your strategy for choosing the direction of your future management team.
6. Be proactive about diverse perspectives
Commit to representing your team and community by hiring a diverse management team that can advocate for a range of values and perspectives. Valuing diversity on your team can help you attract a more diverse team in general, develop more inclusive policies and incorporate innovative practices into your operations. Hiring a diverse leadership team can include selecting candidates with different backgrounds, leadership styles and types of experiences.
7. Look for actions and outcomes
When reviewing resumes and interviews, select candidates who have positive outcomes from their past leadership roles. Candidates who have positive feedback from past team members or statistics showing that they helped a company achieve its goals can apply those actions to their new workplace. The more proof candidates have on their resume, the more confident you can be in their ability to guide your team and incorporate their talents into your company culture.
Tips for hiring a management team
Use these additional tips to make the process of finding an excellent management team easier:
Develop a detailed succession plan. When you already have a management team and you're hiring to replace a current company leader, develop a succession plan to ease the transition from one person's leadership style to another's.
Attract candidates with a positive environment. Make being an executive or department head at your workplace appealing to top corporate candidates by offering appealing benefits to your current leadership team and creating a positive reputation as a place for managers to grow.
Balance technical knowledge and soft skills. As you review applications, look for a combination of technical background in a candidate's industry and soft skills that can help them thrive as a leader, mentor their team and apply their strategic vision to create long-term development.
Widen your search radius. Quality candidates may be happy to relocate for an executive position, so consider expanding your search and looking for your management team in other cities or states.
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