How to Hire an Operational Manager

Does your growing business need an operational manager? An operational manager is responsible for managing all company resources effectively.

Here are some tips to help you find great operational manager candidates and make the right hire for your company.

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Operational managers searching for jobs on Indeed*

13,988

Job seekers that clicked operational manager jobs

4,781

Resumes for job seekers with operational manager experience on Indeed

565

Operational manager jobs that received clicks

What is the cost of hiring?

  • Common salary in US: $81,594 yearly
  • Typical salaries range from $16,000$197,000 yearly
  • Find more information on Indeed Salary

*Indeed data (US) – April 2021

As of April 2021, operational manager jobs in the U.S. are moderately competitive compared to other job markets, with an average of 25 job seekers per operational manager job.

Why hire an operational manager?

An efficient operational manager works in coordination with various departments to make sure company operations go smoothly. A great operational manager can: 

• Modify and improve the existing processes for resources and monitor inventory for the warehousing team
• Create and adhere to the operations budget
• Collaborate with the safety department and legal counsel to make sure they comply with OSHA and other governmental regulations

Deciding between a full-time vs freelance operational manager

If a business’s operational manager position has recently been vacated, it can hire a freelance operational manager to fill the role while executives search for a full-time replacement. Companies can also hire freelancers to take on part-time operational manager responsibilities if they aren’t large enough to justify a full-time hire. Additionally, a company can look into employing a freelancer temporarily to manage a sudden increase in demand for their product or services. 

Large companies that output a lot of products typically hire full-time operational managers to ensure demand is met and the product’s quality is good. 

What are the roles similar to operational managers?

Although there are a few corporate positions similar to operational managers, they each have unique responsibilities. Some of these jobs include:

  • General managerWhile a general manager’s expertise may encompass operational management, they have a broader range of duties that can also include marketing, accounting and human resources. Operational managers, on the other hand, specifically focus on production and manufacturing. 
  • Chief operating officerA chief operating officer is responsible for major decisions regarding the company’s production, while an operational manager oversees the day-to-day responsibilities of the production team. 
  • Director of operationsSimilar to the COO, directors of operations are responsible for big-picture tasks. This may include setting long-term goals for the team, budgeting and developing reports for the CEO. 
  • Team leaderTeam leaders are often part of the low-level production team. They oversee the daily work of the department while also performing the tasks themselves. Operational managers, however, take on more of a supervisory role than team leaders. 

Where to find operational managers

To find the right operational manager for your business, consider trying out a few different recruiting strategies:

  • Promote from within. Assess the performance and leadership qualities of your operations team. If any of them show the potential required to take on a supervisory position, conduct an interview to make a final decision. 
  • Hang help wanted flyers. Posting signs about the job can encourage members of the community to apply. 
  • Look online for freelancers. If you only need an operational manager temporarily, conduct a search online to find a freelancer who has experience with the services you need. Reach out to them to find out if they’re interested in the job. 
  • Network. Maintaining relationships with other businesses in the area can yield leads for operational manager hires. 
  • Post your job online. Try posting your operational manager job on Indeed to find and attract quality operational manager candidates.

What are the roles similar to operational managers?

Although there are a few corporate positions similar to operational managers, they each have unique responsibilities. Some of these jobs include:

  • General managerWhile a general manager’s expertise may encompass operational management, they have a broader range of duties that can also include marketing, accounting and human resources. Operational managers, on the other hand, specifically focus on production and manufacturing. 
  • Chief operating officerA chief operating officer is responsible for major decisions regarding the company’s production, while an operational manager oversees the day-to-day responsibilities of the production team. 
  • Director of operationsSimilar to the COO, directors of operations are responsible for big-picture tasks. This may include setting long-term goals for the team, budgeting and developing reports for the CEO. 
  • Team leaderTeam leaders are often part of the low-level production team. They oversee the daily work of the department while also performing the tasks themselves. Operational managers, however, take on more of a supervisory role than team leaders. 

Writing an operational manager job description

A thoughtful description is important to finding qualified operational manager candidates. An operational manager job description includes a compelling summary of the role, a detailed list of duties and responsibilities and the required and preferred skills for the position.

When writing your operational manager job description, consider including some or all of the following keywords to improve the visibility of your job posting. These are the most popular search terms leading to clicks on operational manager jobs, according to Indeed data:

  • Manager
  • Risk management
  • Project manager
  • Continuous improvement manager
  • Accounting manager
  • Management
  • Operational excellence
  • Pharmacist
  • Healthcare administration
  • Continuous improvement

Interviewing operational manager candidates

To hire a suitable operational manager, take the time to vet candidates and ask detailed interview questions to understand their knowledge and skills. Candidates should be comfortable answering questions regarding: 

• Proficiency in managing and leading an operations team, including hiring and training new team members
• Previous experience implementing modifications in business operations
• How they’ve contributed to a company’s revenue and profits by proactively implementing revised processes and adopting new ones

Need help coming up with interview questions? See our list of operational manager interview questions for examples (with sample answers).

FAQs about how to hire an operational manager

When should I hire an operational manager?

You should consider hiring an operational manager when your company begins to see rapid growth. This can improve efficiency and productivity within your operations department.

Is an operational manager responsible for hiring?

Depending on the company, an operational manager can be in charge of hiring for their own department. 

Are operational managers required to travel?

If your company has a lot of offices, operational managers may be required to travel frequently to check on the performance of each location. If not, then the operational manager typically works out of a corporate office. 

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