Ben is responsible for client delivery work at Test Partnership and usually serves as the main client of contact. He holds an MSc in Occupational Psychology and is a registered test user of ability and personality testing.
Before starting the hiring process, clearly define the manager's role and responsibilities. This should include a comprehensive job description outlining key responsibilities, skills, and qualifications required for the role. This will attract the right candidates and make it easier to assess their suitability for the position. It will also avoid misunderstandings and expectations later on.
"Defining the roles and responsibilities upfront also helps avoid issues of micromanagement and delegation" - Ben Schwencke
Defining the roles and responsibilities upfront also helps avoid issues of micromanagement and delegation. If a manager is aware of their limits, they can delegate tasks to direct reports and not overstep their authority. This improves the leader-follower dynamic and reduces the risk of conflict between the manager and their team.
When hiring a manager, consider the candidate's fit with your company culture. A manager aligned with your company's values, beliefs, and goals is more likely to fit well in the role and company. Assess this by conducting in-depth interviews, asking about their personal values, and previous work experiences and how they align with their previous employer's values and goals.
A manager aligned with your company's values, beliefs, and goals is more likely to fit well in the role and company.
Generally, managers are senior hires, and successful candidates are likely to be many years into their careers. Unlike emerging talent hires, who are likely to adapt to any organisational culture, senior hires tend to be set in their ways, making person-organisation fit even more important. A mismatch between a manager and the organisation's culture and values is unlikely to resolve itself, so it must be accounted for early on in the recruitment process.
Psychometric testing is a valuable tool when hiring a manager. It measures a candidate's cognitive abilities, personality traits, and job-related skills. By using psychometric tests, you can gain a deeper understanding of a candidate's strengths and weaknesses and make more informed hiring decisions. For example, a test may reveal that a candidate is strong in leadership but may struggle with decision-making. This information can inform the decision about the candidate's suitability for the role and help ensure they are placed where they will be most successful.
"Avoid using quick and simple psychometric assessments and instead frame the process as an “executive level assessment" - Ben Schwencke
HR practitioners must be tactical when using psychometric assessments for manager recruitment. Unlike emerging talent recruitment, managers expect a particular type of recruitment process, one that treats them as a priority to the organisation. Hence, avoid using quick and simple psychometric assessments and instead frame the process as an “executive level assessment”. Failing to do this may result in candidate attrition and losing top-quality managers.
Managers tend to have multitudinous effects on employing organisations, as the quality of their work directly influences their direct reports. They also have individual responsibilities as any other employee would, meaning they require a mixture of technical and interpersonal skills.
Additionally, their level of employee engagement and organisational commitment is likely to hinge on culture-fit in ways that are unique to managers and less commonly seen in more junior hires. Consequently, organisations must do everything they can to maximise the proximity of hiring effective and well-adjusted managers or risk dragging down the performance of entire teams, departments, and offices. However, when management hiring goes well, these organisational subdivisions are likely to see a significant boost in performance and morale, justifying almost any cost involved in recruiting them.