Identify Top Performers, Part 2: Managing Self and Others

Identify Top Performers, Part 2: Managing Self and Others

You’re screening and examining your final contenders for an open position, and based on the rounds they’ve made it through so far, you can say this of each applicant: they each hold the requisite education requirements and years of experience, they can handle the technical tasks the job requires, and they haven’t yet revealed any clear red flags. In other words, each of them can handle the core needs of the position. But what about leadership and management abilities? You need a candidate who can show self-direction while also coaching and organizing other people. So how can you review a profile for signs of this ability? Here are few ways to spot the candidates with management potential.

Ask about their ambitions.

Many excellent employees and top performers simply have no interest in managing others. Being a “boss” might be a dream for some, but it’s certainly not a dream for everyone, and it’s not unusual for a brilliant employee to reject the extra level of responsibility that comes with a management role, especially if they entered the field for other reasons. (Some people enjoy healing the sick, making bread, selling products, innovating, or fixing cars, but they don’t enjoy managing other employees and don’t see this as a career goal). So during your interview, just ask if they see this in their future. Take their answer at face value.

Present hypotheticals.

To get a sense of your candidate’s philosophical approach to management, present a few scenarios. Keep your hypotheticals simple enough to provide you with meaningful data. For example, ask your candidate how she might deal with a direct report who’s chronically late, or a how she might manage a conflict between an employee and a customer. If she has to choose between doing right by the employee and doing right by the company, how does she make the decision? What questions does she ask and what actions does she take as a result?

Estimate the personality match.

If your employees are extroverted, blunt, cheerful, and loud, will the candidate fit in? Will she speak their language? What if your workplace culture is reserved, quiet, and sincere? Think of your current teams, then assess her ability to adapt to their needs and the unique management challenges they present. Someone who can successfully manage the first group might struggle with the second, and vice versa.

Review the past.

Check her resume for signs of relevant experience, and ask her for stories frawn from her professional past. For example, ask her to describe a time when she just didn’t click with a direct report or a boss. What did she do to solve the problem and what were the results?

Work with a top recruiter in Scottsdale

For more on how to spot candidates who can take the lead and steer the team in a productive direction, turn to the staffing experts at the ACCENT Hiring Group.


Leave a Comment