Hiring managers often become a company's primary representatives, especially for small businesses that are working to build a reputation and gain traction. These managers represent the company values to those outside of the organization, and play a primary role in attracting potential employees and growing the team.
When it comes to bringing new recruitment managers on board, C-level executives should look for someone who's confident, open, and who truly understands the goals of the growing company. For SMBs, these attributes are especially crucial. In my experience as a CEO and co-founder, the right hiring manager is the vehicle through which your company will grow, and, ultimately succeed.
Here are five attributes every small business executive should look for in a hiring manager:
A recruitment manager should be confident in his or her ability to explain to potential employees exactly what the business needs. Depending on how mature the SMB is, a lack of confidence on the part of the recruitment manager could be taken as an indicator that the business itself is unsure of what it really wants.
When looking to hire a recruitment manager for your company, pay attention to how many years of relevant experience they have, since experience often breeds confidence. They should ideally have a bachelor's degree and multiple years of management experience. Experience working for an SMB should be considered an added benefit.
A recruitment manager should feel empowered to make decisions that they feel are truly best for the company. If a recruitment manager makes a bad decision because they're afraid to hurt someone's feelings, they're not cut out of the job—the business always has to come first. Recruitment managers need to stand behind their choices.
When looking to hire a decisive recruitment manager, ask them about tough decisions that they've had to make in the past. That way, you'll know if their decision-making approach is typically based on facts rather than emotions.
An honest recruitment manager will be able to make tough calls on whether or not an applicant is talented enough to fit into your company with little guidance. They will also be able to be transparent with potential employees. When dealing with applicants, they won't try to hide any aspects of the position either. Being a recruitment manager for an SMB is about making sure potential employee understand everything about the job before they accept it, so that there are no surprises down the road that could jeopardize retention.
Ask potential recruiting managers about their approach to interviews. Do they start out by laying out all the facts? At the end of the interview, do they ask applicants if they fully understand the position and make it as clear as possible that they're willing to answer any and all questions?
4) Unbiased Openmindedness
It's crucial for recruitment managers to be empathetic and openminded with potential applicants. Just because a candidate gets overly nervous during interviews, for example, it doesn't mean that they won't leave a positive impact on your business. Some people are more introverted than others—if they have the right credentials and their experience checks the boxes that the position requires, the potential hire should not be automatically eliminated.
When vetting potential recruitment managers, ask them if they have experience working with people from diverse backgrounds, which includes not only race or sex, but also diversity of thought and experience. Some managers are biased without realizing it. They should come across as being open to all possible applicants as long as they fit in with the business.
5) Communication Skills
Last but not least, a recruitment manager should have strong communication skills. This seems like the most obvious trait, but it's easy to overlook. Recruitment managers play a key role in hiring talent, but they'll also constantly have to work with outside recruiters, department managers and HR departments—as a result, they must be expert communicators.
One way to tell if a recruitment manager is right for your SMB is to ask how much experience they have managing other employees, and what techniques they employ to ensure everyone is on the same page. This will provide a valuable glimpse into how they communicate their way through tough situations.
C-level executives need to consider these critical qualities for every recruitment manager they hire, because individuals in these roles set the tone for the employees that they'll eventually recruit. If they're not all of the above, odds are that the business will experience lesser-quality hires across the board. SMBs don't have all the money in the world to spend on training new managers, so it's imperative to get it right the first time.