When we think about a good manager, there are a number of qualities that come to mind. Typically, those looking to hire managers look for either a tenured status or past success in non-managerial roles. But recent studies show that perhaps this is not the most effective way to fill roles that require leadership and management skills.
A March 2015 survey from Workplace Trends surveyed 1,000 HR professionals, and almost half of them said that leadership is the hardest skill to find. Only 36 percent of the people surveyed stated that leadership was a strength in their organizations. At the same time, workplaces today have difficulty with engagement. In a July 2016 Gallup survey, almost 32 percent of the 1,500 employees surveyed stated that they felt engaged in their work. This marks only a 4 percent increase since a previous survey that was conducted in December 2013.
The best way to solve these problems is to think of the connection between the two. Managers play a key role in creating engagement. A July 2016 Gallup Report on strength-based employee development showed that managers were responsible for 70 percent of variance in engagement.
Companies need to hone in on their methods for selecting managers. But how does one recruit managers who improve engagement?
The first step is finding a topnotch talent source. The source of hire determines the talent pool that an employer has to select from. Sometimes the best source is within your company. Much of the time, internal hires are better suited to the company culture, and it costs less time and money to recruit them. It is a good idea to find the employees who have shown strong leadership skills and then offer those employees growth opportunities. Not all companies understand the unique skills and experience that each employee possesses. If you want to find out who is most suited for management, start an employee-referral program. Train your employees on how to make referrals, and make a rewards system so that people will want to participate. If you want to find people externally, it’s a good idea to utilize social media for your recruiting process. Some of the most popular outlets include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
When you consider candidates, think about how each one will work toward the goal of increasing engagement. Think about whether the candidate is familiar with strength-based employee development. You need to make sure the company’s major goals remain at the core of your recruiting efforts. When writing a job description, make sure you add that the new manager should build employee engagement.
If you want someone who truly will focus on employee strengths, you will need to conduct behavioral interviews. You need to ask questions that allow you to see how candidates would act in a management role. A good question to ask is something along the lines of “If the productivity of the company begins to decrease, what techniques will you use to ignite passion among employees?” You can also ask how a candidate would create a team for a seminar presentation.
One of the biggest mistakes a manager can make is attempting to “fix” employees. The best way is to recognize employees’ strengths and help them use these strengths to reach success. If you want more engagement, find a manager who truly sees each employee’s potential.