By James Chittenden

Recruiting ranks high among your most critical labor, and it entails costs, time, and normally a great deal of second-guessing. But you’ve got to do it, and if you can attract a leader who can also attract talent, your task of looking for employees will be much easier. 

Notice that we said “leader”, not “manager”. People love to be led, not managed. A leader takes positive control. A manager takes negative control. 

Bad bosses are a major cause of employer turnover. According to a Gallup poll, 75% of people who leave their jobs do so because of management, not compensation. 

“Bad management” Gallup poll.

People love to pontificate about leadership, opine about leadership, and congratulate themselves for leadership. Major universities offer graduate degrees in leadership. But if the above statistic is true, 75 percent of us are simply not very good at it.

Let’s beat the odds and attract a leader who attracts and keeps talent

In a small business, leadership looks and feels different than it does in a large corporation, government agency, or military. 

Your startup or small business likely has a less formal culture than that of a large employer with tens of thousands of employees. Therefore, a manager recruited from a large, formal employer environment may not be a good fit. For guidance on looking for employees, you can turn to the employees and team you already have to help you to attract a leader who attracts talent. But you will certainly need someone who is highly competent in the services or products your business offers.

Headhunters and background checks are not enough.

Certainly, you could use a professional recruiter or headhunter to find this person. They may or may not be your best guide on how to hire a manager or looking for employees, although some are very good. Bear in mind that the fee structure (which averages 25% of the new hire’s salary) carries incentives for the headhunter to get a quick placement. In the end, this manager is a major investment in your business and you cannot delegate final responsibility for the quality of this person’s leadership.

You absolutely should do a rigorous check. While standard background checks such as criminal records, employment, credit history, etc. may be important, they may be missing the larger point.

Ask the right questions. To really get to know your prospective leader, dig deep. Here is how.

Ask the candidate for three references. They should be former employees. Of course the candidate will provide the names of employees who will likely provide favorable references. So after you talk to those employees, thank them and ask each of them for the names of three more employees. Gather references from them as well. If you still are not satisfied that you are getting a balanced picture, ask each one of them for three names too. Keep going until you are satisfied that you have an accurate and balanced picture of the person you are considering for a leadership role in your business. 

Ask the right questions. What you need to know from your candidate’s former employees.

To attract a leader who attracts talent, you must define what this person should look like.
  • Was there a lower rate of absenteeism or sick time under this person’s leadership?
  • Were people under this person’s leadership commonly promoted?
  • Did the manager invest in training and developing people?
  • How was team morale under this manager?
  • Was the manager known for evaluating fairly and accurately? 
  • What rules did the manager emphasize?
You also need to define what you don’t want. All of these questions will reveal red flags, but in order to safeguard your talent, the following merit extra attention. 
  • High turnover is a bad sign. This is a manager that has bias for getting rid of people rather than developing them. 
  • Was the manager known for frequently “writing people up”; quick to resort to formal discipline?
  • Was the manager known as a bully?
  • Did the manager foster healthy competition, or backstabbing? 

Let’s attract a leader who attracts talent…the ZipRecruiter way!

One Click Advisor ZipRecruiter

What is ZipRecruiter?

We have covered much about how to hire a manager. ZipRecruiter is a service that distributes a job listing to over 100 job boards instantly. Additionally, it captures data from your candidates from all of these job boards. It eliminates the need to gather and filter applications from multiple job sites, and the interface and app are simple and easy to use.

The site aggregates jobs and automatically updates job advertisements from multiple internet sources. ZipRecruiter makes it easy to view by consolidating the jobs it in one place. ZipRecruiter also is a job search engine and powerful resume search tool.

One Click Advisor researched and reviewed ZipRecruiter and its capabilities in detail, which can be read here.

Visit ZipRecruiter and start a free trial.

Ask the right questions. What you want to know directly from the management candidate.

ZipRecruiter published an article on how to hire a manager that suggested how the conversation should go. Getting a feeling for the experience of the manager is important, of course. Another important question is how the last firing they were responsible for happened.

And finally…

Welcome to One Click Advisor! We would be remiss if we didn’t give you a brief tour of the site and what it can do for you. The free Business Builder is a consulting session, solving your business plan questions in minutes.  Your challenges and opportunities can be sorted into one of three areas.

Marketing, because it brings in the customers. Start or continue that plan here.

Operations, because it keeps your customers. Start or continue that plan here.

Finance, because it is the scoreboard. Change the “score” and explore financing here.

A great leader will create more great leaders.