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Hiring a Manager for Your SME

If you have reached the point in your small business where you need to hire a business manager – congratulations. Seriously, you have created a business with enough profit to warrant handing a good chunk of responsibility over so you can focus on more high-level activities, or maybe, even spend more time with the family. Finding that responsible, capable person to take over important business activities is no easy task. You need to have peace of mind that they are want the same level of success for the business as you. Here is our guide on how to hire a manager for your SME.


(1) If possible, promote from within


Besides you, the next group of people who understand and share the vision for your business is your current crop of employees. I’m sure you already have someone in mind that could have the potential to take a step-up into a leadership role. They know your business inside out and most importantly, you trust them. Hiring from within your company is also a great way to reward effort and contribution to the company. The manager will be more loyal than if you hired externally.


(2) Team interview


So you’ve found a candidate for the management position you think is perfect. What do your staff think of the decision? If the newly hired manager cannot get along with your team you have a problem. The new manager needs to understand the culture of your business and slot in seamlessly. Conduct an interview and invite along the entire team. Ask them to bring along any key questions they want answered by the potential new manager. Questions should be around working style, previous experience, attitude and so on.


(3) Set Performance Based Incentives


Once you have found that perfect candidate to manage your business, it is important to set goals and offer incentives to ensure they will stay with your business for the long. Setting performance based goals means your new manager will have skin in the game. An example could be – if you hit a revenue target, you receive a bonus.



(4) Attitude over skills


The ideal situation would be your new manager will have a superb attitude and is also highly skilled. If , for example, you had two candidates for the job and one was highly skilled, yet their attitude was weak, versus a candidate with average skills, but a tip-top attitude, go with the latter. Skills can be learnt, attitude can as well, though it takes a longer time. It is important to focus on behavioural questions in the interview to ensure you find a manager with a great attitude.

(5) Ask for References


It is essential to ask for references for the manager’s role. It will only be after working with the new manager for few days that you will uncover true coloUrs, but it may be too late by then. That’s why it is important to ask the candidate for personal and business references and follow up with them to get a different perspective. It is true that the interviewee is not going to give you the names of the references who he thinks are not going to portray him in good light, you can still get better perspective by talking to few more people.