Finding the right manager can make the difference between the success and failure of a business. A good business manager is able to lead by example, organize and inspire employees to do their best. As well as having good people skills, a successful business manager must be computer savvy and be able to keep up with new trends and directions. Further, an exceptional business manager is able to sniff the wind and predict the best direction for the business to grow and develop. Putting the time and energy into finding the right person for the job pays dividends.
Look internally. Before you set out on a recruitment campaign, see if there is someone within your business who has management potential. To invest in additional training for someone who is familiar with the operation of the business may be a cost-saving strategy.
Identify the qualifications and specific skills you are looking for in a business manager. Make a list of "perfect candidate" attributes. Refer to this when you are writing the job description, reviewing CVs and interviewing candidates.
Advertise the business manager position. Run the ad in the career section of the local paper, in professional journals and on Internet sites that cater to the business sector. Put out the word on the informal network.
Review applications in one sitting, as this will give you an overview of the pool of candidates. Check their CVs against your list and select the best three candidates. Identify a fourth and fifth possibility, in case any of the first three decline an interview.
Draw up a short list and invite the top three candidates to an interview. Be very specific about the time and place. Follow up the telephone conversation with an email.
Set up an interview committee. Pick three or four interview committee members and have a briefing meeting with them. Refer to your list of the qualifications and traits required for a business manager and ask if they have any comments or suggestions.
Conduct the interviews using the same set of questions. To be fair, all candidates much be given an opportunity to address the same concerns. Have everyone on the committee take notes during the interviews, so that details aren’t forgotten when you make your selection.
Meet with the committee after the interviews and compare notes. Decide on the first, second and third choices for the business manager position. Consensus is best, but if that isn’t possible, members of the committee can vote for the candidate of their choice.
Offer the business manager position to the first candidate. If she turns it down, offer it to the second.
Follow up with a formal letter and include details such as the start date and the salary. Ask the person to sign the letter of offer and return it to you by a specific date.
Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.