When identifying a management candidate, do you use tenure, skill, character, relationship to the owner (so…she’s your brother’s daughter?), or all of the above? Where should you begin? Identify team members who truly want the job, not, “I’ll try to do it” or, “if you want me to,” candidates, but someone who has expressed interest before a position was available. I always keep my eyes peeled for employees who take on responsibilities before they have a management title.

Who is doing the Work without the Title?

I worked with a company who set up a booth at a couple trade shows per year. An entry-level employee saw potential and offered help. He set the display, worked the show, and followed up with leads. He began finding more shows, and had the installation department help him build better displays. Eventually, the company gave him one of the installation trucks to use (he’d been setting them up out of his car). Next, the company gave him a small salary and he hired an assistant. Five years later, the company was in 200 shows per year. It became their second largest source of leads. What became of the employee? He became the Vice President of the division. Find someone who wants the job.

Who always Helps Others?

I believe the best management candidate is a person who truly enjoys helping others. If someone doesn’t get a kick out of watching others grow and improve — they may not be the best candidate. A manager’s responsibility is to hire, train, and retain a team, which meets and exceeds the organization’s objectives. This is accomplished by helping others get what they need and want. A top candidate is someone who serves others.

·A management candidate should be passionate about the organization, products or services, mission, vision and personnel.

·Skills such as organization, delegation, follow-through, and problem solving are important, but can be trained.

·Character traits such as patience, diligence, decisiveness, initiative, responsibility, resourcefulness, dependability and thoroughness should be considered. In the long run, isn’t it more important WHO someone is — not what he or she knows?

How do you find the best Management Candidate?

That’s an excellent question. How do you find the best management candidate? Ask, observe, and interview. Look for someone who has taken on responsibility outside of their job description. Keep a close eye on teammates who are always willing to help others on the team. Don’t rely on job skills alone. Job skills are not an indication of people skills.  Don’t base promotion on tenure. How long someone has been employed isn’t a compass for management potential, and never cajole someone into taking a leadership position; they have to want it. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.