From job description to search to screening, traps and dangers lurk
Q. I am the founder and CEO for a $20 million distribution company. Our general manager of five years has informed me that he will be moving out of state in June to be closer to his family. He has recommended the operations manager whom he hired two years ago as his replacement. The problem is that the operations manager is not qualified to be a general manager; he lacks formal education and essential knowledge and experience required to be successful. What are my options?
A. The good news is that the GM has given you plenty of notice to locate the best candidate for the job and ample time for knowledge transfer and mentoring.
You are not obligated to promote your current operations manager to the GM position. I’m certain that the company has changed over the past five years, and this will give you an opportunity to update and possibly upgrade the position requirements.
If the operations manager shows interest in the position, give him or her the opportunity to be a part of the selection process.
First, it is imperative that you develop a job description that clearly defines the day-to-day responsibilities, required skills, education and experience. Be clear about who this person is, where they come from and create a “best fit” profile. You will need to determine if the best fit is someone who comes from your industry and has deep knowledge about your products and services or from outside your industry who can bring a fresh perspective.
What are your short-term and long-term goals for bringing this person on board? What problems are you trying to solve? Make certain that the compensation package is market competitive and will attract and retain the best talent. Please do not start the selection process until you have gone through this exercise and have received buy in from all decision makers and key stakeholders.
Next you will need to decide how you will attract talent to your organization. Do you post an advertisement online and hope for the best? There are numerous places to post jobs today from career sites to social networking platforms to industry niche sites. Ask yourself, do you want your customers and competitors to be knowledgeable about such a critical change to the organization and appear weak? Or do you engage with a search firm to locate the best candidate for the job and keep your business private?
Online advertisements will produce hundreds of responses due to millions of people being out of work. It is tempting with some job boards charging as low as $75 per posting. Just remember that you get what you pay for. What are the hidden costs of placing an online ad?
I’ll tell you, they are the lost productive working hours that you and your team will be required to input to review resumes, conduct phone screens and lengthy interviews. How do you know that the resumes you are reviewing are not fabricated? How do you know that the person you are phone screening is not playing you? How do you know that the person you have invited into your company for a full day of interviews and incurred travel costs is the real thing?