How to Tell if Candidates Have Management Potential

Spotting a manager in the making sounds easy, doesn’t it? It’s actually one of the trickiest hiring challenges you can have. Your candidate might have minimal management experience but massive management potential – not always an easy thing to spot or assess. So how do you approach the search for that special manager or supervisor…

Spotting a manager in the making sounds easy, doesn’t it? It’s actually one of the trickiest hiring challenges you can have.

Your candidate might have minimal management experience but massive management potential – not always an easy thing to spot or assess.

So how do you approach the search for that special manager or supervisor in your organisation?

Identify the key criteria a retail manager needs to meet

Does the candidate meet the brief? It’s certainly a tough one. A retail manager will need sales expertise to encourage customers to buy, organisational and planning skills to run the store, a head for sums to manage stock, troubleshooting ability to sort out inevitable daily problems, leadership strength in managing a team of staff, and a calm, assured approach to conflict and stress.

Make sure your interview questions and scenarios address these issues in some detail.

Assess your candidate’s work approach and style

It’s essential that you work out your organisation’s culture, and the work approach required of the new employee. If your company operates in an open, participatory way which encourages employee involvement at all levels, a candidate showing a preference for old-school, top-down practices – however skilled – could cause all sorts of problems for your staff.

Assess your candidate’s people skills and personality

However many people skills your candidate tells you they possess, it’s up to you to assess for yourself. How does this person make you feel? Are they good listeners or do they talk over you? Do they have an engaging or abrasive manner? Will your employees warm to this person, or be instantly irritated or confused?

Look carefully at the candidate’s transferable life and work skills

The applicant might have barely set foot on the management ladder, but strong multi-tasking, organisational and decision-making abilities set them head and shoulders above the other applicants. Demonstrated skill in stress management, along with creative and flexible thinking, can often transcend job levels.

Will this manager go the extra mile?

You don’t intend to overwork your staff but, occasionally, emergencies require extra input. Establish whether the candidate is a 9-to-5er, or passionate enough about the role to step up and stay late when necessary – definitely a managerial requirement.

Consider getting help from a retail recruitment agency

Is it all too daunting? If so, you can always get help from the experts. A specialist retail agency, such as Frontline Retail knows how to attract the right candidates, screen with a discriminating eye, and earmark the management prowess or potential your organisation needs.

Plenty of people are looking for retail careers, but only a proportion will stand out from the crowd. Make sure it’s your company that finds them!

Please contact one of our specialist consultants for further information.