Tag Archives: Candidates

How Do You Move from Manager to Strategist? Four Suggestions

Situation: The CEO of a small-to-medium business wants to reduce day-to-day management activities and spend more time focusing on new opportunities. How do you shift focus from management to strategy and how do you identify the right person to take on the management role?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • As CEO your primary focus needs to be on the future more than the day-to-day. As a smaller company, the management role needs to be filled by an individual with broad multidisciplinary experience. To replace yourself, you need a Renaissance person – someone with industry knowledge and experience who buys into your business model.
  • As you evaluate candidates, look for attitude, not resume.
    • Analytical skills are critical – mental capacity.
    • These need to be complimented by guts – emotional intelligence.
  • Your current business is not the business that you and your co-founders started. It is a larger entity, more solid, and you need to bring in people who can take it to higher stages of growth. Finding the right person to fill your role is a long-term process.
    • Bring in 3 to 4 solid candidates as employees in important roles. Test them with challenges to see who can grow into the larger role of company manager.
    • Look for people who can grow your downstream businesses as candidates to manage the full business.
  • In the current market you have time on your side. While hiring is improving in some regions, there are still many more candidates out there than available jobs. This is unlikely to change soon.

We Only Want A-Players – But Do They Want Us? – Five Strategies

Situation: An early stage company will staff-up over the next year. In the past the CEO has recruited individuals with big company experience and solid resumes, only to find that they had difficulty transitioning to the hands-on responsibility of a small company. How do you find candidates who are highly experienced but who can also excel in a small company environment?

Advice from the CEOs:

  • The best candidates are not in the job-search pool. They are currently working but open to a change. Some will wish to return to a more hands-on situation.
  • Let people know that you are looking for “the best” and have a great opportunity. Create some buzz.
    • Go to your network ask “who do you know?” Don’t be shy!
  • Look for achievers – with proven performance in companies of the size that you plan to be in 12-18 months. Check their references carefully.
  • What can we do now, while we seek the right people?
    • Use contractors and consultants. These people are more entrepreneurial, self-starting, and self-accountable. Monitor their work. If they are good, add them to your team as permanent employees.
    • Develop a milestone-based personnel plan as part of your business plan:
      • When we hit Milestone A, we will need an operations manager.
      • When we hit Milestone B, we will need channel or market development expertise.
    • Conduct case studies of how other companies in your or similar spaces have facilitated their scale-ups. What worked? What didn’t? Why?

Key Words: Candidates, Recruiting, Fit, Culture, Start-up, Achievers, Performance