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How to find out if someone is ready for management

Published: Friday 8th February 2019

It’s not easy knowing when someone is ready to move into a management role. According to Bharath Jayaraman, a former HR executive at Facebook, the best way to find out is to try a candidate out in the position first.

management meeting led by a woman

Discover the untapped management talent in your organisation

Analysing someone’s leadership skills when they’re working in a technical role can be difficult. They spend a lot of time at their desk, rather than being a leader. This is a challenge for many HR departments. There’s a lot more job responsibility in management and it can be a jarring transition for some workers.

Bhareth’s solution is to give potential candidates some informal experience by letting them take on mentorship for a management role. It’s recommended that companies provide some initial training to let candidates know what to expect. Provide a full briefing on what’s expected of them. That way, potential managers can find out if the job is right for them and the company can see if they have what it takes to be a manager.

The problem is, many people think that management is the next logical step in their career.  It’s easy to think that way if they’re excelling in their current role, but this isn’t always the case. Some people are simply better ‘knowledge experts’, as opposed to managers.

Ambitious character on rooftop

Management isn’t the right move for everyone

Of course, if someone is looking to move into management, then it’s logical that they should already have an in-depth knowledge of what their team does. In most cases, that means having excelled in the same roles. But they’ll need a lot more about them than that. They’ll need to be organised, self-motivated and ready for the challenge of leadership.

It helps to have already built positive working relationships with those already in the team. Especially if you have successfully managed conflict between team members. Those with anger management issues or unable to work well under pressure certainly aren’t suited to management roles.

Candidates that have already earned the respect of their co-workers will find the transition the smoothest. Especially if they have taken on leadership roles within smaller teams. Look out for those that have been good mentors to new team members and helped them to acclimatise not only to their new role, but also to company culture. That indicates that they’re actively committed to organisational goals.

Finding the one in ten?

Only around one in ten are thought to have what it takes to become a manager. It’s important to make sure that potential recruits have all the traits, as well as the commitment to succeed. As Bhareth Jayaraman says, operating a mentorship programme within your organisation might be the ideal way of discovering the most suitable candidates. Just remind candidates who don’t make the cut are reminded of other senior roles that might be more suitable for their individual skill set and personality.

In the meantime, if you’re looking for proven management candidates for a role in your organisation, start your search on Zoek.

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