Tips and Advice on Hiring an Operations Manager
How to hire operations manager without making mistakes.
The Operations Manager is going to be in charge of making sure that the company or department is running efficiently with maximum output and profit. This is not a position that you will want to risk putting in the hands of any candidate! Hiring an Operations Manager can take a lot of time and preparation. Remember, you are hiring an individual that will be in control for many areas of the company to include personal. Here are some things you should consider beforehand when considering applicants:
• Decide whether you need an Operations Manager for the entire business or several Operations Managers to head up various departments. Obviously, hiring one Ops will be less expensive than paying several different salaries. However, you may be able to dramatically increase productivity and efficiency by hiring specialists for each department, which can save the company money in the long run. This depends on the size of your business and its complexity. You may also consider hiring one main Operations Manager and several assistant Ops Managers with experience in the different departments.
• Do not rush while hiring an Operations Manager. Not only should you interview several people for the job, you should set up a multi-phase interview. This could mean calling candidates back to access the company and make a sample analysis of things he/she would improve. Check their credentials and past performance by calling past employers.
• Look at resumes for both academics and experience in the field. Operations Managers who have had experience working lower-level positions are often better at communicating with employees than those with more education and less hands-on work. The ideal candidate should have both of these aspects.
• Consider a contract-to-hire position. This will allow you to put the Operations Manager through a test period in order to see how he/she performs the job. If it doesn’t work out, you are free from any long-term commitment and can find another Ops who will better do the job.
• Don’t downplay the importance of people skills. Even though Operations Managers tend to be very analytically minded and methodical, it will benefit the company to find an OM who can effectively communicate with all kinds of people. This is a hard skill to asses so ask for examples of collaboration between other departments as well as experience working in a team setting.
• Be prepared to negotiate on the salary. A qualified Operations Manager will not be willing to work for a subpar salary and should be considered an investment. If a candidate is asking for more than you would like to pay, consider how much the Ops may be able to save the company in revenue.
• You should hire an Operations Manager who loves his/her job. This may sound obvious but think how often you hear someone say they enjoy their job- rarely! An enthusiastic candidate with less experience may be a better choice than an experienced candidate who is jaded and won’t put in the extra effort necessary to ensure the company’s success.
Author: Miodrag Perin
He has an MBA from New York’s Binghamton University. Miodrag is a Vice President of Bertelsmann HR Services North America
You can learn more about him at MiodragPerin.com