Recruiting the Right Middle-Management for Human Resources and Operations

Despite the frequent ribbing middle-management often gets, at least in Hollywood depictions, there really is no underplaying the importance of these employees in a company. Especially when it comes to middle-management roles in Human Resources and Operations. These employees are the muscle of an organization, the critical component of recruiting, engaging, and retaining talented employees and ensuring a positive workforce culture.

Building up a Strong Leadership Bench

Before you begin recruiting the right middle-management for your Human Resources or Operations departments, first look at your current leadership bench. Maybe you’re a small business transitioning into a greater role and are recruiting an entirely new team, or maybe you’re like many medium to large-size companies and are realizing that you need to rethink your current team.

Wherever you are starting out now, it’s important to think of recruiting and developing strong middle-management positions not as a reaction to something, but rather as a continual process. Give yourself time between each hire to understand the strengths of current employees and to use recruitment as a way to fill in gaps and build on current team skills.

When recruiting for middle-management the first time around follow these steps:

1. Determine a structure.

There are several great middle-management and whole-organizational structures that businesses can research when determining how they want to establish a more formal managerial set-up in their business. Businesses need to research how they want to build their infrastructure before they can choose the right people who will ultimately be responsible for doing the actual infrastructure building and maintenance.

2. Make personnel responsibilities clear.

List out the specific responsibilities you want new (and current if applicable) Human Resources and Operations managers to take charge of. Ensure you include defined roles and line of commands/communication between senior and middle management. When outlining these roles, keep in mind that being results or performance driven is often more effective at fostering engagement in your new hires than simply assigning a list of tasks and responsibilities

3. Reflect upon why your business is successful and keep company culture at the forefront.

Many businesses are successful largely because of their company’s culture. It is important, and this is especially true for those small businesses who are making growth changes, to not let the influx of new recruits negatively change your company culture. In hiring for new and opening middle-management positions, choose new hires that align with company culture and core business values.

For example, a former HR manager for an oil refinery might not be a great pick for a company who focuses on inventing and manufacturing more sustainable shipping products. But at the same time, an HR manager with experience in the latter position would be a great fit for an automotive parts manufacturer trying to reduce their own environmental impact. In short, you want to choose people who align with your core beliefs but who will also push your company forward and assist with company growth strategy and ideals.

Interviewing for Middle-Management Position

When considering possible recruits, keep a list of 4 to 5 things that you believe are required for any manager to be successful within your organization. During the interview, consider potential hires’ past success and failures to understand how well they might meet your listed company ideals. When doing so, it’s equally important to determine the results you want this new hire to achieve, and ask specific questions in order to gauge how they would perform in certain scenarios. Remember that the best candidates don’t just come to the job with the needed skills, but rather are able to adapt to the specifics of the job and merge their own success to the business’s success. The right middle-management team will be able to drive the results your company desires.

At Equal Parts Consulting we’ll help you recruit the right middle-management for your group, and find ways to best develop their skills. Contact us to learn more.