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Research Triangle Business Advisors
November 2012 Newsletter

We are CEOs, executives and managers, but at the end of the day we are all just people. We’re people who hire people like ourselves – because that’s comfortable. But, who should we really be hiring? We need to hire people who can do the job and bring more success to the company. So, the big question is how do we find and hire the manager who is motivated to do the job. Is it personal motivation that drives candidates to apply their experience to your challenges, is it their experience that motivates them to perform, or is it just better compensation they are looking achieve?


Bob De Contreras





Hiring Effective Managers


I have talked to my clients many times about hiring a person who fits the company culture first, then look at the skills they bring. In this article I want to look at the candidate’s motivation. I’m sure you have already realized that the best candidates don’t come from searching stacks of resumes or hunting for the person who has the experience and skills needed for your open position.

The best hires come from finding managers who are motivated to perform. They want to do the job and enjoy the work. Even the best qualified candidate will deliver disappointing results without a true desire for success in both your company and their career. The perfect credentials for the job and a golden resume don’t guarantee top performance without the candidate’s willingness to sweat, sacrifice and put in the hours. Therefore, motivation is a very important differentiator.

With that background in mind, let’s look at some tips on qualifying the candidate’s motivation:

  1. What is the candidate’s focus? The interview process should balance equally between the company’s requirements and the candidate’s wishes. If a candidate diverts the discussion mostly to their needs, you’ve probably got the wrong person.

  2. Challenge or Compensation? The challenge, rather than the money, motivates successful people. They understand that money results from meeting the company’s needs. If a candidate puts too much emphasis on compensation – particularly early in the interview process –change the topic. If the applicant immediately steers the interview back onto the dollars, validate their parking and show them the door.

  3. Strengths or weaknesses? While it’s natural to search for candidates with outstanding qualities, we also need to seek out and evaluate the weaknesses. If someone is “top notch” in creativity or salesmanship, is there a counterbalancing weakness in close personal relationships, accountability or value process? And, if so, how significant are those short comings?

  4. Interview setting. Interview the candidate in both formal and informal settings. It is remarkable how in the informal setting, usually over a casual dinner or a game of billiards, the candidate will relax and show aspects of their personality or emotions that they held back during the formal interview.

  5. Don’t rush it. The interview method should include asking the same question in different ways in order to make sure candidates are consistent in their behaviors and statements. You know you have a keeper at the end of an interview if the candidate displays the same attitude and style as when it began. Be sure to pay constant attention to the interviewee’s behavior, because a consistent performance indicates he or she will be a more predictable manager.

  6. Pursue motivated candidates. After validating the motivation of candidates, then focus on skills, experience and qualifications for the position. This approach is more efficient and provides valuable familiarity with the finalists.

Management hires (like all hires) are an investment in your company’s future, not an expense. This investment in management hiring also adds value to future hiring because of the standard you set. A focus on motivation and qualifications leads to a successful management hiring program.


Cary | Raleigh | Research Triangle Park | Greensboro | North Carolina
Contents © Copyright Research Triangle Business Advisors ( RTBA ) 2012, All rights reserved.