A manager can perform many functions in a business, some manage a team of people, and others might manage a work area or a department, or even an entire retail store or geographical area.
Managers are responsible for planning and controlling different resources, such as personnel, finances, or equipment, to ensure that the business runs smoothly and tasks are completed properly and on time.
The right manager can help employees to improve their work by providing constructive criticism. They also understand the need for reviewing data about performance and can work autonomously and make decisions for themselves and their direct reports.
For a recruiter, finding the right person to be a manager means looking for someone that has the right level of skills and abilities to be able to deal with different parts of the role, from organizing and motivating staff to ensure that budgets are adhered to and productivity increases over time.
While managers in different industries might have slightly different skill profiles, there are still specific competencies that a recruiter wants to see in a potential manager candidate, and this article will discuss these skills and abilities. We will also look at the different pre-employment screening tests that can be used to filter applicants based on their level of competency.
What should a manager be able to do?
The daily tasks that a manager needs to complete are often related to the specific company or industry, but some duties are almost universal.
A manager is expected to direct and coordinate all the activities of the department that they are in charge of. This includes financial and budgetary considerations, ensuring that resources are available and being used appropriately and that productivity is actively being increased.
As part of this, the manager needs to be able to coordinate and control their personnel. The manager ensures that direct reports are performing as they should be, leading by example, and providing support when necessary. The manager will assign specific duties to staff members through delegation, and managing scheduling.
Leadership is an important part of the manager's role. The manager should be ready to help 'on the floor' when necessary, working alongside their direct reports to ensure that projects are completed on time.
From an administrative point of view, the manager must work with other departmental managers and board members to establish and implement procedures and policies that are relevant to the department, as well as set goals and objectives.
The manager must then be able to review and analyze data such as financial statements and sales reports, as well as individual performance reports. They should be monitoring productivity and looking for goal achievement, coming up with plans to ensure that there is improvement and ways to reduce costs.
Skills to look for in a manager
For a manager, the technology and software skills that are needed to be successful in the role might be bespoke to the company or industry. These might include CRM packages and scheduling software. However, there are certain skills that a recruiter should look for in a manager for any industry, including:
Management of personnel and material resources: For a manager, knowing what resources are available and what people can do which tasks make delegating much easier, so managing these resources is a skill that makes a manager successful. This includes coordination and time management for the manager and for the direct reports, too.
Critical thinking and complex problem solving: as a manager, thinking critically about different situations can help solve complex problems. A manager needs good judgment and to be skilled in decision-making to be successful.
Speaking and active listening: for a manager, communication is essential to ensure that the work environment is functioning properly, and that comes from the skill of the manager in active listening and the ability to speak clearly in giving instructions.
Persuasion and negotiation: managers often have to deal with difficult situations, whether they are helping a member of the team deal with a problem or taking a complaint from a customer. Being able to negotiate and persuade is an important skill for a manager to have.
Systems analysis and evaluation: for a business to grow and develop, a manager needs to be able to analyze what is happening to focus on what works and what doesn't. Managers need analytic thinking skills to be able to evaluate the way the business works.
Useful abilities for a manager
As a recruiter, there are several different abilities that you should look for in a potential manager. These are the abilities that are found in a successful manager, and include:
Oral and written comprehension and expression: a manager needs to be able to express themselves effectively to give instructions, praise, and criticisms, both in writing and through speech. They also need to be able to understand written information and the speech of other people.
Deductive and inductive reasoning: logical thinking is an important part of the abilities that a manager should have because they need to be able to find reasoned conclusions to problems that come up. Spotting patterns and trends, using new and unfamiliar information, and reacting using logic rather than emotion to make decisions.
Problem sensitivity: a manager needs to be socially aware and can spot problems as they develop. This can help prevent issues that could grow and cause more problems. The manager doesn't always need to know the solution to the problem, but just to be aware of it.
Fluency of ideas and originality: with so many different tasks to focus on, the manager needs to be able to work flexibly and keep the ideas flowing. They also need to have the ability to be original.
Information ordering: handling data, looking after the needs of employees, and running a department, store, or area, is important - so the manager needs to be able to keep data and information in some sort of logical manner.
Which soft skills tests could I use to hire a manager?
For a manager, some of the most important skills that make them successful are known as 'soft skills'. These are inherent skills that are not usually taught, and candidates will not be able to demonstrate that they are qualified with certifications. However, these skills can be tested with pre-employment screening assessments such as:
Communication skills: the communication skills test puts a candidate into a work-related situation, allowing them to demonstrate that they can use communication skills like active listening to solve problems in the workplace.
Leadership skills: successful managers are leaders. They lead by example and support their staff members, providing guidance and being a positive role model. The leadership assessment asks questions of the candidate that need leadership to solve.
Problem-solving skills: working with different people, and dealing with different situations in the workplace can lead to problems, and solving them is often up to the manager. The problem-solving assessment allows the candidate to demonstrate that they have the tools to solve problems.
Adaptability: as technology and innovation development, successful businesses need to adapt to new ways of working and be agile. As for managers, they need to be able to respond to changing systems and procedures, as well as instruct direct reports about changes.
Accountability: great leaders and managers take responsibility for their direct reports, and they hold themselves accountable for the performance of the whole team. Accountability means taking responsibility for the good and bad that happens in the team.
Which technical or aptitude tests could I use to hire a manager?
Technical skills that might need to be tested in the hiring process for a manager vary depending on the nature of the management role; a sales manager might have to be competent in using Salesforce for example. However, some aptitude tests are particularly effective for any management candidate:
Verbal reasoning: in the verbal reasoning assessment, the candidate needs to be able to quickly read and understand a paragraph of text. This aptitude is important for a manager who needs to use written information to make reasoned decisions.
Numerical reasoning: with performance and financial data analysis as part of the role, a manager has to be comfortable working with numbers and performing basic calculations. The numerical reasoning assessment makes the candidates apply mathematical knowledge to solve problems.
Logical reasoning: dealing with problems and issues is easier when a manager can make reasoned and logical decisions. In [logical reasoning questions]((https://www.picked.ai/aptitude-tests/logical-reasoning/), the candidate needs to spot trends in unfamiliar information to find the right answer.
Situational judgement: for the recruiter, the situational judgement assessment demonstrates the way a candidate reacts in a work-based scenario. This is a good indicator of their work behavior, how they deal with problems, and their personality traits.
Error checking: managers need an eye for detail. They need to be able to work with data, financial information, and things like schedules, ensuring that all information is error-free. For the error-checking assessment, the candidate has to spot the differences within similar pieces of information.
Our recommended test battery for a manager
While recruiting for a manager using pre-employment assessments does save time and money, using all the tests mentioned above can be overwhelming for the recruitment team and the candidate.
Here at Picked, we have come up with a recommended test battery that is suitable for hiring a manager and is much easier to administer.
Leadership skills: in the leadership skills assessment, the candidate is presented with a series of work-related scenarios, and problems that need to be solved using different facets of leadership. The candidate must select the right course of action to take from the multiple-choice options presented.
Logical reasoning: in this test, each question is a series of shapes or images that are in a sequence. The candidate must find the pattern or rule that governs the sequence, and apply that rule to find the missing item from the multiple-choice option presented.
Communication skills: in the communication assessment, the candidate must solve problems that might occur in the workplace using their communication skills. Each question is based on a fictional yet realistic workplace situation, and there are several different courses of action to choose from to solve the presented problem.
We have also got a series of specific job knowledge tests that are suitable for different types of managers, including: