How to Select the Best Candidate for Managerial Roles

Who really fits the bill?
Gallup has found "companies fail to choose the candidate with the right talent for the job 82% of the time."

This astounding statistic is one business owners should avoid at all costs.  Because it costs the business.  A poor manager can drive away quality employees, create divides within the teams, decrease employee engagement and drag good people down.  These results all cost your business money.

When it's time to fill a managerial role on your farm, take the time to select and train the best candidate.  Avoid just "moving someone up" to keep things easy and fair.  Normal human behavior drives us to select a long-term employee for the role, without taking into consideration if he or she is adequately qualified for the position or even desires a management role.

What attributes should you be considering when moving someone into a managerial position:
  • Do they communicate well with other employees and managers?
  • Do they demonstrate empathy for others?
  • Are they honest and reliable?
  • Do they possess good problem-solving skills?
  • Are they just focused on their own success or do they consider the team?
  • Do they have a good understanding of the entire business not just their area of expertise?
  • Are they confident enough to be a manager?
  • Do they have good organizational skills?
  • Do they live your core values?


When you have determined that your candidate meets the above criteria, the next step is the training and education of your new manager.
  • Job Shadowing (Allow time for the new hire to job shadow the current manager or managers)
  • Mentorship (Assign a mentor who will be accountable for transferring of skills and knowledge)
  • Set aside time for the new hire to learn from your current vendors about their tools and products as it pertains to this position
  • Provide tips and strategies for teaching and coaching other team members
  • Provide a road map for how they will communicate with owners, managers, and employees.  (Meetings, emails, calls, and texts)
  • Provide administrative skills training.  (Timecards, excel spreadsheets, etc.)
  • Provide training on organizational skills that will assist them in this position.
  • Give them the authority to make decisions on their own.
  • Give guidance on how to positively motivate others and give feedback.
  • Schedule performance review meetings with your new manager for the first 6 months to a year.
  • Provide sound encouragement as they learn their new role.

Investing in leadership development ensures your new manager is successful in this position.  Your business should experience lower turnover, successful goal-reaching, and team members who are engaged and satisfied with their jobs. Select the "RIGHT" person who fits the bill and give them the structure and skills to become a manager you can count on to lead your team.

Get it right and you will save money with fewer headaches. Everyone wins.

Originally published at Progressive Dairy May 2020  here.