Picking your management team
Tuesday, 24 January 2017
When contemplating the sale of your company, an area that will add value is a solid second tier management team. This is essential not only for the purpose of a sale but also for the smooth-running of a growing company. If there isn’t a team in situ, and you are planning your exit strategy, consider putting a team together in the early stages of your thought process to maximise the potential sale value.
Management are often the front line of your business, both internally and externally, and will dictate the way in which your firm is perceived. Therefore it is vital they are the appropriate individuals to handle the responsibilities at hand.
There is a great deal of importance in getting the blend of the team right when you consider the time it takes to find, train and remunerate the individuals. Picking your team must be treated like an investment and, just like any investment, it needs to be chosen well in order to gain a return.
Planning is crucial in order to attract the right skills; thinking ahead of what you need will save a large amount of time.
Firstly, where are the current gaps in your team that need filling? Assess your particular requirements; do you need someone who can handle time-pressured environments? Will they be client-facing? Do you have the right mix of inspirational characters and those that know how to implement?
It is crucial to get the right mix of skills and attributes. Primary areas to consider:
• Experience – What experience must they be able to demonstrate and offer to improve your business?
• Characteristics – Will they bring the right personal qualities to help build the current team?
• Qualifications – Are there particular competencies expected (i.e. degree or certifications required)?
• Availability – Are you calling for full-time or part-time work, temporary or permanent roles?
This starts with producing carefully thought-out job descriptions reflecting the needs of your business. There is little benefit in vague, generic specs as this will only lead to unsuitable candidates applying for the role, creating frustration and wasting time.
Marketing the role through the correct mediums helps to capture the best-fitting skills. Find the best platforms where your targets are most likely to be found. So, if you are recruiting a medical practitioner, find the specialised networks available to them. If you are after a university leaver, consider attending career fairs. Reaching out to the right places increases your chances of attracting suitable candidates. For the more specialised skill sets, head-hunting is not uncommon if you are aware of someone’s abilities, and it can be flattering to your prospective candidate.
Once you have gathered a group of individuals with the most desirable skills, the interview process helps you differentiate them on softer skills rather than experience. Interviews that focus on skills such as coaching ability and motivation help gain deeper insight into how an individual may fit into or lead a team. Interviews that just repeat the technical competencies already written on a CV add little value to your decision.
Once the interview process has ended, revert back to your original planning requirements to determine if any of those remaining in the process fit your needs. Consider whether they will fill the gap and start to shortlist candidates. It doesn’t hurt to have two or three interviews with your shortlisted candidates, and use different interviewers to gain a range of views and insights. People click in different ways and the successful candidate(s) will need to gel with the team.
Picking a strong management team is vital for the efficiency and output of your firm, therefore you need to be certain you have gathered the right mix of skills for the task at hand. Get it right and watch your firm flourish before your eyes and potentially attract a higher value when you come to sell the company.
For further guidance on how to plan your exit strategy, or a pre-sale health check, our specialist advisors are always happy to help, and offer a free, no obligation, initial meeting.