Operations management is a significant component of running any organization effectively. As someone who is primarily responsible for the safe and efficient running of your operations as well as helping your organization get the most value out of your resources, a skilled operations leader is an essential hire. In any sector, finding a great operations leader can be difficult, but that challenge is compounded when technical or engineering expertise needs to form part of their skill set. How do you find the right candidate for the role in your company, especially when you’re looking for a great hire who will be an asset over the long term? Here are some tips to consider.
An operations leader will, of necessity, wear many hats, but the position should not be a catch-all that spreads the person filling it too thin to be effective. The first step to finding the right fit for your organization is to be clear on where your operations leader fits into the structure of your organization, the objectives and responsibilities of the role, and who will report to them. In addition to overseeing operational goals and optimizing efficiency and productivity, will they also be setting organizational policies, helping formulate budgets, hiring new staff, and more? When you know this information, that will clarify the characteristics and qualifications your ideal hire should have.
The attributes of a great operations leader fall into two main categories: technical qualifications and personal qualities. A candidate’s academic credentials, industry expertise, and level of experience are all important information to examine, but you also have to consider what a candidate is like as an individual to determine if they will fit well into your organization’s culture. Strong communications and organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to bring out the best in a team are essential to success in organizational leadership, so evaluating a prospective candidate’s experience should include assessing these qualities. Beware of being too restrictive with demands for specific industry experience, as that may limit your applicant pool too far—instead, be open to the idea that the right person with operations leadership experience will also be able to learn the ins and outs of your industry.
Interviews are an opportunity to assess an applicant’s hard skills, behavioral intelligence, and soft skills. Make sure that you’ve thoroughly familiarized yourself with their resume beforehand, so you can ask questions that can delve into the specifics of a candidate’s accomplishments rather than generalities. It helps to have more than one person in the interview and to have multiple interviews so you can get additional perspectives on the candidate and how they present themselves. Be sure to thoroughly check references as well.
When you’ve found the candidate you want to hire, you need to be prepared to make them an offer fast. Skilled operations leaders, especially those with a specialized technical or engineering background, are in high demand, and the best candidates will have other options to consider. While salary isn’t everything, your offer needs to align with the market if you want your proposal to be seriously considered—don’t wait until you’re ready to move forward with your ideal hire to start thinking about the terms of your offer.
Finding an operations leader with the qualifications, technical expertise, and skills to fit your organization’s needs can be a time-consuming, difficult process. If you don’t have time to waste getting the right candidate in place, Integress can help. As a boutique technical search firm, we specialize in finding engineering and tech talent for hard-to-fill roles. Our high-touch, white-glove service supports you throughout the hiring process, giving you the benefit of our recruiting expertise and knowledge of national trends. We have decades of experience in placing qualified, well-matched candidates who match a company’s needs and culture—we tip the odds in your favor, even in a challenging hiring environment. To learn more about how Integress can help you find the right operations leader to help your organization thrive, contact us here.