Business owners who are looking to take a step back from their business need to find the right person to run it, which can be a difficult task. There are three key questions to ask to ensure the right person is chosen for the right role and that their subsequent induction allows a smooth transition of responsibility.
Defining the role upfront is key to ensure the right person fills the job. It’s counterproductive to put a new manager in place who isn’t prepared to take on all the activities expected of them.
As a business owner, it’s key to decide how much to step back and how that might affect the future of the business. This will help to establish the kind of person that will be needed and will have an impact on the cost of bringing someone in.
To make the role’s responsibilities clear, it’s key to develop a comprehensive position description which should clarify:
The selection process might be made easier if there’s a strong internal candidate, however, it’s important to consider all options to get the right fit as the search might need to be external. Regardless, there are two key things to consider during the interview process:
In addition, it’s key to run reference checks. Make sure to speak with former bosses, employees and teammates, and perhaps even customers and suppliers.
The final step is onboarding. Business owners should develop a comprehensive induction plan to assist a rapid and effective start of the new role. This can include inviting them to a company function or team lunch and giving them documents to review so they can start preparing for the role before the official start. It should also include preparing all back-office functions like payroll, IT access, office keys, laptop, mobile phone, company car, and any other tools that will let the person be productive from day one.
Once you’ve chosen the right person, it’s important to invest time in them so they can get up to speed quickly. This is among the most valuable ways to spend time so it’s really important not to rush it. The induction plan should outline a list of subjects/activities to become familiar with, people to meet, and a complete schedule for these activities.
During this process, business owners should offer lots of opportunities to clarify certain parts of the role and provide guidance and corrections where needed. Making sure the person is completely clear on the expectations of the role will be the best way to set them up for success.
Andrew Laurie, CEO, entrepreneur and business coach