What to Look for When Hiring an Office Manager

Wed, Aug 15, 2012


Office managers are vital team members in any work place. A good manager can keep your office running smoothly, boost employee morale, and maximize efficiency in stressful environments. Likewise, a poor manager can be the tragic downfall of your establishment’s office. When hiring an office manager, there are certain key qualities to look for in all potential applicants.

A good manager should have strong leadership qualities. The applicant should be personable, outgoing, able to delegate responsibilities, and should inspire trust and dedication in other employees. Avoid the meek, timid applicants and those with sub-par time management and communicative skills. These types of people are often not able to handle the rigors of managing efficiently. You want someone who will command respect from other employees.

As well as being a strong leader and good communicator, your office manager should also be a good and patient listener. Many people will be coming to this person to ask for advice or help solve problems in the workplace, and he or she must be able to read situations based on employees’ input. This person should also be flexible and comfortable working in a variety of positions, as this sort of workplace problem solving will frequently involve stepping out of one’s comfort zone to handle workplace issues in a hands-on fashion.

Your ideal applicant should be goal oriented. A results-driven attitude goes a long way in positive management, and a manager who sets achievable goals for the staff will contribute to efficiency and focus in the office. You want your business to be successful, so look for applicants with realistic goals and the means to reach them. No head in the sky types are needed. Your ideal manager should know what is doable and what is not. Unrealistic goals will have your staff working like mad and failing to generate results. This will lower employee morale and bring out resentment towards your manager.

Previous experience is one thing to look for, but not necessarily the most important. No two workplaces are alike, and someone who has been proficient in past management positions may not be the right fit for your company. Look for applicants with experience in similar work environments, and check references to ensure that resumes haven’t been padded or embellished. Also consider those new to the management field. Beginners are highly motivated to advance their careers and prove themselves in their industry, so don’t be too quick to dismiss the applicant with little relevant experience and an online Masters degree in social work. This person just might be the perfect fit.

The applicant should also be a good motivator. Work can be extremely stressful, and it is up to the manager to keep your workforce motivated and driven at all times. In addition to leading by example, putting in the work required to get the job done, and taking initiative, your ideal office manager should be adept at keeping the work flow moving and always pushing for greater performance.

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