If you’ve never been in the position to have a seat at the table when it comes to hiring your next boss, let me just tell you that it can be a strange experience. On one hand, it’s extremely valuable to have a say in who will lead your department and represent you in your organization. But on the other hand, it can be awkward, intimidating and quite frankly, just confusing. This is especially true if you don’t typically participate in interviewing employees, but even if you do, it’s a whole new ballgame when you’re hiring up.
When hiring your future boss, there are special considerations beyond how the person would fit in the organization, their track record and their resume. You’ll also be considering whether or not they fit with your working style, if they can handle the pressure and frustrations that you’re familiar with and how their personality would come through as your boss. But even with all these lingering questions, you have a responsibility to maintain your professionalism and make a good impression on every candidate since each one could be your future boss. Score points with your future boss and your company with these tips:
Separate business from personal feelings
While it can be hard to separate your personal feelings when you’ll be working so closely with the candidate, it’s important to focus on what the candidate can do for the organization. Think about the overall fit of each candidate and your company rather than just yourself. And remember, the key to better hires is a better candidate experience.
Represent your organization well
The overarching theme to keep in mind here is that your company has asked you to do a job, in this case finding your next boss. You may be tempted to over share about your department to see if they are comfortable with the way things currently are, but you are still representing your company and should act as if you are not personally connected to this hire.
Take advantage of the opportunity
The fact that you’ve been given the opportunity to be part of this process is a big deal, so make the most of it! You can do this by wowing your boss before they ever step foot in your department. Do this by offering thoughtful answers to their questions, asking valuable questions, being welcoming and open and not coming across as combative or unhappy.
Let go of bias
It’s often difficult for interviewers to be unbiased in their critique of candidates, and you may be even more likely to judge upfront. Avoid doing so before the candidate has an opportunity to present who they are and what they bring to the table. Keep in mind that just because they look, act or manage differently than you doesn’t necessarily mean they wouldn’t be a great fit.
Have you ever had the chance to assist with hiring up? Let us know about your experience in the comments section below.
Jessica Miller-Merrell is an Author and workplace technology strategist.
Hiring Your Own Boss