With the ever-adapting business landscape, more and more organisations are finding the need to implement changes to their processes and structures. For many, recruiting a change manager is the best place to start. As a result, the demand for change professionals has never been higher.
Hiring a change manager can be tricky - you want someone with the necessary skills and experience to lead your team through change, making the transition as smooth as possible. Here are a few tips on the best approach to take when recruiting a change manager.
Accurately define the change manager role
Before you begin change recruitment, it's essential to take the time to properly define the change manager role within your organisation. With the average time to fill a role sitting at 36 days, it's essential to be crystal clear on the expectations of the position before you start recruiting.
By outlining the key responsibilities, skills, and experience required, you'll be able to identify qualified candidates faster when reviewing CVs and save yourself (and them) a lot of time in the long run.
What will their primary responsibilities be? What kind of skills and experience will they need to have in order to be successful in the role? Some of the most common responsibilities a change manager will have include:
- Delivering and developing a change management strategy
- Conducting a business impact analysis
- Leading and managing the delivery of change programmes
- Building stakeholder engagement and communication plans
- Providing coaching and support to those impacted by the change
- Evaluating the success of change programmes
- Ensuring that changes are embedded into organisational culture
Once you clearly understand what you're looking for, you can begin developing your recruitment process and strategy for this particular role.
6 soft and technical skills to look out for when recruiting a change manager
When recruiting a change manager, you want to look for someone with both the soft and technical skills necessary to succeed in the role. Some of the most common skills needed for this role include:
Change Management experience
One of the most essential skills for a change manager is, of course, experience with change management. This could come in the form of direct experience working in a change management role or leading and delivering change programmes.
In addition, they should have a range of methods and techniques to create a strategy to manage change and be able to adapt them as needed to fit the specific project.
Project Management skills
As the change manager will be responsible for leading and managing change programmes, they must have strong project management skills. This includes experience in developing project plans, managing budgets and resources, and delivering projects on time and within scope.
Project management recruitment can be a challenge, but it's essential to find someone with the necessary skills and experience.
Problem solving and conflict resolution
A critical skill for any change manager is identifying and solving problems quickly and efficiently. They should also be able to resolve conflict effectively, whether it's between team members or different departments within the organisation.
You will likely find that some people within your business are resistant to change, or reluctant to get involved. Being able to talk them through what is happening and why it will be beneficial is a crucial skill for change managers.
As the change manager will be responsible for leading and motivating teams through change, it's essential that they have strong leadership skills. This includes the ability to build trust, create a shared vision, and provide support and coaching to those impacted by the change.
The change manager should also be focused on the needs of the customer. They should be able to understand the impact of change on customers and work to ensure that their needs are met throughout the change process and similarly once the change has been implemented.
Communication is another key skill for the change manager. They should be able to clearly and effectively communicate with all stakeholders, both verbally and written. They should also be comfortable presenting to large groups and handling difficult questions.
As communication is one of the driving forces behind successful change management, it's essential to find someone with strong communication skills.
Creating an accurate job description
An essential part of your projects recruitment process will be to write an accurate job description. While it might seem like an easy step to take, this is so often where things go wrong.
A job description that's too vague or doesn't accurately reflect the role can result in poor quality applications. On the other hand, a job description that's too specific can result in you missing out on talented candidates who might not have all of the required skills, but are willing and able to learn.
Note: If you partner with a recruitment agency that has experience of hiring change professionals, they will be able to provide expert guidance at this stage to ensure you get it right.
When writing the job description, you'll want to focus on writing a short job post that accurately reflects the role. You should include:
- The title of the role, including the level (e.g., Junior Change Manager, Senior Change Manager)
- A brief overview of the company and the team/department the change manager will be joining
- A description of the key responsibilities of the role
- The types of advantages or benefits the candidate will obtain by working in the role (e.g. opportunities for career growth, competitive salary, etc.)
- The skills and experience required for the role
By taking the time to write a clear and accurate job description, you'll be able to attract the right candidates for the role instead of wasting time sifting through a pile of applications from those who are not suited for the job.
Eliminate unnecessary CVs to reduce time to hire
After you've written the job post and published it, you'll start to receive applications from interested candidates. The next step is to review the CVs of those who have applied and identify the most qualified candidates to move forward in the process.
This can be a time-consuming task, especially if you receive a large number of applications. However, taking the time to thoroughly evaluate each CV will pay off in the long run by helping you to identify the best candidates to proceed and interview for the role.
Focus on situational based interviewing
When it comes to change recruitment, it's essential to focus on situational-based interviewing. This involves asking the candidate how they would handle specific situations that are relevant to the role.
For example, you might ask them to describe how they would manage a team through a change programme or what they would do if confronted with resistance from stakeholders.
Situational-based interviewing allows you to get a better understanding of the candidate's skills and experience, and how they would apply them to the role in your specific situation. It also allows you to assess their ability to think on their feet and handle difficult situations.
Partner with experts to ensure you get it right
The change manager is a pivotal role within your organisation. All of the points above are important considerations for change recruitment, but the best way to ensure you hire the best change management professional for your business is to work with a recruitment agency.
By partnering with a recruitment agency that has proven experience of hiring change managers for companies like yours, and by putting the necessary effort into focusing on recruiting a change manager, you can ensure that your organisation has the necessary skills and experience to lead change programmes successfully.