Hiring people managers is a particularly complex process, as they have one very significant additional area of responsibility: other employees’ contentment at work. If you’re a hiring manager or in-house recruiter looking to source a people manager, here are the skills you should look for:

Communication skills

Excellent communication skills are one of the markers of a great leader. And for good reason: poor communication affects productivity and morale. Written and verbal communication skills are equally important, as is a manager’s ability to adapt their communication style to suit their direct reports’ needs.

Decision-making skills

No matter their seniority level, every people manager will need to be decisive and unafraid to make important – albeit maybe difficult – decisions. A slow decision-maker will slow down their entire department. Great managers are able to make decisions quickly, but they will always make time to do their due diligence first.

The ability to delegate

No one can do everything, and a manager isn’t able to get important tasks done if they are focusing on every little detail. A good people manager isn’t afraid to delegate, as they know it won’t make them look weak, but rather that it’s a better use of their department’s time and skills. Delegation can make both the manager and the direct report shine if both are given the right tasks.

Honesty and empathy

Though a manager can’t always tell their reports everything, they know when to be honest and aim to lead with openness and transparency. An honest manager builds trust and confidence within their team, and encourages team members to be honest in return. In order to do this, a manager must be empathetic and be able to put themselves in their reports’ shoes. Kindness and understanding go a long way to ensuring staff are willing to stay in an organisation.


Creativity is increasingly becoming a priority for many organisations. A manager who can generate great ideas, solve problems and build upon existing organisational processes will become a great asset. Look for those who have historically come up with creative solutions to problems, including challenges involving people – either their own direct reports or other tricky stakeholders.

 If you’re a hiring manager or in-house recruiter looking to source people managers in your organisation, but you aren’t sure where to start or you’d simply like to know the best next steps, Optimum Recruitment are happy to help. We’ve supported many organisations in placing great management talent, so please do get in touch if you’d like a no-obligation chat.








Pin It on Pinterest