How to Hire a Business Operations Manager (And 3 Ways to Make it Easier)
You’ve made the decision to hire a Business Operations Manager. Congratulations!
The hiring process can be daunting, especially if you’ve had challenges hiring in the past or haven’t fully determined what you’re looking for in terms of your Operations Manager.
Before you ever post the first job description, it’s key to know what a business operations manager is and how to find the right person for you and your business.
What is a Business Operations Manager?
A business operations manager (or as you’ll often hear us say an Operator) is the person who steps in and takes over running the day-to-day operations of the business. The Operator allows you, as the visionary, to get out of the tactical and back into the visionary role.
So when you’re looking for your Operator, there are specific qualities and characteristics that you’ll want to look for. We often refer to this as the Operator Personality Type.
Operators tend to be detail-oriented, data-driven, and love processes.
Operators will take pressure off the CEO, offload tactical work, and help create process, structure and routine.
Depending on what stage your business is at, this may vary. With a smaller business, your Operator may come in and help offload some of the more tactical items from your personal life. They can create processes around scheduling appointments, having your car serviced, or managing your email inbox.
With a larger business, your Operator might be focused on creating more processes within the business. Sales processes, team communication, client-based processes.
A business operator is going to help you get out of the day-to-day operations of your business so you can focus on moving the business forward.
How Do I Hire a Business Operations Manager?
Once you’ve determined who it is you want to hire, the next question is going to be “How do I hire my Operator?”
Hiring can be challenging and stressful. In fact, it can be so overwhelming it almost feels easier to just keep doing everything yourself rather than going through the hiring process.
If you’ve ever felt that way about hiring, know you aren’t alone. Our members often share those exact frustrations with us.
When we dive into what their hiring process has looked like in the past, it turns out they often don’t have one or it’s inconsistent.
Which is why we recommend a step-by-step approach to hiring that helps alleviate the pressure and noise involved when it comes to getting the right people on your team.
Having a clear process around hiring makes it easier and saves you valuable time, effort, and energy. Using our hiring process, which is different from other hiring processes with the highly intentional steps you will follow, helps you as the CEO hire the right person the first time.
How have you found employees in the past?
Our members often come to us with frustrations around hiring. When we dive into what their hiring process has looked like in the past, it turns out they often don’t have one.
And in fact, many of their hiring decisions have been made out of desperation. Hiring a friend of a friend or a family member just to have someone to fill the position.
How have you hired in the past?
Do you have a process in place or have you typically just hired on the fly?
Get Clear on the Role and Write Your Job Description
You have a million things on your plate as it is and you don’t want to add to that pressure and noise. To ensure you’re getting the right people applying for your Business Operations Manager position, you want to get very clear on the role.
Before your job application ever goes live, take the time to come up with your Operations manager job description, or what we refer to as a 4R document.
4R stands for role, responsibilities, results, and requirements. This document is going to not only help you write the necessary job description but it’s going to provide additional clarity for you on the role of your Business Operations Manager.
- Role: What type of Operator will this person be (An executive assistant, operations manager, etc.) and the ultimate outcome and intention for their position
- Responsibilities: Spell out, in detail, what this person is going to be doing
- Results: What results do you expect to see from this person?
- Requirements: Anything specific the role will need to do
Getting clarity around the role and the exact responsibilities and expectations is key to finding the right person. Once you have the 4R document completed and have posted it to your chosen job boards, the next step is to begin preparing for the interview process.
Have a Culture Fit Interview
So you’ve posted the application and you’ve got some interested candidates. Great!
Let’s talk about what to look for when you begin interviewing candidates. Not every person will be a perfect fit for your role and you need to know how to narrow it down.
This is where the culture fit interview comes into play. A culture fit interview is an initial general interview to determine if candidates fit your company culture and if they are a true believer.
For us, a true believer is someone who understands our mission and cares deeply about it. Someone who wants to be on a team where other people are like them. They are driven to be in momentum, to get as much as they can done, and to move things forward.
In the culture fit interview, find your true believers by determining:
- Does this person know your company mission and support it?
- Do they understand your company and the products that you have? Do they believe in those types of products?
- Do they believe in your clients and who you serve?
Some of the questions we ask candidates on culture fit interviews include:
- What do you know about our company and the clients we work with?
- Is this position something you are excited about and why?
- What motivates you in a work setting?
- Give me an example of a time when you got something wrong in a job and it bothered you.
The culture fit interview is a crucial part of the hiring process to ensure you’re moving forward with the right people. Once you’ve determined the candidates you want to move forward with after culture fit interviews, it’s time for a crucial part of our hiring process.
Task Portion of the Interview
The task portion of the interview process is something very few people do. But it’s a crucial step in our hiring process.
A candidate can sound really good in an interview. The task portion of the hiring process gives them the opportunity to prove themself. It will help you understand if the person you’re thinking about hiring can actually do what you’ll be asking them to do.
The task portion of the interview is going to make the best candidates really stand out and separate who you think will fit into your company with who will actually fit in.
They will complete their task in a way that makes you think, “Wow we could actually go ahead and use this with just a few changes.” Or, “They did this so well they could already be a part of our team.”
To determine a task for your candidates, consider:
- What tasks will take up a majority of this person’s week?
- What is something that this person needs to be able to do really well to be successful in their role?
- What is a typical responsibility for this person and how could I turn that into a testable task associated with their role?
For us, if we’re looking to hire for sales we actually put the candidate on a mock sales call and see how they would treat our potential clients on a sales call.
Including a task in the interview process is an intentional way to make sure you’re moving the right candidates forward to the final interview.
Have a Final Interview
You’ve done a culture fit interview, you’ve given your candidates a task to complete. Now, you want to narrow it down to 3 solid candidates to hold a final interview with.
When choosing the final 3 candidates, you’ll want to make sure you choose individuals you would be completely happy with hiring. If you have 2 you’re really excited about, and you already feel reluctant about the third, do not move that person forward.
You’ll invite these 3 candidates to the final interview where your potential Business Operations manager is going to meet with you, the CEO, and if you have a larger team you’ll include members of your leadership team.
In this interview, you want to look at things like:
- Do I want to work with the person everyday?
- Am I excited about this person and what they can bring to the company?
- Do I feel like they will be a good fit for the role long term or am I feeling hesitant?
After the interview, as a team, you’ll discuss who of the 3 felt like the best fit, share opinions among the team members that attended the final interview, and ultimately determine the candidate you want to make an offer to.
Final Step: Hire Your Business Operations Manager
You’ve done the hard work. You’ve gotten clear on the Business Operations Manager role and posted the job description, you’ve done your culture fit interviews, tasks, and final interviews. Now, it’s time to bring on your Business Operations Manager!
Now that you’re clear on the hiring process, in the future, hiring can be something you turn over to your Operator. But because this person is going to be working very closely with you and they’ll be in charge of the day-to-day operations of YOUR business, you’ll be heavily involved in this initial hiring process. (In other words, don’t turn this responsibility over to someone else on your team, yet).
With the Business Operations Manager position, you’ll want to make sure you’re a part of the interview process from start to finish.
You may have someone on your team help you with the scheduling of interviews and communicating with candidates, but make sure you’re involved in each interview for this particular role.
And the final step?
Choose your Operator, and celebrate this significant milestone!
We hope you now have more clarity on how to hire your Business Operations Manager, or Operator.
Have a question? Feel like you still need help with hiring and would like to know more about our hiring process? Leave us a comment below!