4 Things to Look For When Hiring a New Store Manager

by Katie Sawyer, · 3 minutes

Turnover is nothing new for the retail and hospitality industry. But no matter how often it happens, you might now know the best way to fill the gap.

Hiring a new store manager is an important part of ensuring your business grows. But what should you look for — and what questions should you ask — to make sure you hire the cream of the crop.

Read on to learn four things to look for when hiring a new store manager.

1. People skills

One of the most important things a new manager can have is the ability to “play well with others.” Getting along with your staff and upper management is an essential part of being a successful manager.

You want someone who can navigate tough conversations, leading to less pushback and conflict resolution. Whether it’s appeasing an unhappy customer or helping to resolve employee disputes, managers need to be able to get people on their side.

Key questions to ask

  • How do you build a relationship with your team?
  • What are some strategies you use for conflict resolutions?
  • How do you deal with an unhappy customer?

2. Problem solving

Businesses hire new managers to take care of problems so that you don’t have to. A manager isn’t doing much managing if they call you for every single problem that comes up in the course of the day. After all, if you’re the one resolving every problem then you still don’t have a manager, just an employee that earns more than the other employees.

Knowing basic problem-solving skills, understanding what resources are available, and understanding how to use those resources are essential skills in the best store managers. Problem solving skills complement every other important skill for a manager.  

Key questions to ask

  • What’s your typical method for thinking through how to solve a problem?
  • Can you give an example where you used available resources to resolve an issue?
  • What do you do if someone calls in sick at the last minute?
  • What would you do if a vendor didn’t bring your supplies on time, and you have customers waiting for that product

3. Fast learner

While industry experience is often a plus, a fast learner with some experience can be even better than a grizzled industry vet. A fast learner will be able to easily pick up the tools you’ve put in place.

A willingness to learn can make a less experienced manager into a rockstar that can transform your team.

Key questions to ask

  • Based on what you’ve seen so far, how would you do x?
  • How did you prepare yourself for previous leadership roles?
  • What questions do you have for me?

4. Goal-oriented

There’s nothing like being on the same page as your manager. That holds true for both day-to-day operations as well as overall business goals. However, it’s important for managers to stay focused on goals. All too often inexperienced or inefficient managers fail to see the difference between a business process and a business goal.

For example, a restaurant manager might focus more on enforcing shift changing policies than making sure all present workers are able to perform at their best. That can impact the quality of service and reputation of your restaurant. In this case, focusing on the process undermines the overall business goal. The best candidates will focus on achieving business objectives and understand the difference between a process designed to produce a result and the result itself.

Key questions to ask

  • How do you decide what to prioritize during the day?
  • In this scenario, what do you think the highest priority should be?
  • How would you ensure your team meets their goals?

Build your dream team

Whether you manage a large technology store or a chain of clothing stores, you need to have the right store managers in place. Screaming children, demanding parents, and tired staff. The right staff can take on just about anything you throw at them. Sign up for a free trial of Deputy to see why managers managers love workforce management.

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