As you’d know, a leader is a big role that comes with diverse responsibilities. Not everyone is capable of supervising over three or more people, and ensuring that your business is run efficiently. A team manager must not just be a reliable voice between you and the people who work for you; they must be knowledgeable of the industry, capable of running human resource concerns and keep your workers at boosted levels of productivity.
While it’s easy to spot a team leader or business manager, finding one when you outsource is a different matter. It’s a challenge that many business owners and internet entrepreneurs face right now. You’d have to dig deeper into their qualifications, get to know these people and patiently run a series of “trials” to make sure you’ll hire the best person for the job.
Recently, I’ve been contacted to fill up a post; I was to manage a team of online service providers (OSPs). The guy from Norway was very nice, removing immediately my matured apprehension for folks who offer a rate way below what we usually charge. LOL! Sure, he had a lot of questions for how things work, particularly because he’s been working with 3 content writers and 1 VA, all from different countries. The Norwegian online marketer wanted to hire 2 more techies. Obviously, he’s already having a hard time managing all three OSPs, around 6 websites, running his business and boggled about the hiring processes.
So after I turned down the offer, I gladly engaged the Norwegian in a conversation on how to find a great team manager. Read: the person has to be outsourced as well. J Here, I am sharing my ideas on zeroing on the leader that would boost your business but not pose migraines or any stress on your part.
Foremost would be the qualities. Your OSP team manager should possess the following:
Experience. Your team manager must have solid years of experience as an online service provider. I value this more than the degrees they’d wave at my face, though it would help if they’ve had a few years of managing a business or a group of people in an organization. But experience as a virtual assistant, social media marketing assistant or any advanced OSP task would mean they’d know how things work. Apart from that, it is very important that they know the tools of the trade, SEO, editing and internet research. I’d look for these capabilities first and foremost as they’d translate to experience – and potential.
Excellent communication skills. It’s already a given that a post of this level would mean quality English, both in written and verbal forms. But you must consider beyond great writing and the accent-less speaking abilities if you want to get a good team manager. That person must be personable enough to relate with you and the OSPs he/she will handle, and the clients as well. Your team manager should keep you posted – always – with reports such as developments and major concerns. At the same time, he/she must communicate excellently with the team to ensure smooth flow of work. With best transmission of reports, concerns and progress, you can expect notable work relationships within the team and you.
Organizational skills. For outsourcing, this capability would be focused on time management, human resource development and scheduling of tasks, as well as planning, action-planning and assessment skills. Your team manager must not just be well-versed with your business, but have the drive and the power to keep the organization fueled. Particularly because most OSPs are from other states or countries, it is important that your team manager has excellent organizational skills. With the special conditions of outsourced workers, that person must know how to device an effective scheme to get the team to do their tasks on schedule. That leader must be able to draw together the whole organization periodically to discuss goals, plans and schedules. At the same time, your back office must be well-kept and updated, particularly accounts, payroll and payments.
Initiative. I would personally want a team leader who keeps the team productive. That person must not be spoon-fed or spoon-feeding the people who work for your business. Instead, he finds systems and tools to keep things going. While your team leader does regularly communicate with you, it must be more on developments and better news. With initiative, you can expect that person to have already addressed concerns at his level. With this ability to lead, you get major chips off your shoulder, particularly managing your websites, marketing and customer support, and keeping your workers motivated.
Trustworthy. As with a regular office manager, you’d want your OSP team head to be a credible, honest and reliable person. This may prove a greater challenge than most because you are actually dealing with someone you hardly know. While the first four attributes could be found easily, getting a trustworthy team leader would mean knowing the person beyond their experience and submitted proof of qualifications. Because of this, I am putting extra effort in laying out a process in hiring a team manager who doesn’t only possess all of the first four criterions, but ultimately, possess integrity.
About five weeks ago, I shared tips on how to find the right virtual assistant. That same process would be best in looking out for your OSP team manager. Like I said, don’t hire right away. Patiently let your would-be team leader go through months of handling tasks little by little.
Better yet, I strongly suggest you get three people to work for you for the next few months as regular OSPs, whatever their expertise would be. Of course, you should be clear with your targets and plans and let them know you plan to hire a team manager when things go well. Say, in eight months or so. A dedicated and diligent person would stick with you and pour efforts to give your business a boost. More so, this period would allow you to know how well they communicate with other workers, not just you. It would be wise to give it four to six months before you decide who fits the position of a team manager. This period should prove the person’s attributes, efficiency and set of skills.
Now, the rates. Because you’re not hiring a team manager right away, start your offer at the usual rates given to an OSP. Guarantee this will be doubled – or something close to that – if they’re chosen for the position after six months. But along the way, do give bonuses and benefits according to availability of funds.
I’d also like to stress that there are common rates for OSPs in most countries. With times being hard on those from India, Philippines and other countries, you could base your rate offering from their “accepted standards.” But you’d do better with offering additional 10% for every skill they possess and which you need for business. For example, you’re seeking for an experienced content and SEO writer and offer $300 for the post. But if the qualified person has extensive experience in social media management and marketing, consider raising your offer to $330 to $350. Just a suggestion. Because I truly believe that you’d get what you pay for, as long as you’ve already shortlisted your would-be employees and have given it at least a month’s trial period. Do the same with finding a team manager. Only this time, of course, the rates are higher and the trial period is longer as well.
If you have chosen the right, you are guaranteed a level of leadership that you could consider a “partner” in progress. Just take note, brilliant people or the hardest-working ones aren’t necessarily suited for a team manager’s post. They must have the character who can lead positively, and they must be someone who can effectively implement your business goals.
As for new Norwegian friend, I am so glad he sounded happy about my tips on finding his team manager, even if I politely refused the offer. After two days, I discovered he was back because he made a $10 donation! When I got back to him to say “thanks,” he said, “No, thank you! That was sort of a consultation fee.”
Hmmm. Another venture perhaps? Or maybe just another post? Hmmm.
Anyways, thank you for reading and I hope you’ve learned an idea or two about outsourcing, finding a team manager and how you could make sure you’ve made a winning choice.
Feel free to share your ideas. I’d sure like that!