Hiring an Account Manager? Here are 3 Things Not to Do

Hiring an Account Manager? Here are 3 Things Not to Do

From the 24/7 plumber to your contract lawyer, hiring any member of your team is very important. However, the truth is that some members are more integral than others. In particular, your account manager is essentially the face of your company to your clients; often the difference between client satisfaction plus business success and incessant complaints plus lost business. 

So here are 3 things you want to avoid when hiring an account manager. 

Rushing the Hiring Process 

You really want to avoid rushing the hiring process because more often than not it means costly mistakes, then you might end up with an account manager who isn’t the right fit for your company, leading to turnover and disruption.

Say you have a sudden increase in workload and need to hire an account manager quickly. In a rush, you skip the usual interview process and hire the first candidate you come across. Soon, you realize that this person doesn’t have the necessary experience or skills to effectively manage your clients; now you’re dealing with client dissatisfaction and have to start the hiring process over.

Create a structured hiring timeline with multiple rounds of interviews and thorough reference checks.

Neglecting to Define the Role

Neglecting to define this and any role clearly is how you get misunderstandings between you and your candidate at the very least because both parties likely have different expectations, resulting in issues like underperformance and frustration.

Say you need to hire an account manager, and your job posting just says, “Looking for an Account Manager.” Candidates apply, but they have varying ideas about the role. Some expect more sales responsibilities, while others anticipate a focus on client relationship management. There’s a real possibility you’ll only hire one not aligned with your actual needs, leading to issues.

You want to write a detailed job description that outlines the specific responsibilities, required qualifications, and any performance expectations. This helps candidates understand what they are signing up for and allows you to find the right fit.

Ignoring Soft Skills

Communication, interpersonal abilities, collaboration, etc – soft skills are critical for an account manager, and neglecting to factor this in means hiring someone who struggles to connect with clients, potentially harming your business relationships.

Say you interview two candidates for an account manager position. Candidate A has strong technical skills but lacks effective communication and relationship-building abilities. Candidate B, on the other hand, is not as technically skilled but excels in connecting with people. If you hire Candidate A based solely on technical qualifications, maybe be prepared to lose some business. 

So assess a candidate’s soft skills during the interview process. Ask situational questions that evaluate their ability to communicate, handle conflicts, and build rapport with clients. 

The consequences of hiring the wrong account manager are too often dire not to do it carefully. Avoiding these mistakes is a good start. 

David Robertson