top of page
  • Writer's pictureMCS

Beyond the Resume: Unleashing Rockstar People Managers with Skills, Not Experience!

When it comes to hiring a people manager, many organizations make the mistake of solely focusing on a candidate's previous experience in a managerial role. While experience is undoubtedly valuable, it is shortsighted to ignore individuals without prior management experience. The key to building a successful team lies in identifying the right set of skills and qualities that align with the job requirements. In this article, we will explore why ignoring someone without the traditional experience can be a missed opportunity and why focusing on the skills needed to excel in the role is a wiser approach.

Experience vs. Skills: A Paradigm Shift

Traditionally, the emphasis has been placed on hiring managers with extensive experience leading teams. While experience can provide valuable insights and understanding of the role's challenges, it does not guarantee success in managing people effectively. The skills required for a managerial position extend beyond mere technical know-how and encompass essential interpersonal, communication, and leadership abilities.

  • Adaptability and Learning Agility

Hiring a people manager with relevant experience may seem like a safe bet, but it can limit the organization's potential for growth and innovation. By narrowing the pool to those with past managerial roles, companies risk missing out on individuals who possess high adaptability and learning agility. These traits allow managers to quickly grasp new concepts, adapt to changing circumstances, and effectively lead diverse teams.

  • Strong Communication and Empathy

The success of any people manager lies in their ability to effectively communicate with and understand their team members. A candidate who may not have prior management experience but excels in communication and empathy skills can foster a positive work environment, boost employee morale, and enhance team collaboration. These qualities are essential for resolving conflicts, providing constructive feedback, and building strong relationships within the team.

  • Visionary Leadership and Emotional Intelligence

Great managers not only delegate tasks but also provide vision and inspiration to their teams. The ability to inspire and motivate employees is not solely derived from prior managerial experience. A leader with strong emotional intelligence can understand and navigate the complexities of human behavior, fostering a supportive and empowering environment that fuels productivity and innovation.

  • Problem-Solving and Decision-Making

One of the critical skills for any people manager is the ability to solve problems and make informed decisions. While experience may provide insights into past scenarios, it is the analytical thinking, problem-solving abilities, and strategic mindset that truly determine a manager's effectiveness. Hiring candidates who possess these skills, regardless of their previous job titles, can result in fresh perspectives and creative solutions to complex challenges.

The Importance of Skill Development and Training

It is essential to acknowledge that even candidates with prior management experience may require ongoing skill development and training to excel in a new organization's specific context. Similarly, candidates without direct managerial experience can be provided with mentorship and training opportunities tailored to their needs. By investing in professional development, organizations ensure that their people managers continuously evolve, adapt to new dynamics, and remain effective leaders.


While experience undoubtedly carries value, solely relying on past managerial roles to hire people managers can be a shortsighted approach. By broadening the criteria and focusing on the skills necessary to excel in the role, organizations can tap into a wider talent pool and unlock the potential for innovative leadership. Adaptability, strong communication, empathy, visionary leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills are some of the key qualities to consider. By prioritizing these skills, companies can build high-performing teams and nurture a culture of continuous growth and development.



bottom of page