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Hiring your First General Manager. Melanie Reid, CDS Consulting Co-op. Objectives. To provide an overview of the GM hiring process. To introduce some tools and resources that you can use during your GM hiring process. To answer a few questions about hiring your first GM.

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Hiring your First General Manager


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    1. Hiring your First General Manager Melanie Reid, CDS Consulting Co-op

    2. Objectives • To provide an overview of the GM hiring process. • To introduce some tools and resources that you can use during your GM hiring process. • To answer a few questions about hiring your first GM

    3. Three Stages: An Overview • Stage one: Organizing • Stage two: Feasibility/Planning – 2A: Feasibility – 2B: Planning - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - • Implementation – 3A: Preconstruction ________________________________________ – 3B: Construction & Renovation – 3C: Preparation for Opening – 3D: Sustaining - First Year and beyond Source: Bill Gessner, CDS

    4. The NCGA Hiring a General Manager Toolbox

    5. GM Hiring Process • Define Roles and Responsibilities • Form a Search Committee • Use a Documented Timeline: • Might take 6-9 months • Keeps the process on track • Allows committee members to plan for times of peak activity • Enables communication to membership

    6. Responsibilities of Full Board in Hiring Process • Determine qualifications • Decide budget for GM Compensation • Participate in interviews of finalists • Agree on candidate • Give search committee negotiating parameters • Approve final hiring decision

    7. Search Committee • What? • Create tools, develop interview questions • Recruit and screen candidates • Narrow the pool of candidates and offer a slate of candidates to the Board to make a selection • Who? • Should include 2-3 Board members and (may include) 1-2 members • Most important qualification is time (and commitment) • Choose a committee chair and hold weekly meetings

    8. Committee Chair • Very Important Role • Drive process and maintain momentum • Place the ads • Receive and acknowledge resumes • Conduct phone screening • Set up interviews, arrange for visits for out of town finalists

    9. Will you Hire Outside Help? • A consultant familiar with the industry can provide valuable support to the search committee.

    10. For Example… • Helping to identify the qualifications desired for the new manager • Developing timeline and budget • Conducting initial screening interviews by telephone • Providing appropriate interview questions for the first and final interviews • Giving input on selection • Advising on the job offer and contract • Keeping the hiring process on track

    11. Qualifications • The process of determining the qualifications for your General Manager is of utmost importance. This process will really pay off when you’re making the final decision.

    12. Qualifications • Priorities worksheet • Qualifications to Consider • Experience with a major remodel or expansion project • Experience with a start-up business • Experience operating an independent retail operation • Demonstrated creativity and innovation in business • High level of comfort with uncertainty and change • Experience in Co-ops

    13. “Hard” Qualifications

    14. “Soft” Qualifications

    15. Compensation • Consider 4 Factors: • What other co-ops are paying • What your local labor market is paying • What your candidate pool is seeking • What your budget allows for

    16. Beyond Base Salary • Benefits • PTO- start with 2-3 weeks • Medical Insurance- very important, rather expensive • Bonus • May want to wait until year 2 or 3 to include • Keep in mind that variables are harder to control in a start-up than in an established store • Relocation Benefit

    17. Intangible Benefits • Autonomy • Career Advancement • Community • Challenge • Dedicated, supportive Board

    18. Recruitment • Where will you find the talent you are seeking? • Showcase your community during your hiring process • Network, network, network!

    19. Candidate Brainstorm • Think of 10 people you’d like to see be your GM. Don’t worry about whether these people would move to your community, work for the pay you have to offer, or already have great jobs. Just list them! • Brainstorm 10 people in your community who are not already on your Board and who are well “networked” into your community. People who know people, who circulate in the community and belong to lots of groups or go to a lot of events or just seem well connected.

    20. Approach those who “made your list” • Approach those on the first list and invite them to apply for the job. • Your learning will come from their responses. Listen to what they tell you: • Ask under what conditions they might consider the job • Ask them if they know anyone who might be good for the job • Add any names you get to the 2nd list

    21. Approach those on the second list and ask them if they know anyone in the community (or elsewhere) who would be a good candidate for the job. • Follow up on any names you are given • Use LinkedIn and Facebook to get the word out about the job

    22. Where to advertise? • Cooperative Grocer Magazine (and online) • Cooperative Grocers Network website and listserve • Your Co-op’s website • CCMA- can be a great place to network and find candidates • NCBA jobs Board (online) • GoodFoodJobs.com- targets people looking for meaningful work in the food industry • Regional publications such as Edible, The Mix, etc. • CareersinGrocery.com- won’t necessarily find folks with natural foods background here

    23. Policy Governance and your GM • Executive Limitations- • Provide clear direction with enough latitude to run the store • Policy monitoring- • Method by which the Board ensures ongoing accountability of the GM

    24. Important things to keep in mind • Hiring your first GM will be one of the most important decisions your Board will make. • Handing off the operations of the Co-op to your GM is an important milestone in the process of building your community store. • The hiring process might take 6-9 months. • A search committee is essential- there is a lot of other work that the Board will need to accomplish while the GM is being hired. • The Board should be prepared for their shifting responsibilities once your GM is hired: • Prepare to be a good employer • Prepare to utilize Policy Governance to provide guidelines and ensure accountability

    25. Resources • Hiring a GM Toolbox • http://www.cgin.coop/toolbox/gm_pub • Price: $55 for CGN members, $60 for non-CGN members. • Startup Webinars • http://cdsconsulting.centraldesktop.com/cbld/doc/5469096/w-Fc500WebinarArchives • Hiring and guiding a project manager/GM presented by Bill Gessner and Carolee Colter • Hiring your first General Manager presented by Carolee Colter • CBLD online recorded workshop • http://cdsconsulting.centraldesktop.com/cdsvideo/doc/10843123/ • Starting off right with your new General Manager presented by Carolee Colter, Thane Joyal and Mark Goehring

    26. Thank you! Melanie Reid CDS Consulting Co-op 612-919-0508