The manager has to communicate clearly how the department fits into the overall picture and how each individual fits into the Department structure and everyone has to know exactly what is expected of them and the standards that are expected from their performance. The manager also has to let each person know that they are important as individuals and the role that they are currently performing is important to the whole business. No matter how apparently menial the tasks are when you put them in terms of how important it is to everyone around them you give people a sense of purpose and a sense of importance. This is a vital component in the running of any department.
Because there will be different requirements from different people, each person must have the attributes that are required for the job in hand. A credit controller has to be able to communicate effectively, they have to understand the risks and rewards of doing business, they must have the ability to develop and grow strong working relationships with their customers and with other departments.
When selecting a Credit Controller a number of questions should be asked: What is their primary function? If it is to talk to customers on the phone, then for starters you should conduct the first round of interviews on the phone. That way you get what the customer will hear, how they come across, how understandable they are on the phone and if you know what to look out for you can determine their communications style and how they will interact with the other members of staff. This is important because we can be fooled by appearances and if we like how someone looks we are inclined to make allowances for them, if we don’t like how they look we will be influenced by that as well. If their job is to talk to customers on the phone – it really doesn’t matter what they look like, what matters most is what they sound like and how effective they will be.
For me the attributes I would be looking for in a credit controller is how competitive they are. How focused they are, how organised they are, their ability to achieve and exceed targets set etc. To me these are more important than being a great time keeper and have great attention to minute detail.
Now if I am looking for someone to enter and allocate cash, then attention to detail is paramount, if we still maintain a hand written cash book, then the quality of their handwriting is important, their ability to complete a task 100% is also high on the agenda. So even if this person is nor Mr or Ms Personality, even if they are not the greatest communicators in the world, can you see, that doesn’t really matter.
Some managers have a template of what a perfect employee should look like, dress like, behave like and in most cases it is a mirror of how they look, dress and behave like themselves. That way you end up with a department of clones and worse still because of the variations in the different jobs each person is required to do, you end up with square pegs in round holes, and we all know that can never work in the long term.
I would recommend having a list of attributes that are required for the position you are filling, rank each attribute in order of importance from 1-10 or 1-20, then score each candidate in each of the sections and work out scientifically who is the best person for the job.
Great managers are people who are not afraid to employ people who are better than they are. If you have great people, who know exactly what they should be doing, who know how to do it, who are interested enough to take a pride in what they do and find the role rewarding. Most of all the best employees are the ones who get to spend most of their time doing something they love to do and can generate their own level of satisfaction, that could be getting a cheque or balancing the cash book or solving a query and then every once in a while you take time out to tell them how great they are – when they are great, you are on the first step of becoming a great manager.