by Mark Croston | 14 June 2016
As an avid football fan, and having worked in recruitment within Manchester now for the majority of my career, I couldn’t help but take note on the ways that the two premier football clubs in Manchester handled their respective senior management appointments quite differently.
One chose the transparent route, as far as those without the inside track are aware anyway, announcing very publicly their new Manager at the start of the year. To some this seemed a reasonably odd process with the main argument against this being the fact that surely this would make Manuel Pellegrini’s position completely untenable. Here you have a new Manager announced whilst he still works for another club, and around six months before he is due to start, with the other expected to pick up the slack until he is kindly sent on his way at the end of the season. As it can be with all football matters, this completely polarised opinion. You had one camp that were incredibly supportive of Manchester City and the way that they did their business in front of everyone and there were no issues with transparency. The other view was that this was completely disrespectful to the current post holder, he wasn’t retiring or moving away, he was simply viewed as the less talented candidate. There followed a reasonably difficult period of fixtures following the news if I recall with league form faltering whilst the pursuit of a maiden latter stage Champions League campaign remained strong.
If we look a mere 4.9 miles across Manchester, another footballing behemoth took a slightly different approach. The hire of the new Manager may have even taken place at a similar time to that of their rivals but that’s where the similarities end. Everything was done in almost the complete opposite fashion with the sacking of the current manager taking place at the end of the season following a fantastically underwhelming campaign in all competitions. The new manager was rumoured and hinted but nothing concrete has ever been released, apart from the occasional truthsayer and apparent expert ordaining what was to come, regardless of how plainly obvious it was to the general populous.
The fact of the matter is that both clubs saw fit to hire new talent in a senior position. Both wanted to move away from the management of a previous leader who was deemed unworthy and unless something drastic happens both will have hired arguably the best two candidates for the role on the market at the moment.
As a Recruitment Consultant, what I wanted to draw your attention to was the way that you hire can say a lot about your company. I would hate to have to negotiate the minefield of senior management appointments in Football as a recruiter, there are enough variables in recruitment with one client and a candidate coming together never mind the Media, each representative having their own Agent and the organisation you are recruiting for often getting lost in some strange land half way between Business and recreation. However if you are a Business leader you need to take great care in how you would manage a hire similar to the two Manchester clubs. Do you err on the side of caution and secrecy, or publish everything with a completely transparent process for all to see?
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