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Manchester, Moyes and management...

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22 Apr 2014
Manchester United today announced the sacking of David Moyes just 10 months after his appointment. The news comes after the team, the biggest and most successful in recent English football history, suffered their worst year in almost three decades - no trophies and most crucially not qualifying for the Champions League.

The premier league is famously cut throat for its management teams. In recent years Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool have removed coaches who have achieved great success in Europe and in the Premier League, and the money changing hands means that while there might occasionally be second chances, there are usually not third or fourth opportunities to succeed.

One of the points being discussed today is that Manchester United relied on Alex Ferguson's recommendation for Moyes to replace him this season. Moyes had achieved modest success with Everton, having coached them for 11 years before the move to Manchester last summer but had never been in charge of a club operating at the highest level. At the time of his appointment, many experts questioned his qualifications for the job and highlighted that there were more experienced coaches such as Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal, with a proven track record at top European teams, who were more suited to a club where the focus is usually to win trophies and qualification for the Champions League is seen as a foregone conclusion.

This has prompted me to consider the recruitment process and the steps needed to make sure that you're getting the right person for the job.

In many businesses the selection of people can be an emotional process rather than an entirely pragmatic one. At Manchester United the management were swayed by the opinion of a hugely respected figure instead of considering all the options and what was right for the club. When you're recruiting, do you always have the same process, because it's what you've always done?

Sometimes, by considering your options and speaking to experts, you'll see that the opportunities are greater than you imagined. That perfect person might be found in a place you didn't expect and the first person who comes to mind may not necessarily be the right one. Even if a recommended successor does turn out to be the right fit for an organisation, undertaking a detailed recruitment process can be the best way to minimise the risk of it being the wrong one.

For David Moyes and for Manchester United, the 2013/14 football season will be a black mark on their respective reputations. Moyes can have a future in football but, if he returns it is likely to be with club without the international reputation of Manchester United or the intense scrutiny of the worldwide media. For Manchester United, it's clear that with the short-term recruitment of Ryan Giggs, they want to shake off this period of disappointment and hark back to the solid reputation they have enjoyed for the past two decades. This time, the recruitment process is likely to be far more diligent!

Sellick Partnership are a leading recruiter in the financial and legal sectors across the UK. For advice about finding the perfect appointment contact 0161 834 1642 or visit 
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