Reflections on Hiring and Growing a Team as a New Manager

Becky Hu

VP of Expansion at Omni Federal



"My transition from individual contributor (IC) to manager was fairly smooth. I knew that I wanted to become a people manager because the most rewarding part of my work revolved around building relationships. I was also quite lucky because the first company that I worked with really emphasized learning, development, mentorship, and coaching. They had a culture that focused on internal growth and development, so consequently I was provided with opportunities to follow a career path of my choosing. I had the option to continue growing and being promoted as an individual contributor or the option to get promoted to management. Once I figured out that I would be more fulfilled and personally happier at work running and growing my own team, I followed the people management track. Here is a little bit of what my early stages were like in that new role."

Actions taken

"I remember the first couple of people I hired and the first few teams that I grew and developed. These were challenging moments but also learning points for me. I learned a lot about how I hire and how to follow my intuition when finding the right people to join my team. As a new manager, I was now hiring people to do the work that I had previously done. So, I used the opportunity to reflect on my personal experiences as an IC and was able to apply that to the hiring process. I asked myself questions like, how do I make it so the person I'm hiring doesn't go through the same pains I went through; how do I ensure they have the context I wish I had; and how do I try to replicate the good experiences I had? This type of reflection led me improve upon things like new hire documents, onboarding, understanding what to include and how to structure meetings, and trying to make their experience as positive as possible."

Lessons learned

  • "I think the transition period from IC to management can be challenging because often times you will continue doing IC work as you move into that new more senior role. Thus, it can be hard to prioritize work and shift it off to the necessary people. So being aware of this and trying your best to create a balance will do you well. Also, don't be afraid to reach out to your manager and get feedback. They have likely gone through the same transition and will be able to offer some perspective on the matter."
  • "As a new manager, when hiring and onboarding, it can feel like a struggle because your new hires will be doing the IC work that you previously did. The challenge is not to expect them to be up to speed right away or to be at the same level as you were when you left. Try not to jump in and micromanage and instead give them the time and space to build themselves up. You hired them because of their capabilities, so give them that breathing room to learn and grow just as you did."

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Becky Hu

VP of Expansion at Omni Federal

Leadership DevelopmentCommunicationOrganizational StrategyCulture DevelopmentEngineering ManagementPerformance ReviewsFeedback TechniquesCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionSkill Development

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