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3 Tips to Evaluate Managerial Potential

3 Tips to Evaluate Managerial Potential

5 minutes

Sep 13, 2023

Written by Théo Janot

Becoming a manager is very often synonymous with promotion for an employee who performs well in their department. However, even if the evolution seems logical, the manager's function remains a job in its own right, and does not correspond to all profiles. Indeed, the best managers are not necessarily the best operational employees.

This can be explained by the fact that the skills required are different. For the manager, it will be more a question of the ability of a person to assume leadership responsibilities and to manage a team successfully.

The transition will be accentuated around the rise of behavioral and relational skills, to the detriment of technical skills.


Finding the right person to be a manager is a crucial issue

Keep in mind that promoting someone who excels in their current assignments can be a risk. You will be depriving your company of a competent technician. Moreover, nothing assures you that he will make a good manager. It is then essential to detect them to make a choice concerning the selection of your team leaders.

Therefore, in order to avoid recruitment or internal mobility mistakes, you have to ask yourself: how to evaluate the managerial potential?

To achieve this, we have established a strategy in 3 tips to help you structure your approach and serenely identify your leaders.


1 - Prerequisites


First of all, three prerequisites must be identified in order to evaluate the managerial potential of an employee. Let's deal with them now:


  • Motivation

The first key element is motivation. Indeed, a motivated employee will be more inclined to take on responsibilities and to invest himself in their role. This can be revealed by a positive attitude, a willingness to take on challenges and especially an appetite for a management-related position. If you wish, we have an article made for you: 3 tips to evaluate the motivation of a candidate.


  • The personality

Then comes the personality. A manager must be able to communicate effectively, motivate their team and resolve conflicts. This is why it is important to prioritize behavioral skills.


  • Past experience

The last prerequisite to consider is past experience. Indeed, a candidate who has already been in a management situation will be able to give you guarantees. On the other hand, if this has never been the case, a profile can perfectly well have acquired skills in another job or in their personal life.


These 3 elements can really play on the potential of the candidate


2 - The main soft-skills


For a managerial position, it is important to focus the evaluation of potential on soft skills (or behavioral skills). Indeed, managerial potential is largely based on these skills.

Here are the 3 key skills we have targeted for managers:


  • Adaptability

Adaptability is the first key skill for managers and is the soft skill preferred by executives (Source: IFOP). It is an ability to face different challenges and situations in the workplace. An excellent manager will be able to make informed decisions despite the changing circumstances of different projects.


  • Problem solving

Within a company, a manager's job may be to identify and implement solutions to certain obstacles or conflicts that arise. Problem solving is another crucial skill for this position. Thanks to it, the manager will be able to bounce back more easily with method, a key skill to structure and reassure their team.


  • Stress management

This is the ability to maintain self-control in the face of unexpected situations. A person with this skill is more likely to remain calm in case of multiple stressful events. This will allow him to perform under pressure even in the most tense situations. A must for managers and the pressure that comes with their responsibilities.


Representation of the 3 essential skills for a manager


3 - Analyze the potential


In order to project the potential of a management candidate, it is interesting to study their past performances and to carry out an assessment of their skills.

If an employee has already been in a management situation in their previous roles, it is necessary to know how good they were in order to determine their potential as a manager. The assessment will allow for a reliable assessment of the candidate's skills at a given moment.


  • Annual interview for an employee

All companies are obliged to organize an annual interview with each professional. These moments are particularly interesting in the context of internal mobility.

Indeed, during these events, the human resources department will be able to ask targeted questions about the employee's skills, projects, results and ambition. These discussions can help define the level of motivation and managerial potential of an individual.


  • Taking references for a candidate

Conversely, when it comes to recruitment, reference taking is a good way to obtain feedback on a candidate's background. Indeed, when the reference taking is well done (legal obligation to ask the candidate for it), it allows to obtain an external opinion based on facts.

This information will help you think about the candidate's managerial potential. However, be careful not to multiply the bias with non-objective summaries.


  • The assessment

If the 2 previous points are important, another tool can complete the analysis while reducing the impact of cognitive biases: the Assessment Center (digital or in-person). Intended for recruitment as well as internal mobility, the assessment is an evaluation process with different supports such as psychometric tests or simulation exercises.

The objective of this method is to detect the skills, personalities and aptitudes of an individual in order to obtain quality measurements: precise and objective.

Thanks to the data collected, the tool produces a report to enlighten you on the managerial potential of a talent. It is also a great ally in defining your training plans. For example, you may detect gaps in certain skills that you have identified as essential.

To ensure the development of these skills, it will then be possible to propose a support plan with different professional training courses.


Representation of the 3 different ways to evaluate performance


Discover Yuzu, the solution specialized in the evaluation of managerial potential


After several years of R&D with researchers in work psychology and neuroscience, we have created Yuzu: a new generation gamified assessment center.

We immerse the talents in situation scenarios developed with the latest video game technologies. Each adventure evaluates a skill in 10 to 20 minutes.



The simplified controls allow all profiles to be evaluated in a fair way.

Specialized in the evaluation of managerial potential, you can for example evaluate these 3 behavioral skills with Yuzu:

  • Adaptability
  • Problem solving
  • Stress management

Candidates are evaluated based on their behavior and their choices within the modules.

Benefits of the solution:

  • An exceptional candidate experience to strengthen your employer brand
  • A solution accessible to all and from any computer (Cloud)
  • A decision support tool to reduce cognitive bias

We transform the assessment of soft skills into a strong and fun moment in your recruitment and internal mobility processes.




To conclude, assessing managerial potential is a complex process that requires a certain methodology. It is therefore essential to establish a global and in-depth diagnosis to obtain a clear and precise picture of a candidate.

However, these assessments are not intended to be definitive. Management skills are developed and can be acquired over time. Just like the motivation to manage a team.

Although delicate, these different steps will allow you to clarify your decisions in order to structure the management of your organization.