Job Spotlight: Operations Manager

April 28, 2022
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Author: Rosie Greaves, Contributing Writer

Are you struggling to hire a new operations manager? If so, you are not alone. With more workers than ever exiting the job market during The Great Resignation of 2021 and the overall short supply of operations manager candidates in general, hiring for operations managers is a candidate-driven market. As a result, candidates have more choice and control over their compensation.

In light of the state of the labor market, offering prospective operations managers competitive salaries is imperative. Otherwise, companies risk losing top talent to competitors offering higher pay, better flexibility, career advancements, or other benefits.

Operations Management

What is Operations Management?

An operations manager oversees company organizational activities. Enterprises across all manner of industries, including independent businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, etc., all benefit from talented operations managers.

In short, operations managers are proficient leaders and managers who might support a variety of departments, from Human Resources to Finance to IT.

Other job responsibilities might include:

  • Hiring
  • Training and maintaining quality assurance programs
  • Strategizing and improving the efficiency of the organization
  • Overseeing financial management, including budgeting and potential cost-cutting

To become an operations manager, candidates typically need a bachelor’s degree and 2-4 years of experience in operations management, project management or similar roles.

Their skillset should also include:

  • Excellent leadership skills
  • Excellent organizational skills, including business planning and data analysis
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Awareness of customer needs
  • Robust business acumen
  • Strong communication skills
  • Excellent critical thinking and problem solving

As we’ve already hinted, an operations manager should ensure their organization runs smoothly. Their portfolio of responsibilities is broad. So it’s imperative that they can work successfully with colleagues on budgets, project delivery, company strategy, and core operations.

Operations managers are also responsible for upholding high-quality standards within an organization. For example, they may oversee labor management and policy decisions and ensure employees uphold laws, company policies and regulations.

In short, it’s their job to improve operational procedures and management systems.

Analyzing Regional Salary Trends

Using Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH as an example metro area, the median salary for an operations manager with 2-4 years of experience is $116,549. This is 20.1% higher than the national median salary of $97,009.

However, the recommended competitive salary for landing new talent and retaining existing talent is $126,788. This is 19.7% higher than the national recommended base salary of $105,890.

Potential Talent Sources

With these salary trends in mind, let’s turn our attention to the talent available for operations manager roles. Unfortunately, we know that talent is in significantly short supply. Therefore, it’s advisable for businesses in this metro to consider rehiring employees who have previously left. They are sometimes referred to as boomerang employees.

Businesses can also look at labor supply in nearby locations or within a larger geographic radius. They can then entice candidates from other states with lower salaries with high-quality relocation packages.

Alternatively, if your budget for this role is below the recommended salary, it may help to offer non-traditional benefits. For instance, more paid leave, childcare options and employee assistance programs.

Similarly, if you don’t have the budget to offer a relocation package, but you still want to reach a much wider pool, consider offering a fully remote position.

Additionally, targeting universities offering Operations Management programs is another way to bring new talent into your organization. Of course, graduates typically have less experience, so you’ll have to be willing to offer more training. But, on the upside, their lack of experience will most likely be reflected in the salary you offer. Like any hiring strategy, you’ll need to consider the needs of your business to make the best hiring decisions for your company.

Understanding Compensation Demands

To attract high-quality talent, it’s essential to understand compensation trends and forecasts within your industry and region. This includes using accurate salary data that reflects your unique hiring needs - for instance, required education, experience level, company size, etc.

This is where compensation planning software comes in handy. Such a tool enables you to calculate competitive compensation packages to win today’s talent. With a solution that delivers accurate pay answers for today’s job market will elevate better hiring and recruiting strategies.

This tool considers all kinds of factors, including skill level, location, level of responsibility, job title, experience and education, to determine a recommended salary, a median salary and a salary forecast. With this information at your fingertips, you can ensure your proposed operations manager's compensation reflects the current market rate, supply, location and more.