How to Hire the Best Project Manager
If you’re faced with the task of hiring a new project manager, you have a serious responsibility in your hands. The project manager is in charge of understanding the organization’s requirements, handling of the team members, and ensuring that the project is completed on time and within budget. The task can be straightforward if the choice is clear but it can be complicated when you’re dealing with a complex project. In this article, we’ll outline how you can hire the best project manager.
Define the position – it is critical for you to understand exactly what is required in the project manager. If it is impossible to know the exact scope of the work at this point, make a list of general skills the candidate should have. Sometimes, this may not be enough. After you’ve narrowed down your search, it is important to choose a candidate who either has specific technical skills or who understands the technology well enough to be able to manage the team.
Put emphasis on PM skills – finding a good project manager is difficult. Experienced human resource professions and executives usually focus on identifying candidates who have strong management skills. In majority of cases, this is more important than having technical skills related to the project. Many professional project managers have successfully transitioned from running construction projects to running technology projects.
Choose someone with certification – while you shouldn’t, by any means, limit your search only to candidates with PMI PMP certification, this is certainly a solid indication of their skills and training. However, the ratio of certified managers to available positions is very low so they command very high rates. If your company has limited budget, choosing to hire someone with PMP certification is unrealistic. Consider the candidate’s work history and work ethics instead.
Gauge performance – probably the best indicator of how good a project manager is his experience and work history. Was the project completed as planned? Did it involve handling a large project team from different backgrounds? Try to get as much details regarding the project’s scope as possible. Ask about the methodologies he used for project management, the documentation that proved useful, and if there was any conflict that he successfully resolved in a previous project.
Determine work ethics – aside from a candidate’s project management skills, it is also important to consider his other attributes. Do they have good organizational skills? It is important to choose someone who is meticulous because a lot of projects fail when a manager overlooks seemingly “little things” that turn out to be critical. Choose a project manager who pays attention to details.
Evaluate communication skills – since the project manager will act as the liaison between the management and the team members, he should have good communication skills. Beating around the bush is a no-no and the requirements must be understood clearly by everyone involved. The project manager is also in charge of ironing out differences between team members so an ability to resolve internal conflict is a must.