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How to Hire A Great Project Manager

In order to find the best project manager, hiring managers need to improve their practices. Russell Harley, a veteran project manager and PMO director expresses five major components that must be followed to find the best project manager.

1. Stop Using Generic Job Descriptions

Instead of concentrating so much on describing the typical job traits (Good Communication skills, a self-starter, team player), explain the project the individual will be spending all of their time on. Since projects sometimes attract different people, explaining the project in your advertisement will get more results from project managers who strive to work on those types of projects. 

2. Decide Exactly What You Really Need

Don’t through specialized fields into the mix. If you require a project manager to know more knowledge on uncommon tasks less people are likely to apply. Why might this have an impact? Well if you require an individual to have an in-depth knowledge that isn’t even vital to the project – you will miss out on an outstanding project manager because they didn’t meet those qualifications.

3. Critical Projects Need dedicated Project Managers

Businesses are trying to save money, that makes sense but with what loss? Project managers are becoming tasked to the little things getting their hands in the mix of the project, as opposed to just leading. That is all due to hiring less people, trying to do more with less. Russell Harley describes this process relating project managers to football quarterbacks:

It would be like asking a quarterback to be used as a linebacker to block for an entire game. It would not make sense to use a quarterback that way anymore than it would be to ask a project manager to build computer racks, for example (and yes this really happened). Could a project manager do this? Sure. Does it make sense? No.

4. If You Need a Specific Methodology Used, Say So

Don’t hold back if you need a specific methodology, this will narrow the hiring pool but also save time. Incorporate the specific methodology into the job description when looking for applicants.

5. Eliminate the Essay Questions

When completing the application process, the project managers come to the essay questions. If the goal is to identify how good they are at writing then just ask for samples of their past writings. Making the individual write long essays after undergoing the whole application process well lead to a decrease in applicants.

Through these five steps, Russell Harley highlights the best ways to find a great project manager while eliminating unnecessary applicants.

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About Annaliese Olcott

Annaliese Olcott is a staff writer for CAI's AITS. She is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., majoring in business at Shippensburg University.

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