3 steps to hiring the best project manager available

hiring the best pm

If you want the best of the best, then be ready to go for it. And be ready to think a little outside the box in order to get that project talent.

It's OK. Think the sky is the limit. Dare to dream. You want the best, your projects are complex and need the best. Your project clients would appreciate having and paying for the best.

So how do you get the best? How do you locate and hire the best project management talent available? Be open, throw out your rigid hiring practices, and see what happens...to start with. And then stick to these three concepts.

1. Look everywhere. You want the best? Then don't limit your search to local avenues or to a certain geographical area. Look everywhere and then be ready to be a bit flexible in the work arrangement or relocation discussions in order to make it all work out with one or more of your top 3 finalist candidates. Are you going to pay for relocation? Are you able to pay well for relocation? Those are things you must consider before saying you can or are open to looking everywhere. If you can't afford that and if you won't be open to a remote arrangement (to be discussed further down), then you may not be looking to hire the best project manager available.

2. Go with experience. Is PMP or another PM certification worth it or necessary? Do you need it? Do your projects require it? Do you have external project clients that are in an industry or niche where it will be a requirement of the project manager you assign to their project? In the end it may be necessary for you to have a mix of certified and non-certified but very experienced. If the budget is tight I understand you may not be able to get the most experienced PMs available. In my book, experience trumps certification and I think you'll find that your project clients feel that way, too.

3. Be open to remote. Not everyone wants to relocate to Portland, Maine or Sioux Falls, South Dakota...or even relocate at all. Most like it right where they are and they live there for a reason. A lot of that incentive to relocate went away about 8 years ago when the job market and housing market went completely flat and it's just become so expensive to move around for jobs that most are hesitant or won't consider doing it. I know I never will again. Plus, job tenures are shorter now and more unstable as are many of the companies we work for. Be open to the project manager staying right where they are and managing the project remotely. If they are experienced, they will be able to handle the virtual team effectively and likely thrive. Plus, you tend to get even more than 40 hours out of the remote professional and they may be willing to accept your position offer for less than you might think.

Summary / call for input

Lots of factors can get in the way of finding the best talent for your projects. But if you want good, experienced project managers you can get them...and possibly save a few bucks in the process if you are flexible enough.

What are your thoughts? What hiring practices or suggestions work for you? Please share and discuss.

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