by Jim Vaughan

How to Hire the Right Project Managers. (part 2 of ?)

Aug 18, 20092 mins
IT Leadership

Let's be sure that the project manager we are hiring as the passion and desire to do the job.

Last week I wrote about some of the mistakes that organizations make when promoting or hiring project managers. This week I want to start addressing how to do the right things when promoting or recruiting project managers.

First and foremost you want to find a person that has a sincere passion for project management. In recent years we have seen more and more people indicating that they are project managers. The numbers of Project Management Professionals (PMP) has grown exponentially. Why this sudden interest in project management? The two primary reasons for this interest are the number of new jobs opened for project managers and the salaries attached to those jobs. According to a 2007 salary report posted by Global Knowledge the PMP certification was generating the highest salaries for experienced IT professionals. A later version of that same report shows the PMP certification to be very high on the list. With companies showing a higher interest in project management and these types of salaries, many have flocked to the world of project management. But are the really interested in the profession or just chasing the money?

I believe the answer to this question is yes and no. There are many people that, like myself, were doing project management when project management was not popular. Certainly any of these people would be interested in the profession of project management for the shear love of it. I myself started utilizing project management techniques circa 1985. It was until the mid 1990s that I felt that people were starting to take the profession seriously.

But how do we measure a person’s passion for project management. Your best bet for measuring this passion within a person is to have a highly successful project manager (PM) with strong interpersonal skills to interview the person and make this assessment. In fact, I would contend that a strong project manager must have strong interpersonal skills. That skill is part of what has made them successful.

I believe it is passion that makes anyone successful at what they do. But we often spend much of an interview drilling people on their hard skills. I suggest that you spend some time getting the person to talk about what they have done and look for their level of passion. This is good practice for any position, not just project management.

Stay tuned for part 3….