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How to find a great project manager

Project managers can be an invaluable asset. Hiring a great one can means you can take a back seat on certain projects knowing that things are being taken care of. A successful project delivered within budget and in a timely manner will increase company profit margins but a poor choice of manager can mean the opposite.

So how do you ensure you find a great project manager and not just a good one? If you already have a promising member of staff in mind who could take on the role by attending project management courses then this could certainly be a cost-effective option to explore but here are 5 pointers to consider if you are looking to hire from outside your company:-

Define the job role

To find the right person for the job – you firstly need to accurately define the role. For instance; hiring a project manager to oversee a building project will be very different to hiring one for an IT department! It may sound obvious but it is important to think about the responsibilities and tasks your project manager will be responsible for and the skills they'll need.

Define the salary

Budgets are a key factor in the successful running of any company. Paying peanuts will get you nowhere fast. Instead you need to honestly appraise the value of the role and how many hours and resources it will free up that can be used elsewhere. This will help you work out the lower and upper margins of what you are prepared to pay and the quality of staff you can expect.

Define applicant skills and knowledge

Having defined the job role and salary; you then need to decide on a list of skills/knowledge you are looking for in an applicant as there are differences between the two. For instance, an applicant could have knowledge of your industry but they also need the skills to carry out their role. Project management training can be a great way to for an applicant who ticks most of the boxes to learn or brush up on their skill set.

Define your applicant search parameters

Consider asking colleagues and business associates for the name of anyone they can recommend who is currently searching for a position - a recommendation often works out better than hiring blind. If you are looking to post a vacancy on a job site then consider the quality and high street or online presence of the website depending on whether you are looking to hire locally and/or nationally.

Interview – the final step!

Once you have interviewed your list of applicants it makes good sense to employ one on the basis of a 3-month trial so that you really can be sure you have found your great project manager!

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