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How to hire the perfect project manager

Amy Bourne |

Putting the right people in the right spots is crucial to the success of any business. Whether you’re in the construction, landscaping or transportation industries, having a strong project manager who knows his or her role inside and out can be a major difference maker in how well your business flourishes.

Here are some tips that will help you find the ideal candidate to fill your team’s project manager role.

Clearly define the role

This might sound obvious, but without a clear understanding of how the project manager position ties into your overarching business goals, you won’t know exactly what you’re looking for when applications start to roll in.

Once your team identifies the key attributes and characteristics of the project manager role, make sure those qualities are clearly laid out in the job posting. Avoid using vague or general job descriptions; instead, describe specific attributes that are essential to the success of your business or industry. This will ultimately help you get the most qualified people available, leaving you with fewer unfit candidates to sift through when evaluating potential project managers.

Timing is key

Defining the project manager role should not be done while you’re in desperate need to fill the spot. This should be planned well in advance to ensure the right decision is made with careful consideration. The more rushed the hiring process, the more likely you are to hire a project manager who isn’t suited to complement your specific business goals.

Also keep in mind, the role of your project manager will change as your business changes and needs change. It’s important to regularly evaluate each position on your staff to stay ahead of the curve.

Be project focused

If you’re hiring needs are for a particular project or project type, make sure the job description pertains to the details of that project. Just as you need to clearly define the role, you need to clearly define the project as well.

In situations where the project manager position surrounds a single project, it’s best to find candidates who best meet the behavior and attribute requirements that gel best with the project at hand as opposed to candidates who are “masters of none” so to speak.

Evaluate experience, credentials and certifications

When evaluating a project manager’s past experience, it needs to be more than just running through a list of previous jobs held during the interview. It’s important to verify and confirm past experience by asking the right questions.

There are several different ways to do this, but the end goal should be the same: getting a strong sense of how the candidate thinks, solves problems and works with others so you can effectively assess his or her leadership ability, personality traits and more.

Key qualities of a great project manager

  • Cooperative leadership abilities
  • Excels at prioritization
  • Demonstrates flexibility and agile thinking
  • Passionate about the project’s and team’s success
  • Strategy-driven
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Knows the role
  • Sets goals and achieves results
  • Emotionally intelligent
  • Seamless culture fit

If you’ve given careful thought and consideration to all of the above, chances are you’re on your way to hiring a superstar project manager.

Finding the right person is step one, but having tools to get the job done effectively can be just as important. Contact us today to learn more about our time clock app and other resourceful project management tools available at ExakTime.

Author Profile Picture

Amy Bourne is the marketing copywriter for ExakTime. She enjoys learning about the real challenges faced in the construction-related field, and providing content that helps business owners work smarter.

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