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How to Hire a Project Manager: Essential Traits to Know!

The business is growing! The team is getting bigger, the tasks are more interesting, and the urgency is getting stronger and stronger. Now you need a person you can trust with deadlines, budgets, and project quality. Where can you hire a project manager?

When looking for a project manager, every company asks itself the question: to hire or not to hire? The answers can be different, it all depends on the availability of time, budget, etc.

What to do? Who to look for? 

We’ll talk about how to make the right choice and find the right talent below.

How to Hire a Project Manager: Briefly About the Project Manager

A project manager is the go-to person for a business, be it technology or any other. 

Formally, such a person leads the project, manages workflows, adjusts development vectors, and must establish communication in the team from the beginning of the work to its completion. They lead the development team.

Finding a project manager with experience, management qualities and communication skills for a project is already a big part of the success of the entire product.  

But interviewing candidates for such a position is not an easy task. Often people don’t feel comfortable hiring such a professional. 

You always have the option of enlisting the help of HireUA. The HR team will save you time and find the best candidate for you.

The selected specialist will effectively monitor the budget, team, relationships between team members, and the fulfillment of tasks.  

Tasks of a Project Manager

In either field, the project manager is responsible for several key tasks. 

These include: 

  • Creating and managing the project plan: The project manager defines the goals and requirements for the project, and creates a detailed plan including tasks, timelines, resources, and budget.
  • Project Monitoring and Reporting: The specialist monitors the fulfillment of tasks, adjusts the plan if necessary, and reports to stakeholders on project progress.
  • Organizing and coordinating the team: They assign tasks, help solve problems and conflicts in the team, and provide training and development for the team.
  • Risk and Change Management: The project manager identifies and manages potential risks and manages any changes to the project.
  • Project Completion: Completes the project, analyzes results, documents lessons learned, and communicates project results to clients or other stakeholders.

The job description of a project manager includes both formal and informal interactions.

Such an employee should understand psychology, what “pains” clients have, and what subordinates expect from them.


Why Your Business Needs a Project Manager

Should you hire a project manager to work on a project or not? This is a decision that should be made after an interview. Communication says a lot about a person. 

However, if your company’s model is based on project management, having a project manager position is a must. 

Here are 4 tasks that a project manager can handle better than any other professional:

1. Understand the Client’s Needs

Such a specialist can explain to the customer that, for example, an animated splash screen on the main page of the site is not as important at the first stage of development as a convenient menu.

Or that approval of technical documentation is more important than a paper layout.

Understanding the needs makes the team’s work systematic and competently distributes the team’s efforts.

2. Control of Task Fulfillment 

Within the framework of the project, checklists are drawn up, priorities are prioritized and the team is managed in such a way that priority tasks are solved first. 

The manager assigns tasks to performers to achieve their fulfillment in the shortest possible time and with the minimum budget.

If deadlines are missed, the project chooses the most appropriate delegation and prioritization option.

3. See the Project Globally

At any given moment, the project manager can name the stage the team is at, the percentage of completion, and the deadlines that are shifting.

They understand that the plan is not a blank piece of paper but a real roadmap with the highest priority and strict adherence.

4. Risk Management 

For the project manager, there is no concept of the unexpected.

They cannot know for sure and in advance exactly what will go wrong.

But if it does, they always have at least three options for dealing with it. And a stockpile of resources to help make things right.

how to hire a project manager

What Kind of Project Manager You Need

Pay attention to the following aspects that a good project manager possesses:

  • Organizational
  • Leadership skills
  • Communication skills

Also, do not forget about the basic knowledge in the field in which the specialist works.

In general, there are 2 types of project managers:

#1. Strategist

Process management is very similar to playing tennis. It is important to hit the ball constantly: solve problems, analyze challenges, and respond quickly to the situational problems of the team.

But playing tennis (as well as project management) is also about strategy. You need to evaluate the pros and cons, learn endurance, and choose a racket that fits comfortably in your hand.

You need a project manager-strategist if you don’t have a fixed framework or general methodology for project management. Such a project manager will allow you to identify clear templates and plans for project management. 

#2. Organizer

Effective project management requires meticulousness and organization of the workflow. It should be a clear sequence of actions that will turn an idea into a successful project.

In addition, organizational skills are useful when working with a team, not just in management. Everyone should have a good understanding of their role and tasks, which are explained by the project manager. 

You need an organizational manager if you have poor communication in your company, problems with deadlines, and uncertain delegation of tasks in the project.


What to Consider When Hiring a Project Manager

You can save a tremendous amount of energy even at the job formation stage if you consider the outlined elements:

Relevant Experience

The most valuable thing a good project manager possesses, besides motivation. The functions of such a specialist at the previous place of work should coincide with your tasks. 

Although the specifics of the niche often decide more. It is necessary to understand terminology, production processes, and customer specifics. 

Cases

What projects have been realized? What problems did the team encounter and how did the project manager solve them? Were deadlines violated, did they meet the budget? 

To understand the level of skills, it is enough to study 2-3 cases, which the candidate will tell you about.

Skills

80% of a project manager’s labor functions are soft skills: flexibility, negotiation skills, discipline, resourcefulness, responsibility, conflict resolution, leadership skills, and adaptability to new conditions. 

The other hard skills are:

  • Team management
  • Working with project management tools – MS Project, Trello, etc.
  • Language skills 
  • Working with cost and schedule management tools
  • Implementation of flexible methodologies 
  • Implementation of regulations and corporate standards
  • Accounting, Bookkeeping, & Budgeting
how to hire a project manager

Education 

Online courses, training, and training projects.

The name of the educational institution in the diploma is not as important as cases and experience. But for a general understanding, it is worth knowing it.

You may want to send a candidate for training in the future and know where NOT to send your employees.

Personal Information

This is needed in case the team can find common ground with the specialist.

For this purpose, it is usually asked to compose a cover letter to the resume. In it, you can learn more about the person’s hobbies, involvement in the profession, life priorities, etc.

In this way, you attract a narrower target audience.


Options for Hiring a Project Manager

Not all, but many companies have a division of managers by rank:

  • Junior
  • Middle
  • Senior
  • PMO
  • COO

A project manager at the Junior level manages a small team, does some of the work himself, or assists a senior manager. 

Middle performs complex tasks, has a decent team, and manages large budgets.

Senior Project Manager is an advanced manager who manages several teams at once.

Head of PMO (Project Management Officer) – manager of managers, this specialist deals with development at the level of business strategy.

The next position is COO (Chief Operating Officer) – chief operating officer. This specialist does not manage projects, they develop the company’s business plan and control business processes.

Thus, for example, if a project manager becomes interested in strategy, they can become a product manager.

how to hire a project manager

Choosing Your Ideal Project Manager

You have already realized that this specialist is not just an ordinary manager, but a competent manager who must understand business, marketing, and economics. 

When choosing a specialist, consider the following criteria:

1. Understanding of Business Goals

A good project manager always strives to bring real benefit to the clients and achieve the realization of their goals.

And the main goal of a business is usually to make a profit.

Not just to do the work for a tick, but to make it so that customers come. 

So even at the initial stage, explain your goals to the manager and see how well they understand them.

2. Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

And it’s not even about education.

Project managers are not taught in universities.

More often than not, these positions are held by people who grew up from the rank and file.

It’s better if your project manager has been working in the agency for more than one year and knows all the business processes from the inside.

If that’s the case, great. If not, ask about their experience and what projects they have handled before.

3. Professional and Personal Qualities

A project manager should have

  • Strong leadership and organizational skills (to unite and motivate the team)
  • High efficiency (sometimes you have to lead several projects at the same time)
  • Analytical thinking, a high level of self-discipline, communication skills (ability to work with people and negotiate).

Of course, a manager must also have a broad outlook and high intelligence to understand the topic with which the client came. 

4. Ability to Work With a Team

Look at how the manager communicates with the team and if there is a team at all.

It is better if your project is supervised by an established team that understands each other half-heartedly.

If the agency is small and there just aren’t that many people on the staff, ask the manager where he’s going to attract specialists. It is good when they have a pool of reliable proven freelancers who will not let you down and will quickly get involved in the work.

5. Stress Resistance

Launching a large project is always a headache for each party. Contractors may miss deadlines, the client may be fully occupied and not respond to calls and messages from the manager.

The process of work may reveal several nuances that will require revision of the concept or the injection of additional funds. In short, anything is possible.

A good project manager always calculates the risks, predicts how the situation can be corrected, and informs the customer about it.

If not – ask yourself what they plan to do in case of force majeure and unforeseen circumstances. You will draw your conclusions.


Summary: How to Hire a Project Manager? – Use the Tips You’ve Learned!

So, a good project manager is a person who manages the product creation process and is responsible for the success or failure of the project. They can organize the work of the team, create quality relationships, build a strategy, and facilitate the organization of work. 

If you already have a project manager in your team, you can have peace of mind. Your projects and processes will be managed professionally, efficiently, and on time.

But if you are still looking for one, all you need is to formulate the right request.

HireUA team is ready to help you find a project manager who will get the job done and achieve all your goals.

Good luck to you!

Read Next: Where Can I Hire a Virtual Assistant? — A-Z Hiring Guide (2024)

About The Author

Anastasia Marinich

Anastasia was born in Odesa and realized at an early age that her work should be creative & enjoyable.

While studying marketing in her hometown, she moved to Germany and continued her education at 2 universities at the same time.As the saying goes "Choose a job to your heart's content and you won't have to work a day of your life!"

Anastasia obtained a degree in Art and has a knack for it. She takes the same approach to writing. Each text is like a picture with a special message and mood. Everyone will find something useful for themselves!

Today Anastasia lives and works in Germany. She travels a lot, practices Ashtanga yoga, learns new things, and continues her creative journey with the HireUA team!
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