Your monthly dose of insightful Project Management articles

Your monthly dose of Project Management articles.

What is the most challenging: to recruit, introduce, engage, and retain new project managers? and why?

A project manager is the core factor of success in each project. Therefore, the whole process of having a project manager in an organization is challenging for HR for business continuity and success. We hear from the experts in 6 SMEs reviews what could be in their opinion the most challenging part of this journey.

Claudio RAMOS de Souza Lima 💬

Executive Partner - Financial Services and Technology

I believe that there is no right answer to the question, as each action depends on several variables, especially regarding the market moment of each country, whether it is heated or not!

However, the retention of these professionals has become increasingly difficult, as they usually leave the organization to take on a sexier position, with a greater scope than simply a Project Manager. What I'm going to say here will certainly generate disagreements. The truth is that the Project Manager attributions have been increasingly absorbed, as a second skill from other roles. Today, for example, one of the skills required for a Product Manager and even for a Product Owner is project management skills. Companies that don’t provide the opportunity for Project Managers to take on other responsibilities in addition to the project responsibilities, will lose their professionals to companies that already have this visionary mindset. Some core competencies are essential for the success of this professional. Successful PMs are not satisfied with the "only good!".

My advice: when a complex problem arises on a project, don't just analyze it from the perspective of project management. You must think from a product improvement standpoint too. Don't settle for a solution that has solved your side. If you strive to develop your Complex Problem-Solving skills combined with your Product Vision, you can boost your career as a successful PM, managing other fronts!


Layal Maoula H. 💬

Freelance Recruitment consultant / Founder of Hibou-Recruit

he organizational flexibility of a project-oriented organization and the temporary nature of projects lead to several specific implications for human resource management in general and the project manager position in particular.

The larger and more complex the project, the more critical this overall management function becomes. Therefore, project success depends on the performance of competent and highly committed project managers, and many firms fail to retain and develop project managers adequately.

Here are the five “DO NOT” actions employers have to avoid to help retain their top PM talent.
1. DO NOT overload your PM!
2. DO NOT assume they are happy!
3. DO NOT compare PMs with other PMs or roles!
4. DO NOT compensate at the bottom of the pay band!
5. DO NOT ignore celebration & time-off-duration after each project

By ensuring your project managers are not overloaded, happy, covered, well-compensated, and have sufficient time to rest, you as an employer are doing things to help retain your top talent and improve project and company-wide performance.

Milvio DiBartolomeo 💬

OGC Gateway Assurance Expert | Author | Agile, Project, Programme & Portfolio Management and Better Business Cases Specialist

Stephen R. Covey once said “I am convinced that although training and development are important, recruitment and selection are much more important.” Let’s explore both parts of this advice, starting with the former. Make no mistake ongoing training and professional development are important. However, many organisations fail to optimise their return from investment as they ignore to ask their employees two critical questions following any training and development opportunities. That is, what did you learn from the course and/or training and how will you apply this newfound knowledge to your role or more importantly, what will you do differently to demonstrate this knowledge.

With the latter, recruitment and selection is equally important particularly to bring new skills, knowledge and experience not currently available within the organisation. However, the solution in finding (and keeping) the right skills is to train and develop them from existing internal people talent as the best employees are made, not found particularly in terms of culture fit and employee engagement.

It’s no secret that business success today revolves largely around people particularly in a growing digital environment. Success, therefore, in a people oriented organisation comes from hiring the right people and putting in place learning and development processes that makes them productive. Noting that recent Gallup State of the Global Workplace report found that 85% of employees are neither engaged or actively disengaged at work. Like Sir Richard Branson once said “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to

Hani Hmedeh 💬

Founder of Zmaestro ◼️ Consultant ◼️ Mentor |

Competent project managers consistently apply their management knowledge, personal behaviors, and performance capability can be the real difference between the success and failure of your project despite the governance structures. The wrong PM will drain your time, money, and resources. Thus, the hiring process became a crucial part of a successful project manager's journey.

 So, how to find & hire the right candidate?

Competences that are most likely to impact the performance of managers in the area of project management consists of five different dimensions:

  • Knowledge competence to evaluate the project manager's knowledge on the application of processes, tools, and techniques for project activities. The knowledge competence can be demonstrated by passing an appropriately credentialed assessment, examination, or accreditation ( PMP, prince2, …).
  • Performance competence to figure out how the project manager applies project management knowledge to meet the project requirements. The performance competence can be demonstrated by reviewing/interviewing the candidate actions during project execution (if possible), or by simulating test scenarios.
  • Personal competence to review the candidate's behavior while performing activities within the project environment. Personal competence can be demonstrated by assessing the project manager’s behavior during the interview, and performing a background check on the candidate, and review his track records.
  • Industry Competence to check the project manager's understanding, knowledge, and experience in the target project industry. Having a project manager familiar with the company industry gives him the extra mile to make a difference. 
  • Organization Competence to examine the ability of the candidate to understand, accept, and adapt to the company's culture, processes, and regulations to integrate smoothly in the new company to outperform during the project execution.

The HR department and PMO can use a checklist that addresses the competencies and attributes companies need to evaluate and screen prospective project managers for a new project. With such a checklist, companies can ensure that the most skilled project managers are assigned to the most critical projects.

With the Core Competencies Checklist companies will be able to determine which project manager has the best mix of knowledge, experience, and personality for a specific project. 

Finally! Having the right candidate with the best mix of knowledge, experience, and personality for a project and the company will minimize project failures and maximize their project's return on investment. But this is not enough to ensure success! Therefore, companies should have a clear roadmap to hire, introduce, develop, and retain project managers in a company.

Diego Velázquez 💬

IT Senior Recruiter 

The most challenge is the big demand of IT people (in general) and Project Managers professionals (in particular), most of them are just looking for a salary increase without caring either the kind of company or the style of project, that's why, they are not committed to the company in spite if they could offer good benefits, a career path or a stablished job.

At least in Latin American people, they don’t have long term vision, so those people are not able to realize the benefits that could get if they worked one year or more in the same company; sometimes they prefer to jump to another company that offers more net salary, without reviewing if they could end up earning less money because of the less benefits that the new company has.

That's why it's important to make a better selection of them, searching his short, mid and long term goals that the candidates has, and the work path that they had had, before to hire to the enterprise.

Gitanjali Shinde 💬

Project Management Consultant

In my opinion to recruit is the most challenging. One of the primary reasons it is challenging is the difficulty is attracting the right candidates. It is quite difficult to find the right resource in a pool of unqualified talent as options are limited. Other reasons are engaging the qualified candidates for the role as they are constantly being contacted by multiple recruiters. The timeline and finding the right candidate to fill up an urgent position is quite a struggle. It is extremely important to create an efficient hiring process as that will help enhance the employers brand and encourage good candidates to apply and accept job offers which is not always easy. Diversification of recruiting strategies and training the hired teams to interview and pick the right candidates is also a tedious process.

List of all the feedbacks of SME release #11

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