By Mike Bryan
When searching for a top-notch IT project manager, a key quality to seek out is ‘extreme adaptability’ rather than just how a candidate fits certain selection criteria.
Many organizations go on a box-checking mission, trying to tick off as many boxes as possible that match the desired industry, culture, behavior and academic backgrounds when selecting a candidate. This is especially true when for project managers who will be tasked with steering and delivering a project that will transform the business.
However, going down what seems like a surefire route to a perfect fit is often not the best tactic. A superb project manager can work in any environment under any domain expertise, whether that’s IT or another part of the business.
Superb project managers can deliver any project in the business or IT discipline. And while industry expertise is key to a certain point, it really depends on what the organization is trying to achieve as to whether this is necessary.
If a business is doing a particular niche project that has never been done before by the business, it makes sense to onboard an IT project manager with domain knowledge. But the modern-day project manager is required to manage up, down, and laterally, and oversee third party consultants and vendors while delivering the project. In other words, soft skills have become a requirement, not a nice-to-have.
Project managers need to be open and honest, naturally command authority, know when to ask the right questions and have strong team-building skills. They must also be able to push back on stakeholders when needed to deliver the project.
Companies today look for strong discipline and organizational abilities, plus interpersonal skills. People skills are important, including the ability to relate to a variety of personalities. If an environment needs nurturing, then the company needs a person who understands how to nurture that environment.
While the new generation of project managers is increasingly coming from a generalist background such as psychology or marketing, qualifications in project management methodology is an advantage.
Before recruiting a project manager, be crystal clear on the requirements. Be aware that it’s common for the hiring manager and the HR manager to want different things from the role. Once the business requirements are fleshed out, a company can proceed to recruitment.
A recruiter can then identify the key points in which a business has a gap, and find talent that will fill the gap as well as fuel the project.
Need to hire a great IT project manager?
Contact Hudson IT to discuss your needs.