A good leader can make or break your team’s ability to hit the target on your latest project, which is why finding the right person to fill a project management role is critical. Finding project managers through the usual channels can yield solid picks, but it’s also worth looking beyond the usual suspects to find top talent. If you’re looking to broaden the types of candidates you attract for this invaluable role in your IT department, we have a few different approaches to consider to recruit project managers.
1) Think Outside the Box
Many great project managers in the IT sphere didn’t necessarily start out with that career in mind, but they found out they were a perfect fit with a bit of nudging and training. Some of the most crucial skills needed for this important role — like organization, planning, delegation, and decision-making abilities — aren’t necessarily specific to IT.
Because of this, people in leadership roles from other related disciplines such as product marketing and software development can be prime candidates to transition to IT. These skilled individuals shouldn’t be discounted because their background may not appear to fit what you’re seeking. Hiring a project manager from a related industry who has an interest in IT can bring a fresh perspective to the table. You may find exactly what you’re looking for by taking this unique approach.
2) Explore Junior Potential
While ample real-world career experience is certainly desirable, there’s something to be said for selecting younger talent that’s fresh, full of energy and anxious to dive in. Nabbing a fully capable, but perhaps younger, project manager who is eager to apply their skills is a great option for some companies.
When evaluating junior talent for project management potential, it’s important to keep in mind character traits that make a good project manager. Inquisitive individuals who are natural problem solvers, highly organized, data driven, and process-oriented tend to succeed in this type of role.
Partnering with universities that have strong IT-related project management programs and bustling alumni networks is a smart way to find new talent. Another benefit of younger talent is the ability to mold these candidates to best fit your business, and you can get them started on smaller-scale projects that prep them for larger-scale work.
3) Cultivate Talent and Train from Within
You might be sitting on a number of excellent project management candidates and not even realize it. Have you noticed any recent hires that are demonstrating superior leadership, organization and other related skills that go above and beyond their current role? How about long-time team members who are already trusted and battle tested? With a little training and guidance, these individuals could be the dream project manager you need.
When you’re looking for internal project manager candidates, be open to covering the cost of putting them through the necessary training to prep them for their new role. Consider the value on your investment by equipping a trusted employee with the skills needed to succeed.