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Project Management Forms for Job Recruitment

May 14 2007

Advertising a Project Management Job with Project Management Forms

It’s a well known fact that great projects are run by great teams. But finding the right staff to help you build a great team is one of the greatest challenges you’ll face in Project Management. To help you with this, we’ve described in this newsletter:

How to Hire the Right Staff using the Right Project Management Forms

To hire the right staff for the right roles, take these 5 steps:

1. Define the Role

Sounds easy, but defining the role is the most important step to take when recruiting new project staff. You need to create project management forms for the Job Description document that describes in depth the:

  • Purpose of the role
  • Responsibilities for every phase in the project
  • Reporting and communication lines with other staff
  • Skills, experience and qualifications required
  • Team fit and performance criteria
  • Salary, rate, commission and benefits
  • Work environment and special conditions.

2. Find Top Candidates

Next, advertise the role both internally and externally. Make your adverts as specific as possible. List the key responsibilities and performance criteria. Explain the challenges and stresses that they will face. List any special requirements. Make it sound enticing, but don’t oversell it. Remember, only by attracting the right candidates will you improve your chances of recruiting the right people.

With some luck, your specific adverts will have attracted the right type of candidates to the role. You now want to select 3 to 10 (maximum) people to interview.

Before you start the selection process, you should list all of the characteristics from the Job Description that are critical to this role. These characteristics will become your “selection criteria”. Then rank your selection criteria in order of importance and if needed, assign a weighting.

Then review all of the CVs and applications received, against the criteria specified. While it’s possible to complete this step scientifically, you should also follow your “gut feel”. If a candidate is an 80+% fit but does / doesn’t feel right, then you may use that feeling to bias the result. However if they’re not an 80%+ fit against your selection criteria,  then the chances are that they might fit in well with the team but not be perfect for the role.

3. Interview Candidates

Next, interview the selected candidates. Remember that your ability to critically analyze candidates in an interview situation will determine the success of the recruitment exercise. So don’t just “wing it”. For every interview, you should:

  • Prepare a list of questions before you start.
  • Cover all areas of the Job Description, during the interview.
  • Addresses any strengths and weaknesses from their CV.
  • Consider the quality of the questions they’ve posed to you.
  • Be specific, direct and to the point at all times.

Don’t be afraid to take notes during the interview. If you’re interviewing more than 3 candidates, you will rely on these project management forms more heavily when progressing to the next stage..

4. Test Candidates

Depending on the type of role you’re recruiting, you may also want to formally test your candidates. Here are 10 ways that you can test candidates to determine their suitability against the Job Description:

  1. Perform personality, competency & numerical testing.
  2. Get them to send you samples of work completed in the past.
  3. Ask them to perform specific project tasks. For instance, if hiring a software developer, get them to write you an example program.
  4. Perform a second interview with management.
  5. Get them to meet the team and allow the team to ask questions.
  6. Take them for lunch with your team and see how they socialize.
  7. Get them to do a formal presentation to your team.
  8. Seek three professional references, all being past employers.
  9. Ask them for two personal references, for character checking.
  10. Speak to their prior customers to confirm their competency.

5. Select Candidate

Based on the testing and interview results, the final step is to select your candidate. By now, you want to have 2-3 strong contenders for the role. So what if their results are the same and you can’t decide? In this case, you have 3 options available:

  • Hire neither and start again. It’s difficult to do this as you’ve put in a lot of work to get to this point, but it’s better to start again than hire a candidate who will not meet 95-100% of the needs of the role. You only have one shot of delivering this project on time—and having the right person is critical to making it happen.
  • Hire both and deliver earlier. In some cases you can split a Job Description in two and allocate the responsibilities to more than 1 staff member. It’s challenging and risky doing this, but in some cases you can deliver the project earlier and at the same cost by hiring 2 gifted candidates at the same time.
  • Select the best candidate. In most cases you’re landed with this option. If both candidates are “on an even par”, then don’t pass the decision on to someone else, go with your gut feel. We could give you numerous statistical testing methods to choose the right person, but at the end of the day they have to be able to do the job and fit in with your team—and only you will know which candidate is best to do this.

Building high performing teams is one of the traits of a successful Project Manager. By defining the role properly, interviewing and testing your candidates efficiently, you can usually find the right people to help you deliver your project successfully.

In the next issue, we’ll give describe how to get the most out of your teams performance.

Download a Job Description or all the project management templates to help you build high performing teams.