Thursday, April 21, 2011, AM | Leave Comment
Before you start working on a project, you need to hire compatible members for your team with, of course, the right experience.
We all know that great projects are run by great teams.
One of the biggest challenges facing the project manager is to find the right team.
To ensure you hire the right employees for the right roles, take these steps:
Define the Task
Each project is a combination of tasks. Once you define each task, it will be relatively easy to hire employees for it.
Define the Role
Defining the role properly is the most important step to take when recruiting team members. You need to create a job description document that describes the following characteristics of each role so that there are no surprises to the candidates and to you as project manager:
- Purpose and responsibilities
- Reporting and communication
- Skills, experience and qualifications
- Team fit and performance criteria
- Work environment and special conditions
Find Top Candidates
Advertise each role both inside the company and outside in the job marketplace. Make your advert as specific as possible by listing the key responsibilities. Explain the challenges that they will face. Identify selection criteria for interviews, based on the characteristics in the job description. Review your list of applicants against the selection criteria and choose between 3 and 5 applicants to interview.
Interview the selected candidates. Make sure you are fully prepared for each interview on the assumptions that the candidates would be too. For every interview, you should:
- Prepare a list of questions before you start
- Address strengths and weaknesses from each candidate’s resume
- Consider quality of questions they have posed to you
- Be specific, direct and to the point at all times
Don’t be afraid to take notes during the interview. You will need to rely on the interview notes heavily when progressing to the next stage.
Depending on the type of role you are recruiting for, you may also want to formally test your candidates. Here are some ways you can test candidates to determine their suitability against the job description. You can be as formal about testing the candidates as possible or if you are an experienced project manager, then you can rely on your instincts as well.
The following are some general points that you may or may not follow through but I mentioned them in case the need arose that you could follow a couple of points below:
- Perform personality, competency and numerical testing
- Get each candidate to send samples of work completed in the past
- Ask each to perform specific project tasks. For instance, if hiring a software developer, get them to write you an example program
- Get them to meet the team and allow the team to ask questions
- Take them for lunch with your team and see how they socialize
- Get them to do a formal presentation to your team
- Seek 3 professional references, all from past employers
- Ask them for 2 personal references, for character checking
- Speak to their prior customers to confirm their competency
Based on the interview and test results, the next step is to select the right person for the job. If you have a number of people that you can’t decide between, then here are your options:
- Hire none from the first round of interviews and start again. It’s difficult to do this as you have put in a lot of work to get to this point. But it may be better to start again than hire a candidate who will not meet your needs fully.
- Select the best candidate as you possibly can. If you are experienced in hiring, you may go with your gut feeling.
In a Nutshell
Your ability to hire the right people will determine your success as a Project Manager. So take your time and use this recruitment process to choose wisely.
This column is © copyright to www.Method123.com and originally appeared in their weekly project management tip newsletter.
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