When you are looking at hiring a PM to fully manage or complete a project, it is important to hire the right person. Here we look at 6 important things to consider before you hire.
If you have chosen to hire a freelance project manager to fully manage or complete a project, there is a lot at stake. You need to choose a project manager that you can trust, who is right for the project and who can ultimately lead it to success. Here are some important considerations to make when choosing a freelance PM:
Where Have You Hired Them From?
Have you hired them through word of mouth, from a consultancy or recruitment agency? You must use your own knowledge and do your own research to source a project manager. If you are going to use a consultancy, check that they know their stuff and have experience in project management so you can trust the person has been screened properly. If you’re hiring on recommendation from a colleague, do a little more research. Why is that colleague recommending them to you, have they worked with the person on several projects? Do they know what project management training the person has? Was the project that they worked on a success or did it fail? If it failed, why did it fail? Don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions before speaking to the individual being recommended to you; it could save you a lot of time and a lot of work should the project go wrong because the person you hire wasn’t right for the job after all.
Are They Qualified?
How many project management courses has the PM attended? Do they have APMP certification, PMP certification or Prince2 qualifications? These are all great qualifications, but they don’t mean much if the person has little experience. Look for qualifications combined with experience and, in particular, experience in your industry.
Are They Experienced?
When you work with someone, you have a good understanding of their skillset and whether or not they are experienced enough to complete a project. When you don’t know someone from Adam, you have to look for key signs and proof that they are experienced enough to complete a project. Look for them having at least 5 years PM experience in your industry and when you speak to them, expect them to happily go into detail about their experience. Don’t just listen to what they have to say either, ask for proof.
Are They Skilled?
Are they communicative? Personable? Organised? If you want to understand the kind of skills that your potential new PM will apply to the project, run them through a pretend project scenario. Look for signs that they understand the importance of forward planning, communication and risk management. Suggest possible issues that you know might well arise and see how they would deal with those issues. You’re looking for great project management and people management.
Are They Organised?
You need this project completed by a certain time, and you’re paying for all the time needed to complete the project. If this person does not have good time management and they are not organised, you will be paying a lot of money for time that is being wasted by your PM. Ask if you can pay for time actually needed, and proof of how that time was used in order to protect your budget.
Are They Self Sufficient?
You should also be looking for someone who isn’t going to be asking you for support all the time, they should be able to source this themselves. You will of course want them to send reports and updates to you. However, if you have to constantly guide the PM through the project then you may as well do it yourself.
Hiring anyone outside your organisation will always come with some element of risk. You can minimise those risks by taking the time to consider your freelance PM in full. You owe it to your stakeholders and organisation if you want the best possible chance of project success.