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10 Steps to Finding a Project Manager

~ By Luca Di Nicola

Blond female job applicant handing over her CV to a smiling businessman

Project managers, when you hire well, can become your most favourite person on the planet. Hiring a good project manager means you can sit back and relax knowing that the project tasks are being taken care of in a professional, productive, and profitable manner. It frees up your time, reduces or even eliminates stress, and increases your bottom line. However, a bad hire can affect profits, increase stress which can kick your blood pressure up to dangerous levels and waste a tremendous amount of time and money. Here's how to hire a qualified project manager.

Step One: Define the job. What tasks and responsibilities will the manager be responsible for? For example, imagine you're hiring a project manager to build and oversee your website. That might include hiring or outsourcing a website designer, adding necessary code or hiring people to accomplish that, graphic designers, content management and link building and SEO.

Step Two: Determine what knowledge your manager must have. Do they need to know how to write code, hire contractors, work with shopping cart and affiliate management software, write content or graphic design? Do they need to have specific industry knowledge? For example, if you hire a manager to oversee the shipping and fulfilment of your pet products do they need to have pet industry knowledge or simply be capable of effective communication and an attention to detail?

Step Three: What skills does your project manager need to have? Skills differ from knowledge in that knowledge is necessary to understand tasks, which can be outsourced, whereas skills are necessary to perform tasks.

Step Four: Create a complete job description and be sure to include: attention to detail, excellent communication skills, ability to assemble a team, ability to see a project through to completion and the ability to work independently. It's important that your project manager is able to take the ball and run with it without your intervention or motivation. That's why you're hiring a project manager after all.

Step Five: Determine how much you can afford to pay. Remember, a great manager is going to free up countless hours from your schedule - this is time you can focus on increasing your hourly value and ultimately your bottom line.

Step Six: Instead of posting the position on a random hiring website, consider asking friends and associates if they know anyone who might be qualified and/or interested. Look to your current contractors and employees too. Is there anyone who always seems to perform better than expected? Anyone who you're currently working with who can jump right into the position with little or no training time?

Step Seven: Hire someone on a three month trial basis. This gives you an out if they're not working out.

Step Eight: Create training sheets so your project manager can start the job without needing to check with you every day for answers and feedback.

Step Nine: Create systems and measurements so you can evaluate their performance. Make your project manager a part of creating these systems and measurements so they know how they're expected to perform and can also assess their goals and achievements.

Step Ten: Provide incentives and rewards for a project manager who gets the job done. This can be a percentage of the profits, a raise, or a gift token of your appreciation. Most people prefer money! Consider chipping in for medical insurance since most managers are contractors and are paying for their own benefits.

Hiring a manager to handle your projects is a smart business choice. Take your time to plan the position and search for the right candidate. You'll be glad you did.


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