Project management is an essential element in almost any job environment – engineering, IT, media, etc. – but none more so than hiring management. With today’s hiring managers expected to review an increasing amount of candidates, prospect for new business clients and manage contract negotiations for hires, better project management translates to a stronger output and increased success on the job. Additionally, many of the skills necessary for good project management are applicable to overall professional development.
As a result, Pivot Point Consulting, a national healthcare IT consulting firm, has five tips on how hiring managers can become better project managers, and in turn, stronger employees, colleagues and recruiters.
Be detail oriented, but keep an eye on the big picture. It’s critical to be detail-oriented. As something we ask from our prospective candidates, hiring managers too need to demonstrate an attention to detail – it will only result in the ability to source stronger candidates for your clients. While attention to detail is important in the evaluation and recommendation of a candidate, it’s also important to stay focused on the big picture.
Provide a clear set of expectations. As hiring managers, it’s vital to be very clear about expectations with candidates, clients and colleagues as vague instruction often leads to misunderstanding or confusion. Therefore, be direct. Tell candidates exactly how they need to prepare for an interview and what’s expected. Detail an assignment in full with your client to ensure you’re both aligned on goals. Discuss business goals with colleagues to make sure you’re both on the same page and that you’re setting yourself up for success.
See solutions not problems. Nobody likes a naysayer, and as a hiring manager, it’s especially important that you see possibilities where businesses see problems. Therefore, be a constant source of ideas and inspiration. This lets your clients feel like they are in good hands, and underscores your confidence and capability in your work, which are also very important in sustaining long term relationships with clients and candidates alike.
Be organized – period. Organization is crucial to being a better project manager. It ensures you’re able to effectively manage your workload as well as your team’s and clearly communicate progress and next steps on a given assignment. Maintain detailed trackers or use project management software to track assignments and owners. If asked, you want to be able to provide status updates on ongoing projects in real-time.
Wear many hats, but be sure you’re always wearing the team player one. Good project managers are able to wear many hats. They are able to jump into a problem or a task at any point to find a solution and keep an assignment on course. And for hiring managers specifically, they often need to wear these many hats not only within their own organization, but also with their clients and candidates. The most important hat, however, is that of a team player. Whether you’re being asked to lead your team out of a client issue or to help a team member source a candidate for an important project, you should always be willing to jump in with a positive, “can-do” attitude.
Strong project management skills will empower hiring managers to deliver the best results on behalf of candidates and for clients, in addition to arming them with the ability to be better teammates within their own organization. These soft skills are key in finding greater success in this field.