The best way to guarantee the success of any type of project is to have a strong, experienced Project Manager (PM) and strong, experienced Business Analysts (BA). But for many organizations, finding the right, qualified PM or BA often proves challenging.
For employers, the inability to find adequate talent can translate into project and operational risk, impact to customer service, lowered productivity and morale, increased turnover and higher costs related to compensation and severance.
The Hiring Challenge: Why is it Difficult to Find and Hire Qualified PMs and BAs?
The hiring process needs improvement
Too many recruitment processes start the same way. Someone in the organization has a need, a job specification or description is created (or an outdated job description is tweaked) and subsequently handed to the HR department.
In many instances, the hiring process begins without sufficient approval or before conducting a proper search in the marketplace.
Inadequate skill set for the interview process
Many HR professionals are proficient at conducting interviews designed to assess organizational competencies, because that is their areas of expertise. However, they are not usually proficient enough to assess the candidate’s technical capability – that is left for the hiring manager. The hiring manager is often less experienced in interviewing techniques. As a result, not only do good candidates get missed and the wrong ones get hired but good PMs and BAs are more likely to turn down any subsequent job offers based on poor interview experiences too.
Improper market timing
Slow reaction times throughout the hiring process means good PMs and BAs will go to other organizations that make quicker decisions.
Clearly identify the goals and objectives for the position
The first step when looking to hire a high performing PM or BA is identifying the crucial goals for this role. Too often project management or business analyst job postings are generic and focus primarily on the general technical aspects and candidate attributes.
The timing for hiring a PM or BA should be recognized ahead of the actual need. Often the hiring process cuts too close to the initiating of a project, creating a rush situation where the choices may be too limited. The end result may be the hiring of a good PM or BA, but not necessarily the best one for a specific role.
Once the right PM or BA has been selected, it is critical to spend sufficient time carefully verifying experience, training, personality attributes, working styles, leadership and facilitation skills to ensure the ‘right’ person is chosen.
Hire on a trial project basis first
It may be worthwhile to hire a contractor PM or BA, especially for one-time projects where timelines are compressed, to ensure the right individual with the required skill sets has been chosen prior to committing to a full-time position. This arrangement can work to the benefit of both the employer and employee to ensure a good fit on both sides.
What to Look for In a Good PM or BA?
Possesses business knowledge
Consider looking for PMs and BAs with broader business knowledge and skillsets who understand how their role connects to the overall business-wide objectives.
While the majority of PMs and BAs will have some form of formal technical training and combined experience, not all possess leadership skills. Leadership is not simply facilitating, managing and directing. True leaders must lead by example, make difficult decisions when necessary, and act in a fair manner when it comes to all stakeholders while ensuring their attention and effort remains focused on business objectives at all times.
Excels at crisis resolution
Crisis resolution is another critical skill that a PM or BA must have because of the challenges faced during any typical project. PMs and BAs will often encounter multiple crises , whether financial, time, or people , and will need to remain calm, focused and level-headed, while always acting appropriately.
Has strong communication skills
Many projects have been derailed solely due to communication issues because the PM or BA lacked sufficient verbal, written or non-verbal communication skills. Knowing how to effectively present and communicate using the most appropriate medium is critical.
Focus on results
Ultimately a PM or BA must be results-oriented if they are to be successful. Hiring a PM or BA that simply follows a path from one phase to the next without fully understanding all the porrect issues and how the activities align with the end goals will find it very challenging to be successful.
The Litcom Approach
Skilled, experienced consultants are in high demand and difficult to find. Litcom has an extensive team of highly knowledgeable consultants and we are able to provide the talent that technology leaders need.
Contact us to learn how our IT staff augmentation solutions can help your company gain a competitive edge.