A project manager is responsible for leading and overseeing complex projects from start to finish. They ensure that project completion is on time, within budget, and to stakeholders' satisfaction.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of project management specialists will grow 7% from 2021 to 2031, with about 70,400 openings for project management specialists.
This shows that the demand for project managers is increasing.
If you are in charge of hiring project managers for your organization but need help determining what qualities to look for, you're not alone.
Recruiters looking to hire skilled project managers face several hiring challenges, such as a shortage of qualified candidates, fierce competition from other employers, and difficulty assessing soft skills and leadership abilities.
However, don't worry because we are here to help. We have compiled a list of 15 qualities of a good project manager that you should look for. So, by the end of this article, you will clearly understand what to look for before hiring a project manager for your organization.
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Before that, let's understand a project manager's role and responsibilities:
- Define project goals: Project managers are responsible for defining project goals and objectives. They work with stakeholders and understand their needs and expectations to develop a project plan that meets those requirements.
- Creating a project plan: Project managers have to make project plans that include the scope, timeline, budget, and resources required for a project. They also create risk management plans that help to identify and mitigate potential risks.
- Managing project resources: Project managers are responsible for organizing project resources and ensuring it is used efficiently.
- Monitoring project progress: Project managers ensure the project is on track while meeting its goals and objectives. Any issues or challenges related to the project are addressed on time.
- Communicating with stakeholders: The project manager needs to communicate with stakeholders regarding any updates on the project's progress and address any concerns or issues.
- Managing project teams: They must manage project teams, including assigning tasks, providing feedback, and resolving conflicts.
- Ensuring quality: They are responsible for ensuring the quality of the project deliverables.
15 Qualities of a Good Project Manager
Any successful project relies on its project managers. A good project manager possesses a wide range of skills. However, not all project managers are created equal. So, if you are wondering what are the qualities of a project manager? We have listed down the top qualities of a project manager you need to look for.
1. Strong Leadership Skills: Project managers need to be strong leaders. They should be able to motivate and inspire their team members toward success. For example: Look at the leadership skills of Steve Jobs, who successfully led Apple to become one of the most valuable companies worldwide.
Actionable Tip: Look for candidates with previous experience leading teams or managing projects. Ask them how they have handled conflicts, motivated others, and made tough decisions.
2. Excellent Communication Skills: They need to have excellent communication skills. Project managers must have to ability to communicate effectively with teammates, stakeholders, and customers. The skills to look for include active listening, conveying ideas clearly, and adjusting communication styles according to the audience.
Actionable Tip: Look for a candidate with experience in public speaking, presenting, or leading meetings who will have excellent communication skills. You can also ask specific questions about how they communicated with stakeholders or team members in the past.
3. Organizational Skills: A project manager needs to be highly organized. This includes keeping track of project timelines, budgets, and resources. To do this, they need to have attention to detail, the ability to prioritize tasks and work under pressure.
Actionable Tip: Look for candidates who have managed multiple projects using project management tools. Ask them how they have managed projects within budget and on time.
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4. Strategic Thinking: Project managers must be able to think strategically. They must identify potential threats, opportunities, and challenges during a project. This requires the ability to analyze data and make decisions.
Actionable Tip: You can look for candidates with experience analyzing data, developing strategies, or solving complex problems. Ask them questions about how they have identified and overcome potential threats.
5. Adaptability: Project managers should be able to handle changes in project scope, timelines, and resources. This requires the ability to adjust plans quickly and the capacity to work in a fast-paced environment.
Actionable Tip: Look for candidates who have worked in fast-paced environments, dealt with changes in project scope, and adjusted plans quickly. Ask them about specific examples of how they have previously adapted to changes.
6. Time Management Skills: Project managers must efficiently handle their time to meet project deadlines. This enables them to prioritize tasks, manage multiple projects at the same time, and allocate resources effectively.
7. Decision-Making Skills: Project managers must be able to make decisions. As a hiring manager, you can look for candidates with experience making decisions based on available information and weighing the risks and benefits of different options.
Actionable Tip: Ask the candidate for specific examples of how they have made tough project decisions.
8. Problem-Solving Skills: Project managers must be able to identify potential problems and figure out solutions to them. Look for candidates that can identify issues and develop solutions.
Actionable Tip: Ask candidates for specific examples of how they have solved complex problems previously.
9. Emotional Intelligence: A great project manager should possess high emotional intelligence skills. They should be able to manage their emotions toward themselves and their team members.
10. Team Management Skills: Project managers must be able to manage their team, assign tasks, and provide feedback.
Actionable Tip: Look for candidates that have managed teams in the past.
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11. Budget Management: A project manager should be able to manage the project budget effectively. You can look for candidates with experience in meeting project budgets, staying within the budget, or allocating resources efficiently.
Actionable Tip: Ask the candidate how they have managed previous project budgets.
12. Risk Management: Project managers must have robust risk management skills. Look for candidates with experience identifying potential risks and developing mitigation plans. Ask for specific examples of how they have managed risks in the past.
Actionable Tip: Ask the candidate how they managed previous project risks.
13. Technical Skills: A project manager should have a good understanding of the technical aspects of the project.
Actionable Tip: You can use a skills assessment platform to evaluate a candidate's technical skills and abilities.
14. Strategic Thinking: A project manager should think strategically and align the project goals with the overall business strategy.
15. Continuous Improvement: Project managers should be committed to continuous learning and improving their skills. Look for candidates willing to learn from feedback, adapt to changes, and improve on skills over time.
Actionable Tip: Ask for specific examples of the candidate's commitment to continuous learning.
How to assess the qualities of a good project manager
Project managers are critical to the success of any project. Their ability to manage resources, lead a team, and coordinate tasks can make or break a project. That is why it is vital to assess a project manager's skills to ensure they can effectively deliver projects. Failing to do so may lead to project delays, costly mistakes, and poor outcomes.
One solution is to use a skills assessment platform like iMocha to assess the qualities of a good project manager. This platform uses AI and machine learning algorithms to assess various skills, including technical and soft skills.
By using this tool, organizations can ensure they are choosing the most qualified and competent project managers for their teams.
It also helps ensures that all candidates are assessed using the same criteria. This ensures that the assessments are fair and consistent across the board.
iMocha offers the world's most extensive skills library with over 2500+ skills, including Project Management, IT, Next-Gen, Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Security, Coding, Communication, etc. It offers skills assessment consulting tailored to specific job roles. These customized assessments evaluate a candidate on particular skills and competencies required for a specific position.
Here are other features iMocha offers to assess the qualities of a good project manager:
- Technical assessments evaluate a project manager's tech skills through questions that test project management knowledge.
- Soft skills assessments evaluate a project manager's ability to communicate effectively, manage conflicts, and build relationships.
- Recruiters can create role-specific assessments customized to specific project management roles.
- AI-LogicBox is an innovative pseudo-coding platform to assess a candidate's logical and problem-solving skills.
- Live Coding Interview to assess the coding skills of a project manager in real-time.
- AI-enabled proctoring is a fraud detection mechanism to reduce the cheating done by candidates.
- iMocha's intelligent talent analytics eliminates guesswork and makes hiring decisions based on analytics.
Additionally, it's also essential to continue to evaluate the skills of a project manager throughout their tenure. Organizations can do this with regular performance reviews and skills assessments.
With iMocha's L&D solutions, you can identify gaps in a project manager's knowledge and areas of improvement. By doing so, you can ensure your project managers are constantly developing and improving skills, leading to better project outcomes.
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Following our blog on 15 qualities of a good project manager, hiring managers and recruiters can identify and hire the best project managers for their organization. By doing so, they can ensure that their teams are led by competent and effective project managers who can deliver successful outcomes and drive organizational success.
1. What are the qualifications of a project manager?
A project manager's qualifications vary depending on the organization and industry they work for. However, there are some common qualifications:
- Education: Bachelor's degree in a related field like business administration, engineering, or computer science is often required.
- Certification: Project management roles require certification in project management, such as the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from the Project Management Institute (PMI).
- Experience: Project managers need several years of project management experience.
- Technical Knowledge: A strong understanding of project management methodologies, tools, and software.
- Soft Skills: Must have excellent communication, leadership, problem-solving, and decision-making skills.
- Industry Knowledge: Depending on their work industry, they need specific expertise or experience related to that industry.
2. What are the top 3 skills a Project manager should have?
The top 3 qualities of an effective project manager are:
- Leadership: Project managers should have strong leadership skills to guide and motivate teams toward a common goal.
- Time Management: Project managers need time management to ensure that projects are delivered on time and within budget.
- Problem-Solving: They need to be skilled in problem-solving to address issues during the project lifecycle.
3. How to hire a project manager?
Hiring a project manager can be challenging, but there are a few steps to help you find the right candidate for the job:
- Define the role: Define the role of the project manager within your organization. Determine the required skills, experience, and qualifications for the job.
- Create a job description: Create a job description that outlines the responsibilities, qualifications, and requirements for the position.
- Source candidates: Source candidates from job boards, social media, professional networks, and AI recruitment platforms.
- Conduct interviews: Conduct async or video interviews to assess a candidate's skills, experience, and qualifications.
- Assess skills: Use a skills assessment tool to assess the qualities of a good project manager. This will help you identify gaps in their skills and knowledge and ensure they are a good fit for the role.
- Check references: Verify the candidate's employment history and qualifications by checking their references.
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