Is your company having trouble attracting and recruiting top project managers? Here’s the answer.

by Moira Alexander
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It’s estimated that employers will need to fill close to 2.2 million new project roles annually by 2027. With over 1,000,000 certified Project Management Professionals (PMPs) internationally, competition for project managers is high, to say the least. In the United States, this means recruiters will have to become laser-focused on five things if they want to attract and retain top talent. It’s about knowing where to go to post jobs, posting tightly focused job descriptions, offering very attractive compensation and the perks that matter most, and remaining flexible as an employer.

 1. Post jobs on project management job boards

While there are numerous job boards out there, your company’s project management, program management, and portfolio management roles are likely getting lost in a sea of general and non-project management type categories. For candidates looking for project management roles specifically, it can be frustrating to sift through job posts to find the right sections or categories to find what they’re looking for to match their career goals. 

Make sure to post jobs on project management job boards like the one we have here at PMWorld 360 Magazine, where our audience is your intended and desired talent pool. This ensures you have tapped into the directly aligned candidates who are actively looking for their next project, program, or portfolio role. Certified PMPs already come here to find everything from articles and podcasts created by PMPs to ebooks and project templates. So they’re a captive audience likely open to or actively seeking project management roles.  


2. Post-role-specific details – avoid general job descriptions

It’s essential to post role-specific details to ensure you’re attracting the right person and skills for the job. The more the candidate understands the specific role, the more likely your company can attract the skills and knowledge to meet the challenges. When ambiguous project descriptions are posted, it can underpin what’s required from a candidate and attract a flurry of resumes that miss the mark. This is a disservice to your company, your time as a recruiter, and the candidates that apply. 

Focus and expand on the critical elements that potential candidates might find challenging. Don’t worry about scaring away talent, there are plenty of PMPs who are up for the challenge. This way, you can expect that the candidates who apply can handle the complexities of your projects, company, and sector. 

3. Put your best foot forward when it comes to salary

Once you’ve interviewed and hired the successful candidate, it’s critical that your company recognizes that remuneration is a key element in attracting and retaining talent. While many candidates these days look for so much more than a high salary, it is an essential factor in whether top talent believes your company aligns with what they are bringing to the table as well. 

Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates that it costs employers an average of $4,129 to hire an employee, and it takes approximately 42 days to fill an open position. Attractive role-specific compensation is vital considering the cost to hire employees increases proportionately based on the duration of the search, job role, and salary range. Remember, it can be much more costly to re-hire talent and even more so if you can’t replace them. Your role as a recruiter is difficult enough without having to recruit multiple times for the same project roles.

4. Offer project managers the benefits and perks that matter to them

Salaries aren’t the only factor in attracting talent. There are other benefits and perks that matter to project managers. Millennials and Gen Zers are also interested in other perks and are willing to take a slightly lower salary in exchange for an attractive benefits package, retirement plan, or perks:

  • 60% of Gen Z are willing to take a better benefits package in exchange for 10% less pay.
  • 60% of Gen Z rate benefits and retirement packages higher on their list versus other perks.

With more demand for top project talent than available talent, it can sometimes come down to your company’s benefits and perks that make the difference. Make sure to look at what your company’s competitors are offering and find ways to stand out as a top employer.

5. Remain flexible

Above all else, remaining flexible in where you are going to attract top project managers, adapting recruiting practices, and matching compensation to meet potential candidates will be key to recruiting and keeping the top project managers in a highly competitive space. 


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