How to find good people

Posted by Richard Johnson on 14 January 2011

As you may have noticed we are searching for the next addition to the GPMD team in the form of an experienced Project Manager. It's actually proving quite difficult to find candidates altogether. Here's what we have tried so far:

The job spec

We looked into what needs to be included and what the priorities are within a good spec. After three or four iterations we finally had something that we all felt represented the type of person we are looking for. To make sure we hadn't made any glaring mistakes; we sent the spec out to a few project managers that we know (these guys already have good jobs so they weren't interested). They gave us a little more feedback on bits that we should adjust, such as including more about the people in our team and what our culture is. The spec is now ready.

Promoting the role

The next step is to get the spec out there. We tried posting an ad on Gumtree (I've always had good experiences in the past), no responses, Econsultancy (the industry leading website), no responses and obviously it's on our own website, again, no responses. Oh dear! LinkedIn then started to receive posts form GPMD's IP address. We must have posted it at least 25 times in different groups and job boards including all the main project management ones. Still nothing! 

The link to the spec was also posted on Facebook, Twitter, various forums (including .Net Magazine and SilverStripe) and announced at some London meetup groups.

Recruitment researcher

Our chairman Lawrence suggested that we work with a recruitment researcher to help us identify potential candidates and to approach them on our behalf. So we started working with Isabelle, who is great. She vets any CV's we receive and also searches for good people based on our criteria. We'll see how this works out, but as of the date of this post, we haven't had any success. 

Recruitment agencies

Now I personally have a problem with most recruitment agencies. Especially the ones that try to charge you 20% of a persons salary, for which they post your advert on Gumtree and other websites. That isn't providing an intelligent, recruitment service is it! Nice try though. However, we've now started to look for specialist recruiment agencies, ones that focus on project management positions and hopefuly have long standing relationships with candidates. The other issue is that 20% of a £35k - £45k salary is a lot of money for a small, service based agency. 

My take on Project Managers in UK

From what I can gather a large percentage of Project Managers work for a few agencies, move up to mid - senior level and then go freelance so that they can charge £300 per day. This makes sense to me but why isn't there another group of PM's that prefer working for a company with security? Do enough agencies offer decent career progression for Project Managers? Where to you go after you reach Senior Project Manager? Project Director? I'd be interested to hear other peoples thoughts on this. 

What are we missing? 

After reading this post do you think we are missing anything in our recruitment process? Can you recommend anyone? or anywhere where we should advertise? 


Comments (1)

  • Irfan Irfan on October 29th, 2011


    Having been a project manager myself and now moved into business analysis I know a bit about what project managers do apart from going into contacting. A natural progression for a PM would be programme manager where you would manage a large programme of a work which would consist a number of junior and senior project managers working under you. After this you would tend to go onto managing departments within a business i.e the delivery function within an I.t department. I would gladly provide some feedback on your Job spec feel free to send it over.

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