How to Find the Right Construction Project Manager
By Nathan | Posted on March 24th, 2015
There are a lot of elements that go into the completion of a successful construction project. The type of project itself, the project's planning and scheduling, the weather and other environmental factors, the equipment used, the work force hired, and the project manager. While all of these factors are important in their own ways, the single most vital item could well be the selection of the construction project manager. This individual impacts on every facet of a project, from planning to supply acquisition, to hiring and report filing.
If you're wondering how to hire a project manager? Or where does one go to hire this paragon of well, everything on a construction project? And what should one look for during the recruitment process? The ideal candidate for this type of job has a strong business and management background, plus excellent verbal and writing skills. Given our rapidly shrinking planet and increasingly diverse work force, it wouldn't hurt if he or she was bilingual, environmentally savvy, and knowledgeable in the area of construction technology. Hiring a project manager that can use software like Raken's for daily reporting is essentially killing two birds with one stone. And oh, yeah. Since managing a construction site actually isn't much like managing a grocery store or a bank, it would be a good idea to find a candidate with a background (and preferably hands-on experience) in construction as well.
Colleges with construction management programs such as Kennesaw State University often offer apprenticeships and other hands-on training experience to their students, offering the best of both book learning and actual work in the field. But don't expect these graduates to be hanging around employment offices waiting for you to find them. Instead, in addition to looking for them on all forms of social media, try monster.com, HomeAdvisor, and the websites of professional organizations like Associated Builders And Contractors (ABC).
Make sure that you know what specifically you need from a manager before beginning the hiring process, and put it in writing. Make sure to include required educational training as well as job experience. When interviewing, establish both business and construction work experience. Also ask about:
- Skills that candidate feels are important for project management
- Skills candidate can bring to your project
- Descriptions of past projects candidate has worked on
- Unique skills candidate has that might be useful on construction sites
Construction firms should also be willing to extend some flexibility to the right candidate ("parent hours" and minor accommodations for some impairments) and be open-minded about some innovations that a new project manager might want to introduce. With patience and careful selection, a firm may end up hiring a construction project manager who is not only a pleasant co-worker, but a profitable asset.