Q&A Project Management Careers

Each month we feature a Question and Answer section in the monthly newsletter Tipoffs and I’m also the careers columist for PMI’s subscription magazine PM Network (the last one is here for you to take a look at). So I thought why not start something up on the Camel – after all, the Camel is all about careers and recruitment in project management. We already have the Project Management Recruitment Ideas as a series of advice style postings but the Q&A Project Management Careers is giving you an option to post a question directly to me. You can do this on any blog posting – including this one – or just send it through on the Contact Us form. Just let me know if you prefer to be kept anonymous.

Here’s the last Q&A we did for the August Tipoffs newsletter, just to give you a flavour:

“Why is there a change in how recruitment is being conducted – the process is taking so long!” – Lakshmi, Manchester
Thank you for your very valid question – firstly let me begin by stating that not all employers are taking their time with the recruitment process but yes there is a notable shift in how organisations are bringing new talent on board. There are a number of reasons for this shift; one being that “sign off” or approval for roles is taking much longer as financial directors are pressured to consider every cost independently and stick to tight budgets. This may mean that line managers are instructed to go ahead and start the process of engaging with recruitment agencies whilst sign off is being sought.

Another reason is that organisations are spending a good deal of time ensuring they are scoping the roles sufficiently and creating very strong “wish lists” – therefore when CVs go through to HR for sifting they are taking longer to review. Also bear in mind there is a great deal of competition out there – with typically 100+ applications for any one role and in some cases 200+, this is slowing down the process for employers dealing with recruitment in-house.

OK so we have covered a number of areas in regards to in-house process but there are other elements to consider such as the shift from traditional contractor position interviews being a one hour CV Q&A, offer and jump on board swiftly – start to end of process (from CV being presented to line manager to start) within 2-4 days. Now we have requests for candidates to take tests, competency based interviews at two stages and presentations also; stretching the process out to often two weeks before a contractor begins the new assignment. As the contractor recruitment is moving toward the traditional permanent recruitment route the shift on the permanent side has also shifted to much more stringent testing also.

When applying for positions ensure you ask the question – what is the process? When your CV is being forwarded to employers through recruitment agencies, agree a communications plan with your agent. This should ensure you are kept in the loop without having to resort to pester!

Image © SMJJP and used with permission.
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  1. Good post on an issue I have faced a number of times on new positions, especially with larger organizations. I work in the US, and since I transitioned to contract work recently, I have found that the recruitment process is much shorter.

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