The wrong kind of Project Manager!

The latest monthly UK Report on Jobs from KPMG and REC** published today indicates that whilst the job market remains significantly impacted by the effects of Coronavirus; there has been a bounce back from the depths seen in the immediate aftermath of the lockdown during June.

As can be seen in the figure below, activity levels across the UK recruitment sector for both Permanent and Temporary have been significantly hit for the last four months from their pre-COVID 19 levels.

Whilst the general picture of the market is always interesting as we have said at Arras People over the years for most Project Management practitioners “the market” is a mythical thing. We always advise that practitioners make sure that they focus on “their market” ie. the parts of the market that their skillset will allow them to access.

As in any depression of the market there will be winners and losers, with some sectors being buoyant, even though the general market is depressed; and skillsets such as Business Transformation are in demand as organisations look to adjust to their new realities.

This is further highlighted in the report when they look at “Demand for Skills” for both Permanent and Temporary roles. Project Management managed to appear in 3 of the 4 categories;

Skills in Short Supply: Temporary Staff  – Project Managers

Skills in Excess Supply: Temporary Staff  – Project Managers

Skills in Excess Supply: Permanent Staff  – Project Managers

Whilst this may not seem logical initially, the fact that the survey includes recruiters across all sectors means that they all have a different view of short and excess depending on the levels of demand from their clients and applications from candidates.

The situation highlights that in project management it is possible to have the wrong skill set when judged against what the market is looking for. All project managers are not equal when it comes to looking for a job and as much as it hurts to say it, project management skills are not always transferable.

So, like the wrong leaves on the track which caused so many problems for commuters in years gone by it is possible to be “The wrong kind of Project Manager” and you need to factor this into your thinking when looking for a new role.

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