A Project Leader Isn’t a Gallon of Milk: How a Commodity Approach to Staffing Costs Organizations Time, Money and Morale
Far too many organizations treat staffing project leaders like they treat grocery shopping. So long as a staffing company is providing them with a bevy of resumes with competitive prices and a good return policy, many organizations are content to shop there.
The problem is that, unlike with a gallon of milk, quality varies when shopping for project managers, and choosing the wrong product costs an organization’s time, dollars, morale, and efficiency. The impact of a poor hire is multiplied when it occurs at such a crucial position as a project manager.
Yet, when organizations are looking for temporary project staffing, they often provide themselves unrealistic timelines and budgets that force them to abandon the fundamental best practices that they employ with traditional hiring processes. Traditional staffing companies use a wholesale approach of providing “good-enough” resumes at bargain prices that come with additional costs that are much larger than the savings they provide.
A “boutique approach” offers advantages that are invaluable when compared to the marginal savings provided by traditional staffing companies:
An organization that staffs only project managers, with decades of experience in the project management field is able to spot bullseye candidates. The technical skills that make a solid developer are different from the soft skills that make a great project manager, and an organization that has the expertise to discern the great leaders from the minimally qualified is invaluable. This keeps you from wasting cycles wading through unspectacular candidates, and it ensures that you get a project manager with the soft skills necessary to lead projects, which will dramatically improve your project success rate.
An excellent experience doesn’t stop once an excellent project manager is selected. Whereas traditional firms use a Drop-and-Run approach with their candidates, a boutique firm understands that cultural fit is crucial to a great candidate’s success. Not only is finding the right candidate much more complicated than finding a good gallon of milk, but resolving issues post-purchase is also not nearly as simple as bringing a receipt to the store for an exchange. Project Assistants has an internal status reporting system to ensure our project managers are identifying and addressing key client and project challenges, and we have the consultants who can jump in to preempt any issues.
You may periodically find an acceptable candidate from the bargain rack, but you’ll eventually get a sour batch that will pour those “savings” down the drain.