Questions to Ask Your Staffing Partner: Leadership Acumen vs Technical Qualifications

As we’ve covered in previous posts, staffing project leaders requires a specialization that goes beyond staffing technical roles.  This series will cover questions you need to ask prospective staffing partners to ensure they have what it takes to deliver excellent project managers, and other project leadership roles.

How do they vet out leadership skills and project results?

An emphasis on PMP certifiable skills should be a very big red flag and you should maybe only keep this firm on your vendor list for technical roles. A search of resumes and a basic phone screen is not sufficient; if they cannot say that they have an in-depth phone interview with a project management expert on their team, then it is hard to imagine how they have determined their candidates are differentiators beyond simple trial-and-error with past clients.

The right staffing firm will need a two-step verification process (see our last post for more detail) to get close enough to the bullseye to be worth your investment.

How do they know their candidates?

It takes an intimate knowledge to find excellent project leaders. Does the staffing firm just reach out to candidates online, or do they know them?

Look for a firm that has a presence in the field of project management. For example, they are active in the project management community, have worked with their contractors in the past, are members of user groups and professional development organizations, are attending seminars and networking events, have an organic network referrals, and so forth.

To learn how to test whether a staffing firm values quality over quantity, see our last blog post.

You can access our full Staffing white paper here.