Project Management Professional (PMP)® Articles - Six Tips for Selecting the Best Talent for Your Teams

Six Tips for Selecting the Best Talent for Your Teams

Do you think of your project management team as a group of all-stars? If not, you should! When we talk about project management, we often talk about how important it is to implement the right leadership principles. However, it is just as important to find the best team members from the start. Putting together the right team is just as crucial as the management tactics you use.

There is so much to look out for that it can feel overwhelming to find someone who is the best fit for your teams. If you are new to putting together project teams, or want a more detailed list of what to look for, check out this cheat sheet for tips on selecting the best talent for your teams.

Align The Project's Scope With Your Needs

Before you write a job description or reach out to your personal and professional networks for candidate referrals, you need to start with your project needs and the scope. Every project is different and unique, and you not only need someone with the right skills but a professional who has the personality to handle the type of tasks that come your way. Are deadlines fluid? Is location-independent work involved? Are some parts of the project highly-collaborative? It helps to understand what the requirements and challenges could be so you can plan for the professionals that you need.

Create Job Descriptions That Acknowledge The Realities and Challenges

Yes, at this point, we all know how important it is to create well-drafted job descriptions. You likely know how crucial it is to include the requirements and qualifications you are seeking. Nevertheless, there is one thing many leave out when discussing jobs and assignments: realistic challenges. While you don't want to turn people off, you want to give them an honest look at what working with you will look like.

A report by LinkedIn found that job details were the third most important part of the job description, and this information falls into that category. This step is where honesty comes into play. How many hours can they expect to work a week? Will there be weekly meetings that they need to prepare reports for? Are there software tools they need to have experience with? The job description should give candidates an accurate look at what they can expect. Doing this will ensure that you are finding people who are compatible with your project needs.

Use Their Resume to Match Their Skills With Your Needs

A resume is an excellent tool for seeing how candidates can fit into your project team. This is where you can see if they meet your preliminary requirements and should move forward through the interview. Here are a couple of tricks to move through this process efficiently:

  1. Use digital tools to look out for keywords: You likely used some specific terms and phrases within the job description. To get a quick feel for the most compatible candidates, you can search for various keywords throughout the resumes submitted. The average recruiter takes six seconds to scan a resume, and this tactic likely makes it possible to find individuals who should move onto the next phase quickly.
  2. Pull out the hi-lighter and pen - Once you have narrowed your search down to five to seven candidates, you want to get a sense for who your frontrunners are. One trick is to print out the preferred applicant's resumes and highlight some skills you know you need for your project. This could be software proficiencies, specific technical skills, or previous experiences that could help propel your project forward.

The resume is a great blueprint to get a detailed view of a potential candidate. You can then start to match their qualifications and experiences with what you are looking for.

Ask Scenario-Based Questions During the Interview

Skills are excellent, but you also want to know how they will use them once they are working on a project. The interview is a way to get to know potential candidates, but you also want to use it to assess their ability to be an asset.

Strength and weakness-based questions, descriptions of past experiences, and goal-related inquiries are important. Nevertheless, you want to get to the heart of what they can bring. This reason is why scenario-based interview questions are great to use in these situations. You are going to want to know:

  • How they handle tight deadlines
  • How they will get along with team members who have a different way of doing things
  • If they are responsive
  • How they handle project setbacks

Look at some of the everyday occurrences that happen when you need to meet a deadline and turn them into questions. You can then assess their answers and further analyze whether they are a fit.

Understand Their Personality Type

You don't want to pass on someone just because of their personality, but you do want to find individuals who fit with yourself and the staff you already have in place. You want a balance between individuals of various personality types. Additionally, you always want to know how a potential candidate communicates with others, and the environment in which they are most productive.

Knowing this enables you to understand the best settings to put them in and how you should best motivate and engage them. For example, more introverted candidates may feel more comfortable working alone and having meetings scheduled in advance so they can plan for them. It's vital that you understand this aspect and put the individual in a setting where they can be the most successful. There are many pre-employment personality tests out there; check out this list to see the one that works best for you and your team.

Hire Individuals on a Trial Basis

You may have found someone who is the best fit for what you need. However, even if they seem like a great fit, one of the best ways to determine if they should be a permanent fixture of the team is hiring them on a trial basis. Allow them to work with you and your team on a project.

Give them all the information they need to excel and watch how they interact with everyone and collaborate to complete the project. You can set goals, notify them of expectations, and give them a genuine experience of what it would be like to work with your team. This tactic enables you to either hire them permanently or pass if one or both of you feel that they are not a fit.

Selecting the Best Talent is One of the First Crucial Steps to Project Success

"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." - Phil Jackson, NBA Coach

This quote and the sentiment behind it is true for yourself and the projects you have undertaken. You want to hire the most skilled individuals; however, you want to ensure they are also a great fit for the team regarding personality, collaboration, and their willingness to use their talents to support the team. The right team members can help you propel your team forward and better meet your project completion goals, and this all starts with your selection process.


6 Stats That Will Change the Way You Write Job Posts,

2020 HR Statistics: Job Search, Hiring, Recruiting & Interviews,

Get to Know the 5 Most Popular Pre-Employment Personality Tests,