You know as well as I do that the need for a vanilla project manager rarely is the case. Each PM role has specific requirements. These may be related to industry knowledge, a line of business within an industry, or even technical experience. A client may require a background with a specific PM methodology (Agile, waterfall, etc.), regulatory experience (Basel III, ICD-10, etc.), a PMP certification, or specific technical experience like SDLC. Any of these factors may include or exclude a candidate from consideration. Therefore, as a recruiter I must understand your specific PM experiences and technical skill set so I can properly match them to our open jobs’ requirements.
Yes, it’s virtually a lock that a seasoned project manager will have more IT experience than many recruiters, and that’s exactly why it’s incumbent upon the former to convey their work history. In turn, it is imperative that the recruiter ask questions, to fully understand the information being relayed. Whether a recruiter may or may not see a better ‘fit’ for the role, a good recruiter will want to dig deep and fully understand your background. It will enable him/her to best match you to a role, and forward this information to their sales representative or client.
One common area of contention between recruiter and project manager can be when a recruiter asks the question: ‘What technologies do you typically oversee in your projects?’ It’s a question that can cause a PM to quickly point out that she/he ‘is not a coder’ and that they can manage any set of technologies. Of course, there is a difference between managing a project with mainframe applications and one with web services, and a recruiter is simply trying to determine where a candidate’s strengths lie. This is crucial in making sure the position is the right match for the candidate and vice versa.
The connection between a project manager candidate and a recruiter is a collaboration of efforts and a partnership. If projects are explained properly in an initial conversation, it will enable a recruiter to isolate requirements that truly fit your background and also allow you to gain trust in that recruiter during subsequent conversations. The time spent working with the right recruiter can result in a partnership that ultimately leads to greater opportunities for a project manager.
At Bridge, project management is without doubt our fastest growing practice area, as we see more and more companies looking to fill these roles. I cannot emphasize enough that it is in your best interest to develop strong relationships with recruiters now, so that when you need a job later, we can help. You never know what opportunities you are opening up after just a brief into and conversation with a recruiter. If you have any questions about working with staffing firms or would like to chat more about this post, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or link in with me.
Tom DeQuattro is an Account Manager at Bridge Technical Talent.
Read the other posts in this career ‘series’: