According to a recent Career Builder survey, 74% of employers report having experienced "bad hiring". The study estimates that the costs associated with a recruitment error average $20,000, while those associated with the loss of a good employee increase to $40,000. When it comes to project management positions, I believe that these amounts can easily triple, if not quadruple. Here's why.


Hiring the wrong project manager: a threat to the company

A project manager can be assigned major projects, representing investments of millions of dollars and involving a multitude of stakeholders, both internally and externally. When a the wrong candidate makes mistakes, the impact can be much more serious than what emerges from the survey - it could be devastating for the company.


The many impacts of poor hiring

When asked how poor hiring has affected their company, survey respondents testify to the magnitude of the impact:

- 37% experienced a decrease in productivity

- 32% lost time recruiting and training a new employee

- 31% reported that the quality of work had been compromised

The survey also reveals that two in three workers (66%) accepted a job and later found that it was not suitable for them, and that half of them (33%) quit within six months of hiring. This means that other employees continue to work in a position that does not suit them!


Project management in difficulty

Transposed into the world of project management, these observations could explain the difficulties encountered in the field over the past ten years. A recent survey conducted by Wellingtone PPM Intelligence presents a disappointing picture of project delivery in the United Kingdom:

- Only 37% of projects are completed on time

- Only 35% deliver the expected benefits

- Only 42% are completed on budget

When it comes to millions of dollars in investments, imagine the losses associated with such results!


Success factors in project management

My decades of experience in project management, both locally and internationally, have shown me that the most important factors for success are governance (including high-calibre training) and the quality of teams. Companies in the United Kingdom (where this survey was conducted) would be well advised to pay more attention to these two "must-haves" of project management success if they wish to improve their results.

Don't let poor hiring or inadequate training undermine the performance of your teams. To properly define your recruitment needs and find the right project management specialists, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Roger Croteau

President and founder of PM Finder, a company specializing in the recruitment of project management professionals, Roger Croteau has more than 35 years of experience in the field. He has held senior positions in large telecommunications and engineering organizations, as well as in municipal government.