Project Management

4 Ways to Future-Proof Your Workforce

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I was talking to a head of HR recently who was looking to develop a program for his company that would not only improve their ability to hire and retain project managers, but also to attract people who had the potential to become project managers in the future. That seems really important and worth exploring.

In particular, I want to consider the future element—not just recruiting people to lead projects today, but recruiting people who can grow with the business and become project managers in the future to ease any supply issues over the coming years. That obviously requires the ability to identify the people who have the ability and inclination to move into project management.

But what do those people look like? What skills and attributes should organizations be looking for?

1. Hire for tomorrow’s skills, not yesterday’s
The first thing to note is that the skills that will make project managers successful in the future are different from the ones that made them successful in the past. The role is evolving away from management and toward leadership, and that needs to be reflected in job descriptions and skills profiles.

In some ways, that makes it harder to hire for future PMs—you can train hard skills far easier than you can develop soft skills. There also needs to be a foundational interest and comfort among potential future project …

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The only people who find what they are looking for in life are the fault finders.

- Foster's Law