Project Management Central

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Casual Job Title for Project Coordinator
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As job seeker, I have been noticing lately a lot of job descriptions for project coordinators. This a great thing, but upon further reading, it is more of an Administration/Executive Assistant role.
For example, one company is hiring for a PC. You work along side senior PM's during projects. Great! But, if the company is having an event, you have to plan that. Or, you have to arrange travel for senior executives. Is that really a project coordinator role?

I think companies are asking for project management skills without fully realizing what those skills entail.

Anyone else notice these type of job descriptions?
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Ed, I have been doing some research on project management roles in a specific industry. I have found that more companies are using Project Coordinator and Project Analyst/Business Analyst for more junior PMs. The reason from the few people I have spoken to is because it allows hiring managers to pay a lower rate and use resources as a pair of hands to perform more administrative tasks.

Another reason for the PC title is the perception and connotation of what an Administrative/Executive Assistant is and duties that she/he perform. Another role I have come across is PMA (Project Management Assistant).

I agree that some hiring managers and recruiters do not fully realize what skills are needed for project management roles, which is why job descriptions are poorly written and not geared toward professional project management professionals.
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1 reply by Ed Tsyitee Jr
Jun 05, 2017 7:30 PM
Ed Tsyitee Jr
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That's interesting. It's odd that we see it in professions that seemingly don't have any actual job descriptions or roles, such as human resources. I don't think I've seen any accounting roles that were more administrative than accounting. I'll keep looking.
Network:3121



Interesting question to pose. I have seen some of what Jemani has mentioned, in that this role is used for Junior PM's as they grow into a PM position. I've also been in situations where a person with these skills was desperately needed, with their administrative like skills, to help ease the burden on overworked PM's. However, I'm sure it's tough to justify the coordinator position, so often organizations use it as a catch all to loop in other administrative tasks. Sadly, this may result in having someone great at keeping track of check boxes but not able to think analytically like a PM.
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1 reply by Ed Tsyitee Jr
Jun 05, 2017 7:28 PM
Ed Tsyitee Jr
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The reason I ask this is..what if someone were wanting to earn the PMP certification? How would you gain project hours if you aren't really working on any projects? I myself would be frustrated if I took on a project coordinator role with it really having to do with any projects.
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Agree with what's said. However, if the organisation has a PMO or/and has an only project, then there will be no need to hire a PM as long as there's someone fulfilling that role.
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Jun 03, 2017 7:08 PM
Replying to Liana Underwood
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Interesting question to pose. I have seen some of what Jemani has mentioned, in that this role is used for Junior PM's as they grow into a PM position. I've also been in situations where a person with these skills was desperately needed, with their administrative like skills, to help ease the burden on overworked PM's. However, I'm sure it's tough to justify the coordinator position, so often organizations use it as a catch all to loop in other administrative tasks. Sadly, this may result in having someone great at keeping track of check boxes but not able to think analytically like a PM.
The reason I ask this is..what if someone were wanting to earn the PMP certification? How would you gain project hours if you aren't really working on any projects? I myself would be frustrated if I took on a project coordinator role with it really having to do with any projects.
Network:289



Jun 03, 2017 3:00 PM
Replying to Jermani Thompson
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Ed, I have been doing some research on project management roles in a specific industry. I have found that more companies are using Project Coordinator and Project Analyst/Business Analyst for more junior PMs. The reason from the few people I have spoken to is because it allows hiring managers to pay a lower rate and use resources as a pair of hands to perform more administrative tasks.

Another reason for the PC title is the perception and connotation of what an Administrative/Executive Assistant is and duties that she/he perform. Another role I have come across is PMA (Project Management Assistant).

I agree that some hiring managers and recruiters do not fully realize what skills are needed for project management roles, which is why job descriptions are poorly written and not geared toward professional project management professionals.
That's interesting. It's odd that we see it in professions that seemingly don't have any actual job descriptions or roles, such as human resources. I don't think I've seen any accounting roles that were more administrative than accounting. I'll keep looking.
Network:1201



Different organisations will have varying definitions around job roles and titles. Best to read through the specs, use your best judgement. If it sounds good, questions to gather more details can be asked during an interview.

I have seen plenty of Associate Project Manager jobs that would be a better way to go, maybe Project Analyst, but that depends on their definition.
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Another thing that can be added is that the fact that recruiters fail to describe the skills required for project management professionals is due to the lack of knowledge and maturity in project management.
Network:1048



I totally agree with Andrew!
I have also seen that JD and titles do not match sometimes. SO, better you collect proper inputs from HR or during the interviews and select wisely.
Network:289



It's just added due diligence when job searching. With project management skills being the hot skill trend, I think hiring mangers/HR/recruiters need to understand what project management is and what that skill set really means.
Network:97



Ed, I agree. You really see this a lot in higher education. I have seen project coordinator titles with job description have nothing to do with projects. At least here, it has to do with the titles the State allows us to use.

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