At KDC, our position in the aerospace and defence engineering sector means we get to see the intricate workings of various projects. One thing that appears to happen all too often is project managers and heads of programmes dealing with recruitment and onboarding processes.
As a recruitment company, we decided to look into this further to identify the problem and consider some solutions. So, why are project managers hiring staff and what is this doing to their projects?
Currently, there appears to be a running concern with project managers and heads of programmes conducting their recruitment processes. While these fall into the HR job role, it is having an impact on productivity and success.
Importantly, time spent on interviews and reviewing CVs means less time focusing on key wins, sales processes, and, well, project management. In turn, this leads to missed deadlines and burn-out. After all, project management is a difficult job in itself, and if recruitment is thrown into the mix, it can be easy to stretch oneself too thin.
Also, project and line managers can easily become involved in coordination processes. While these begin to drift into the role of a project manager, they are as removed from the job description as recruitment.
Importantly, this all boils down to time lost and reduced productivity. While it is vital to have the right talent to ensure a project’s success, it is equally vital to have a focused project manager and programme head.
Anyone who has worked on a complex project before will probably know the answer to this question. It mainly boils down to the fact that project managers will usually have the correct specialist knowledge to hire the right talent for the job. After all, the best person to judge someone’s specialism is another specialist.
While it would be unfair to say anything negative about HR employees, it is unreasonable to assume they would have the right knowledge to a specialist engineer for an aerospace or defence project. There is an important difference between a good-looking CV and a talented, appropriate candidate.
Therefore, it is understandable why project managers and programme heads would want to be involved in the recruitment process. They want the best for their project, and the only way to guarantee this is to hire the right people. Unfortunately, balancing their full job role against extra recruitment work is not easy or productive.
Arguably, the solution is to connect with people who specialise in both fields. By combining engineering and recruitment knowledge, it is possible to provide the best of both worlds. It is unreasonable to expect HR employees to learn engineering, just as it is unreasonable to expect engineers to learn recruitment processes.
Recruitment is a time-consuming process, particularly when sourcing specialist talent. Roles that receive a high volume of applications can take months to fulfil, even working full time. As we know, this is valuable time that project managers and programme heads cannot afford to lose.
One way to handle this balance between specialisms is to outsource. Using a company that knows both engineering and recruitment means you are more likely to get the right candidates (or at least an appropriate shortlist) and do not have to spend time doing it yourself. It would be a win for everyone.