Recruitment : 14 questions to ask yourself before recruiting the members of a project team

IT recruitment : 14 questions to ask yourself before recruiting the members of a project team

Recruitment is essential for business solution development. Putting together a productive project team is one of the vital elements in project management. Efficient recruitment is complex. There are a host of points to take into consideration when setting out to recruit team members. Here are 14 tips to guide you through the process.


Before the recruitment process


1 – Defining the goals and objectives of each recruitment campaign

Do you need to acquire expertise that does not exist inside the organization? Are you seeking to expand a project team to meet a temporary demand for manpower?


The answers to these questions are the first step in the recruitment process. It is imperative to define the goals and objectives of each recruitment campaign. You will be able to target the right candidates for the type of job you’re offering: a permanent or contractual job.


2 – Defining the number of resources you need

What determines the number of resources to be recruited? An ad hoc need for a temporary replacement? A particular corporate strategy? What are the plans for all projects in the organization’s project portfolio?


You need to define your needs. Recruitment has to help you with achieving your goals defined above.


3 – Putting together a project team

What will be the makeup of the team you are putting together? What resources do you need (internal or external resources, rookies or veterans, specialists or generalists)? Will it be necessary to do knowledge transfer to make sure the expertise remains available over the long term?


Define what type of job you are offering to your future team members. Also, target the skills you are looking for.


4 – Temporary resources and permanent employees

Will permanent employees currently working in the company’s business units can be assigned to the project? Are you recruiting temporary resources to replace them? At the end of the project, will these permanent employees go back to the positions they held before they were given the project?


Assess the members who already make up your internal team: your full-time employees. You know the way they work, you know their skills and you know that you can trust them. Some could participate in the smooth running of your project. Why not temporarily assign permanent employees to your project?


5 – Advantages to be assigned to the project for permanent employees

If you entrust a project to permanent employees, what will be the impact on their career path? What are your human resources’ policies? Do the organization’s human resources policies allow employees to secure promotions when they are assigned to projects? What advantages do your permanent employees have to be assigned to the project?


When a permanent employee gets a promotion with more responsibilities, he expects a salary increase (or other types of promotions). Reinvent yourself and offer real benefits to your employees. This will motivate them to participate in the project.


6 – Preparing the recruitment

Who will take care of drawing up task descriptions for each of the positions to be filled?

Create a clear but nice job offer. Take out your greatest writing skills and explain the job description, the responsibilities, the qualifications and expertise required, the level of experience, etc. Add a human touch by giving examples of the working atmosphere, talk about your enterprise’s values, etc.


7 – Compensation

Are there issues of equity regarding your company’s compensation plan between recruits and existing employees? Recruits are not always students who just came out of school. It can be a specialist who has many years of expertise. How will you handle his compensation?


Often the market for the experts required for a project is difficult to compare with the compensation plan for permanent employees.


During recruitment


8 – Soliciting applications

What mechanism will be used to solicit applications? Will ads be published on recruitment sites? Will social networks such as LinkedIn be used or will a head-hunter be engaged?


Target the best platforms to target the best candidates. Every field of expertise is different so you must research what platform gives better results for your type of company. Then, find the best ways to recruit.


9 – Preparing interview

Who will prepare the grids for interviewing and analyzing applications? Which managers are best placed to conduct interviews? Will the human resources department be involved in the process?


By establishing grids, you ensure that every candidate is submitted to the same questions and is subjected to the same context. Your analysis grid will then be effective to target candidates who have stood out. Divide the tasks (creation of grids, preparation and analysis of interviews) according to each person’s skills in your team.


10 – Recruitment management

Will all the recruitment activities be managed centrally, or will each project team manage its hirings?


In other words, choose if the human resources department will manage all the recruitment.


After recruitment


11 – Selecting candidates

After the interviews will come to a selection of candidates and a validation of references. You will also be negotiating agreements for permanent, temporary or contract positions. Will you call on your company’s purchasing department to negotiate agreements with resources from consulting firms? Will you call on your company’s human resources department?


12 – Welcome procedure

How will you welcome the newly recruited resources? Do you have procedures to make the welcoming process more efficient? How will you assess their performances?


You will need to think about performance evaluation grids and career development plans for your new resources. This is how they will improve. It is also how you will achieve the goals (see #1). It is also by assessing the quality and performance of the candidates that you can measure the quality of your recruitment.


13 – Keeping talents

What measures will have to be taken to keep talents who are in high demand on the market inside the company? Are there measures that already exist? How competitive is the organization regarding holding onto specialized resources?


Target the benefits of your company policy. Compensation, benefits, working atmosphere, corporate values, etc. Why should your employees continue to work for your company rather than working for your competitor?


14 – Consulting firms

What are the organization’s policies regarding hiring consultants? Have consulting firms already been designated by the procurement department for each of the categories of expertise that your organization needs most frequently?


A consulting firm, as is PlanAxion, can be very useful in successfully carrying out an IT project. Besides, they have a large network of different resources to meet all the needs of your business project. Consulting firms simplify and accelerate recruitment. We have also written an article to help you maximize the potential of your partnership with such firms.


You just read about our 14 tips to guide you through the recruitment process. Given all the considerations set out above, it is easy to understand why selection, recruitment and retention of the members of a team are among a project manager’s chief responsibilities.


Jean-François Desroches is a Program Manager at PlanAxion Solutions.
He can be reached at