If you can’t keep up with scheduling and delegating tasks or manage the workload of your team, you need a project manager.
When your company is in the growing stage with more resources being added to the team every month and more tasks just pile up, you need someone to manage the team and the tasks. You need a skilled resource to ensure timely project completion.
According to 2020’s Pulse of the Profession from Project Management Institute, organizations that undervalued project management as a key competency for driving change reported 67% of their projects completely failing.
Most businesses put off hiring a project manager for far too long, believing it to be unnecessary – until it becomes brutally essential.
Knowing when, why, and how to hire a freelance project manager takes vision, but there are certain markers along the way that may help you develop your vision and hire the best resource.
Who is a Freelance Project Manager?
Freelance project managers are in charge of project planning, execution, monitoring, control, and closure. They play an important role within the entire project scope, as they manage the team and resources, the project budget, and define strategies.
Freelance project managers are basically specialists who take ownership of project objectives and utilize their skills and experience to instil a feeling of shared purpose into the project team.
They thrive in high-pressure work environments and are at ease with change and complexity in fast-paced settings. They are able to comprehend the big picture and never miss even the slightest of details.
What Does a Freelance Project Manager Do?
The project manager is in charge of the project's day-to-day operations and must be capable of handling the six project aspects: scope, schedule, finances, risk, quality, and resources.
Freelance project managers work on particular projects with specified objectives, time and financial constraints.
Their main responsibilities typically include:
Determining what work has to be done, when it needs to be done, and who will be responsible for it
Assessing and managing the risks associated with a certain project
Ensuring that the job is completed while keeping in mind quality and efficiency
Coordinating the efforts of several individuals
Ensuring that the project is completed on schedule and within budget
Coping with project modifications as they arise
Ensuring that the project yields the desired results and benefits
How to Hire a Freelance Project Manager?
Be Clear with Your Requirements
Before you learn how to hire a project manager, you should consider why you're hiring this person in the first place. What are your expectations with hiring a project manager for your business?
The more precise you can be about what you need, the smaller the pool of potential project managers will become.
For example, if you know you'll need help with your video content, you won’t look up to anybody who hasn't worked with video before. This will save you a lot of time and effort.
Consider what kind of projects you'll assign to your project manager. What is the first thing you need them to do? Know your priorities and convey them clearly.
Write a Good Project Brief
To attract the cream of the crop, a good project brief is required. Include the job title as well as a brief description of who you are and what you can offer.
Make sure you know exactly what you want and where you're searching. Any uncertainty in this area will lead to misunderstandings in the long run.
In the project brief, there are a few points that must be addressed. The first is project length and time expectations – tell them how long you'd want to hire them for and what capacity you'd like them to work in.
Make sure you're clear on what kind of experience you want them to have and if there's anything particular you're looking for.
While you should avoid making your brief too lengthy, this is the point to talk about your reasonable expectations.
Check Out Freelance Marketplaces
Hiring a freelance project manager means seeking out the absolute best candidate with a wide range of skill sets covering web development, planning, and communication.
Not all online job boards, agencies, and job marketplaces are created equal. Some offer quick, cheap tools to post your job listing, while others distribute the job listing or even screen and contact the ideal candidates for you.
Freelance marketplaces let businesses enter a global talent pool of thousands of freelancers with different levels of expertise so you could easily find competent freelance project managers at very affordable rates.
Ask the Right Questions
When you're interviewing someone, try to learn about their soft skills and personality. Be sure they are knowledgeable about the things they claim to be knowledgeable about and that they can speak about them effectively.
Evaluate them on how they'll manage tense circumstances and what challenges they've faced in the past. Because they are juggling so many things, project managers need to be prepared to handle challenging situations.
Ask questions like:
What do you do when you're feeling overwhelmed by all the moving elements of a project?
How long have you been in project management? And what prompted you to take up this position?
What are the procedures you've developed to keep the team organized and ensure there are appropriate checks and balances in place?
What should you do if your project is at risk?
Examine the Candidate’s Knowledge
While you should avoid providing freelancers with too much work – particularly unpaid – during the prospecting period, you should ensure that you are assessing their expertise.
You could inquire about any software you use that may be of relevance to them. If you're using Asana to manage your projects, ask them how they'd go about accomplishing the same thing.
If you don't presently use any software, you may ask what they would suggest. What software has previously been shown to be effective for them? How would they go about putting such software in place for your project?
These questions aren't overly invasive, yet they offer you a sense of their work ethic and niche knowledge.
What You Should Look for in Your Freelance Project Manager?
Let’s take a look at some of the skills you should look for when bringing on a freelance project manager on board.
Delegation and Task Management
The ability to sift through the strengths and shortcomings of each member of the team is one of the most valuable skills a project manager can have.
The freelance project manager must be able to assign duties to the appropriate workers in order to complete the project in the most efficient manner by having a thorough knowledge of who is best at what.
Zety produced a list of the top stated skills on project manager resumes earlier this year. Communication (which appeared on 18% of resumes) and leadership were two of the top three skills (seen on 17% of the resumes).
Communication is a skill that may seem self-evident, yet it is very important for a successful project manager. They'll be wearing a number of hats and dabbling in different teams, so good communication is essential to keeping the project on track.
If a deadline is missed, a modification has to be made, or something hasn't been authorized yet, the project manager must be able to convey this effectively to all teams and managers involved.
Strong Leadership Skills
As mentioned above, leadership is one of the top three skills needed to be a successful project manager.
Freelance project managers should know how to run a team effectively, understand how to work with the team's strengths and limitations to solve difficulties. They should also be strategic, able to anticipate issues and solve them before they arise.
Ability to Advance Projects and Create Timelines
Any project management position will need some logistical effort, therefore the ideal project manager must be able to create a calendar for each team member and understand what each project day entails.
This includes billing due dates, scheduling meetings that work with team members’ availability, task deadlines and more.
If a project manager is responsible for several projects, such as those for different customers, they must also be skilled at capacity planning and balancing available resources against other obligations.
If a deadline is missed, the freelance project manager must remain calm and flexible in order to accommodate the adjustment.
It is important for a freelance project manager to have great problem-solving skills. Challenges arise, due dates are missed, budgets exceed and workers don’t get along or get sick.
When it comes to operating a company, there are many obstacles to overcome, but a project manager should be ready to respond quickly in times of dispute.
If you come across a candidate who thinks independently and figures out a solution for any challenge thrown at them, don’t let them go.
Why You Should Hire a Project Manager?
If you’re still thoughtful on why you should hire a project manager, here are 5 reasons to eliminate your confusion.
To Boost Your Success
Having a freelance project manager will improve the chance of your project being successful. According to the Project Management Institute, a project using project management techniques is 2.5 times more effective than a project that does not.
To Improve Productivity
Your team's efficiency will also benefit from having a project manager as work will be assigned to appropriate teams on time. As a result, everyone will know what responsibilities to focus on, resulting in higher-quality results.
Risk and Cost Management
A project manager will also point out any possible risks that may disrupt your project and reduce your profit margin. They will assess how these factors may impact your project and provide advice on how to mitigate the risks.
Businesses often refuse to invest money to hire a project manager, despite the fact that doing so might enhance their bottom line.
To Keep a Track Over Your Project
Project managers ensure the project's integrity from start to finish, ensuring that it meets your ultimate objective. Many duties of a project manager contribute to this, such as establishing project schedules.
They'll keep track of your team's work, ensuring that all required deliverables turn up at predetermined milestones during the campaign.
Having a project manager can also help you avoid scope creep and last-minute customer demands that may cause your project to fall apart.
To Give a Boost to Communication
Your freelance project manager will also serve as the primary point of contact for all project communications.
All communication between your staff, suppliers, departments, and customers will be handled by them. This way, all information comes from a single source, minimizing the chances of misunderstanding.
Finding a competent project manager to run essential tasks and projects for you, as you and your team concentrate on the bigger picture, may lead to success in marketing and networking as well as on client projects and deliverables.
If you are looking for an experienced freelance project manager, it is high time to browse the TaskShift freelance marketplace. Sift through a huge pool of talented resource, filter the best candidate through client reviews and feedback, and find the right talent for your project.