In our series on hiring remote staff for the translation industry, we focus on how you can fill in some crucial roles and also discuss common challenges and their solutions. In this blog, we will be talking about what you need to know when hiring your next remote Project Manager.
According to research by the Project Management Institute, there is a great talent shortage in Project Managers, and companies are having a hard time finding the perfect Project Manager to complete their team.1
Project Managers fulfill a crucial role in connecting the teams and communicating with clients, so finding the right person for the job is vital. This blog will offer you an overview of the Project Manager’s essential skills and tasks, what the ideal candidate looks like, how you can craft the perfect job description, and which targeted questions you can ask at the interview.
Define A Project Manager’s Essential Skills And Tasks
Localization Project Managers are there to make sure every translation and localization project runs smoothly. Their responsibilities are split between selecting the most suitable experts for each project and streamlining the process and workflows in a way that meets the client’s demands, among others. But let’s have a more detailed look at what this entails.
Project Scoping and Timeline Management
Each project is unique, and every client will have their own project scope and timeline in mind that the Project Manager will respect as much as possible. The responsibilities include:
- Initiating, executing, and closing projects
- Overseeing the workflow through the Translation Management System
- Documenting the workflow and optimizing where possible
- Actively exploring new technologies that could further streamline the process and save costs
- Specifying the correct resources and tools needed in order to meet the client’s requirements in terms of quality and timeline
- Managing all freelancers, linguists, and vendors, and specialists, and assigning the most suitable experts to the tasks
- Balancing the cost and budget
- Confirming the method of delivery to the client (email or other forms of communication?) and the QA Process
- Identifying the external and internal stakeholders and streamlining communication with them
- Dividing tasks according to the specific timeline
- Monitoring KPIs and metrics and providing feedback for increased ROI accordingly
Clients will usually propose a specific budget that the Localization Manager will also need to respect as much as possible. Accordingly, Project Managers will develop and monitor the project to make sure the project cost is controlled and realistically allocated without breaking the budget.
Ideally, a project should go off without a hitch, but this doesn’t always happen. The Project Manager should identify any possible risks that may crop up and find a way to mitigate them should they arise.
In order to keep the communication flowing, the Project Manager should initiate a communication plan outlining the preferred communication method and frequency according to the client’s wishes. Beyond that, effective communications should also be maintained within the team itself.
Monitoring & Maintaining Control
When all the parts are set in motion, it is up to the Project Manager to monitor and control the process and resolve any issues as they arise. In order to make this run more smoothly, Project Managers tend to prepare by making a contingency plan.
Functioning In A Multicultural And Multilingual Remote Environment
Remote work can be challenging enough and will be even more so if the essential communicator in the team has trouble connecting with coworkers from different backgrounds. That being said, effective, multicultural work environments are created and when managed correctly, remote staff can feel safe and comfortable working in any team. Learn more about how to pull this off in our blog How To Communicate Effectively With Multilingual, Remote Staff!
Learn How To Attract The Right Project Managers
Project Managers have many skills in common, but the exact job description will depend on the organization. Depending on internal strategies and ways of working, the job itself can be pretty unique, and you will need to offer full disclosure in order to attract the right person. At Laoret, for example, we like to stimulate internal communications between different departments. Project Managers are right there at the frontlines, so they will be able to offer other departments such as sales and marketing valuable insights into client behavior and expectations. Since this is a culture we’d like to cultivate, it is one we communicate from the start. But how do you attract your ideal Project Manager? How do you craft the ideal job description to fit your needs?
Translate The Responsibilities And Tasks Into A Tailored Job Description
Prospective candidates should learn to “sell themselves” to you, but you as a company should definitely learn to do the same. Your job listing should speak to qualitative PMs out there, and so your copy should be tailored to increase the chances of you reaching top-level employees.
Let us give you a short template that you can use and further customize in your own job description:
- Define the project scope and requirements through effective communication with clients
- Structure and leverage a project plan
- Work together with the production teams to assign and manage tasks
- Manage project timelines and product delivery
- Keep the client’s requests, scope, and budget in mind at all times
- Track project performance and make sure goals are met
- Monitor and keep track of project progress
- Maintain relationships with the stakeholders and the clients
Desired skills and experience:
- Bachelor’s degree preferred
- 3+ years of relevant work experience
- Excellent communication skills both verbal and written
- Superior time management and organizational skills
- Multi-tasking and adapting to change are your second nature
- Strong attention to detail
- Ability to function optimally in a remote, multicultural team
Propose Common Project Manager Challenges And Invite The Interviewee To Offer Their Solutions
So, how can you know for sure if the candidate will have what it takes to deliver on the technical side of things? How do you know if they will be able to overcome the common Project Manager challenges in an effective manner that will drive your company forward? The key is to look at your own experiences and discern some issues that were resolved, either in a good way or not, and request input from the candidate from their personal experience. For example, think of asking questions such as:
- How do you handle the “scope creep” when confronted with clients who are not sure what they want?
- How do you make sure that communication flows effectively at all times, between all teams and stakeholders?
- A study has revealed that 49.5% of manufacturing managers agree that budgeting and costs are the biggest challenges Project Managers face.2 What is your budgeting procedure and how does it avoid cost overruns?
- Have you ever been given a very unrealistic timeline? How did you approach this issue with the client?
- How do you enforce adequate risk management in a way that both the team and clients are satisfied?
- How do you keep all stakeholders involved and ensure transparency across the board?
Finding the right Project Manager is a challenge. Not only are there specific skills they need to possess and responsibilities they will need to fulfill, but they will also need to fit perfectly in your work culture. That is why you must understand the job of a Project Manager just as well as the unique place they will take within your company.