Want to hire the top talent on the planet? It’s possible. No longer are businesses geographically limited to only hiring employees within driving distance of their offices. That means you can choose from the best of the best employees anywhere in the world, as long as they have an Internet connection.
That includes hiring remote project managers. A remote project manager can be just as effective as an in-house project manager, and they come with the added benefit of often working for far less than an in-house employee.
What Is A Remote Project Manager?
A remote project manager is a conduit between your business, your employees, and your clients. This person will serve as a customer liaison, quality control gatekeeper, troubleshooting expert, and deadline manager. A remote project manager keeps the production end of your business flowing, with projects delivered on time and on budget while keeping customers happy.
Why Do I Need A Remote Project Manager?
There comes a point in the growth of every business in which the owner needs to pivot away from the daily running of the company to a more strategic role. Handing over the admin tasks to a remote project manager can allow the business owner to focus on strategic areas where their skills and talents are most needed.
Bringing a remote project manager onto your team means you can stop working “in” your business and start working “on” your business. When you’re able to step away from assigning tasks, chasing invoices, making sure the work is done, doing quality control, and checking in with employees for progress reports, you can focus on more high-level tasks like growth, entering new markets, and improving processes.
Not all remote project managers are made equal. To make sure you bring on a virtual PM who will provide you with the highest level of support and efficiency, here are five essential qualities you should look for in a remote project manager.
1. Excellent Time-Management Skills – Time management is a critical part of project management. Meeting deadlines, launching projects on time, and replying to inquiries and correspondence promptly are all critical to keeping a business running smoothly and profits rolling in. A good remote project manager can juggle multiple time commitments, deadlines, and last-minute changes effectively, which requires excellent time-management skills.Ask a potential remote project manager how they handle scheduling their days and how they’ve managed teams’ schedules in the past. If their answers include a specific strategy that includes shared calendars, task lists, and schedules, you may be looking at a project manager who could be an asset to your team.
2. Organizational Skills – When it comes to managing a team of employees and multiple clients, organizational skills are paramount to keeping the organization running smoothly. Your remote project manager should show proficiency in all sorts of organizational tactics and platforms. When interviewing a potential virtual PM, ask how they’ve kept teams organized in the past and what systems they use to organize aspects of their own lives. If they mention shared calendars, project management software they like and don’t like, spreadsheets, reporting, and time management, you may be looking at someone with excellent organizational skills.
3. Attention to Detail – Attention to detail can make or break an interaction with a client or the progress of a project. Your remote project manager should be able to focus his or her attention on all the details of a project, following instructions to the letter and paying attention to customer inquiries or requests so that their needs can be attended to accurately. How can you know that a person you interview is detail-oriented? People with high attention to detail tend to be meticulous in all aspects of their lives. Look for proofreading errors on their resume or initial correspondence, which can be a dead giveaway that someone is not detail-oriented. Also, ask questions and see what level of detail you get in the answers. Someone who thinks in detail will speak in detail, as well.
4. Great Communication Skills – A remote project manager does a tremendous amount of communicating — with clients, team members, and of course, with you. Great communication skills are a must-have when looking for a remote project manager to join your team. Effective communication skills will help your team avoid mistakes, re-work, missed deadlines, and frustration.
Good communication skills include:
- Being a good listener
- Being able to deliver information in a way the listener can understand
- Understanding the importance of tone and context to communicate information without negative emotion
- Asking clarifying questions
You’ll likely be able to ascertain whether your candidate possesses good communication skills in the interview. Watch for the above qualities when speaking with a potential hire.
5. Interpersonal Intelligence – A great deal of what a project manager does involves dealing with people. From calming angry clients to convincing workers to re-prioritize on a dime when an emergency occurs, a top-tier project manager is more than a task manager. A great project manager is a leader, a support system, a cheerleader, and a negotiator. To master all of these, a great deal of emotional and interpersonal intelligence is required.
In the interview process, look for signals of high emotional intelligence such as:
- Active listening
- Can explain their efforts toward self-improvement
- Doesn’t shy away from difficult questions
- Asks pertinent questions
- Seems open and honest in both body language and speech
The Right Remote Project Manager Can Transform Your Business
If your company is growing, and you want to focus on progress rather than dealing with daily task management, then hiring a remote project manager may be the right solution for you. Contact us today to learn more about how a remote project manager can improve your business.