Your project management office (PMO) needs to make sure it has sufficient talent to get your projects delivered. Understanding the talent needs of your PMO means you should always have the right resources to call on for projects.

Knowing when to recruit internally and externally can be a challenge. This is compounded by the change in the job market – there is significant demand for project talent and a broader job market with the shift towards remote and hybrid working.

To help you understand and resolve your talent needs in your PMO, we’re going to look at:

  • Resource planning best practices
  • How to find the right talent for your PMO
  • Alternative talent sources to consider

How do I plan for the talent my PMO needs?

You need to have a clear roadmap of your project pipeline to know the people you will need to get the work completed.

Depending on the type of PMO you operate, you will have knowledge of projects at different stages of their commissioning. As a business-focussed PMO, you will be commissioning projects and can have a strong hold over the work required and the talent you need.

A more governance and reporting-focussed PMO may need to deal with the projects that get fed into your pipeline. In this case, be sure to have a clear knowledge of the skills and talent you have access to and the people commissioning the project know what you can do.

You can also work on developing your internal resources and talent. Be sure to work closely with the people in your projects and the wide business to understand the career opportunities you can offer to people.

How do I find the right talent for my PMO?

When you know you have a talent gap through strong resource planning, you need to work with your HR department to get the right people through the door.

The first step to sourcing talent is to define exactly what you’re looking for. This will include:

  • The hard skills you need, e.g. experience with the project methodology you use and industry and subject matter expertise.
  • The soft skills you want to see, such as leadership skills if you’re recruiting a new project manager or organisational skills if you’re looking for an admin assistant.
  • The cultural fit you want to see, for example, someone who understands working with government-commissioned projects or a person who knows how to work in a fast-paced start-up.

Once you’ve decided what you’re looking for, you need to cast a wide net to find the right talent. Depending on the expertise you’re looking for, looking internationally can make a lot of sense – you likely already know that remote working is viable for your projects.

Take advantage of platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to find talent as well as more traditional sources such as recruitment websites and agencies. Don’t underestimate the power of networking as well; pull on the people you know in your industry when looking for talent.

What are the alternative sources of talent for my PMO?

Not all talented people will want or be able to work on your projects full-time. It may also not be economical to bring in an employee when you have a short-term need or only need a contribution of a few hours per week.

In this case, you can consider bringing in freelance or contract talent. This approach allows you to be much more targeted with your talent needs.

Bringing in an expert for a few hours a week or on a contract to last the duration of the project is a savvy way to manage your PMO’s talent needs. Be sure not to neglect the ambitions of your existing team when making this choice.

The talent needs of your PMO

Needing more talent in your PMO is usually a good sign that you’re expanding your remit. Understanding the talent needs of your PMO well in advance will ensure you can plan your projects and workflow accurately.