Guest blog post by Mark Bashrum, ESI International
Organizations would be well advised to remember this adage, not for its metaphysical implications, but for its significance on a project management level. Finding external talent is important to any staffing strategy, but the latest ESI International Annual Project Manager Salary & Development Survey shows project organizations need to look inward and focus more on developing the talent they already have. As the following reasons demonstrate, it’s better to develop and promote from within rather than hire from the outside.
Time is Not on Your Side
The salary survey shows that the ramp-up time to get an experienced project manager up to speed in a new environment can take longer than you might expect. On average, bringing an otherwise experienced project manager up to a level of effectiveness in a new organization takes between six and 10 months depending on the size and complexity of the projects they are managing.
Cost of Buy vs. Build
There is a definite cost advantage to developing and promoting young and mid-level project managers. Results from the salary survey show it costs nearly 11 percent more to “buy” entry level talent than to build it from within, and nearly 8 percent more to buy mid-level talent. This advantage dissipates for senior-level talent where it costs about the same to hire as it does to develop and promote them from the mid-career project manager level. But when you consider the difficulty in finding and hiring senior project professionals today—the survey shows 89.4 percent report that it is very difficult or somewhat difficult to find senior talent—organizations may be left with little choice but to develop existing talent.
You’ll Reap What You Sow
Another reason to go within is that investing in training to develop project managers pays off at all competency levels. The survey shows that factoring in metrics including average salary, ramp-up time to manage projects and training cost, the return on investment for project management training at the entry level is 501 percent, 268 percent at mid level and 358 percent at the senior level.
The growing business needs of organizations demand a more strategic view of the staffing, development, and promotion of their project managers. The evidence shows that going within is a strategy well worth contemplating.