Things to Ask When Interviewing a Project Manager – Overview

So you’re about to start a major project. And you’ve decided that you can’t get this done without a project manager. Maybe there’s too much risk with the project or maybe the project involves too many items to provide control. For whatever reasons, you’ve decided that you need to use a project manager — a PM — to manage the project. There’s just one minor problem.You don’t have one.So you need to go out and hire one. Cool. There’s only one problem. You’ve heard the term. You’ve got a rough idea of what one does. But interviewing? How are you going to come up with a list of questions to ask?Not to worry, in this article, I’m going to guide you in the things to ask when interviewing a project manager. I’m not going to give you the exact questions. I’ll leave that for later articles. However, I’ll guide you along to some of the questions you should ask.The questions you need to ask fall into six categories.1. What do you really want?You didn’t realize that you would have to answer the first set of questions, did you? The sad truth is that most hiring managers don’t really understand what they’re looking for when they hire a PM. I’ve seen ads for Project Directors which asked for current hands-on programming skills. When was the last time you saw any VP level or C level executive with current skills in their discipline. That’s not what they do.You need to start by asking yourself what level of person you are trying to hire. Are you looking for a lead hand — meaning a working supervisor? Or are you looking for a senior manager who will co-ordinate the work of multiple managers and their teams? Or a senior executive who will co-ordinate and advise other senior executives?Once you’ve answered that question, then and only then can you begin to answer the tools and skills questions. What skills are really needed? What skills can be developed on the job? What skills are someone else’s problem? What project management tools will the new person need? As you go through the list always ask yourself two questions. First, “Do I really need this?” Is there an alternative or can the project manager learn it after arrival? Remember the more senior the project manager the faster they will be able to learn. Second, always ask, “Would I expect someone of this level to have these skills if I wasn’t hiring a project manager?” Hiring a VP of Finance or any senior manager based on their ability to do the bookkeeper’s job isn’t very smart.2. What are you offering?Once you’ve decided on what you really need you should have an idea of what a person of that level will want. In salary, working conditions and other conditions. What would you do if you were hiring a regular manager at that level?Pay is only part of the equation. But it’s one part that’s frequently done wrong. Don’t forget that the calculation of pay rate for an hourly employee is different from the calculation of fair pay for a contractor or consultant.3. QualificationsOnce you’ve determined the type of person you need to hire you can decide what qualifications really matter. After all, if you’re hiring a lead hand asking for a PMP is somewhat overkill. Don’t forget that qualifications like the Project Management Professional (PMP) designation often have experience requirements. Asking for a PMP with less than five years of experience will eliminate 100% of the honest people in the world. And asking for a certification in a programming language from a VP level manager is just plain silly.4. ToolsThere are three sets of tools that a project manager may need to bring. Focusing on the wrong tools is as bad as focusing on the wrong qualifications.The first are the tools that a PM uses to be a project manager. Things like work breakdown structures, risk management, and communications management. If you have an area of concern for the project, (e.g. it’s very risky or it involves delicate relations with stakeholders), you are going to have to ask a direct question about that area. Any qualified project manager will have experience in that area so it may not show in the resume. And the extent of their experience definitely will not show.The second are the tools that a project manager uses to perform their tasks efficiently. Tools like MS Project or MS Word. Again, these are standard tools so they may not show on the resume.Finally, are those tools which are unique to the project in question. For example, if you are installing Quickbooks you may be tempted to ask for experience in Quickbooks. Be careful with these tools. Depending on the level of project manager that question may reject the candidate with the best skills for the job. Generally, knowledge about these tools is needed in the people working for the PM. That’s why the title is project manager.5. Processes, standards and fitting inDo you have your own project management process or do you expect the project manager to bring and apply theirs? Many project management consultants are used to quickly assessing your methodology and then supplementing it where their own process is stronger. Others simply adopt yours. Either can be acceptable but you need to ensure that your candidate is capable of fitting into your organization.6. SkillsThe most important questions relate to the soft skills that a project manager brings to the table. And unfortunately, they don’t reliably show up on a resume. Your initial decision regarding the level of project manager you need will determine the level of soft skills you need. Asking a lead hand or first level supervisor to have CEO level presentation skills is not likely to result in a successful search. Equally asking a C-level project manager to have the detailed oriented nature of a programmer will also not lead to a successful search.

Crafting a Successful B2B Marketing Strategy

For many B2B marketers, the traditional marketing funnel that motivates prospects to self-identify and then move to a sales funnel, is ingrained in our minds. However, in the Age of the Customer, Forrester Research’s phrase for a customer-driven marketing landscape, the funnel has evolved to reflect a new customer expectation requiring sales and marketing to work in tandem.With this in mind, B2B marketers must evaluate how their current B2B marketing strategy is aligned with the psychology of their buyer journey. In other words, B2B marketers must know how to craft a marketing strategy based on the predominance of the customer.So, we have outlined a series of steps to follow when crafting a customer-centric B2B marketing strategy. Ask yourself and your team, “have we checked the following boxes when crafting our B2B marketing strategy?”IDENTIFY TARGET PERSONAS IN YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGYGoing through the exercise to develop personas based on market and customer research is fundamental to understanding not only who is your audience but how to engage them in the buyer journey. Incorporating marketing personas makes websites two to five times more effective and easier to use by targeted users. However, only 44% of B2B marketers use buyer personas. So, ensure your B2B marketing strategy includes persona-based experiences that moves buyers forward in their journey with your brand.MAP A PERSONA-BASED CUSTOMER JOURNEY TO DRIVE YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGYBuilding out your influencer and decision personas to understand your target audience is only part of the process of laying a customer-centric foundation for your strategy. Next is to map the touch points of your buyer journey through all buyer stages. In order to close the loop from awareness to revenue it’s critical to know the touch points along the journey that are motivators and detractors in order to influence all parts of the customer experience. When developing your B2B marketing strategy answer the following, “How do I craft a strategy with the framework that aligns with your customer’s journey to gain clarity and define priority?”DEFINE AND MEASURE B2B MARKETING STRATEGY GOALS & METRICSPerhaps a no-brainer for a data-driven B2B marketer is clearly-defined metrics for success. With a heightened emphasis on personalization and customer experience (CX), B2B marketing goals and metrics must be established to measure the success of the marketing efforts supporting a customer’s progression through the buyer journey. Your B2B marketing strategy must outline how it will create direct contribution to revenue with a return and fuel high growth.A recent case study example from one of our technology platform and services clients is Viewpointe, a leading private cloud managed services provider. Viewpointe was challenged with continuing to engage customers over the course of a 6+ month sales cycle. After clearly defining their B2B marketing goals, they aligned their content marketing plan with their persona-based customer journey. As a result, Viewpointe stayed engaged with their customers throughout the buyer journey and closed more deals. One way Viewpointe measured customer engagement lift was a 52% increase in persona aligned website content and 164% increase in blog content engagement from organic search referrals.YOUR B2B MARKETING STRATEGY INCORPORATES ACTIONABLE INSIGHTS WITH SALESReferring back to our earlier customer funnel illustration, the traditional hand-off from marketing to sales, with no feedback loop when a lead is “flipped over the fence to sales”, causing misalignment between B2B marketing and sales teams. In fact, 25% of B2B marketers have no idea what is their customer conversion rate. In the Age of the Customer, your marketing strategy should outline how to rip out the proverbial fence and instead encourage inter-team collaboration. Ensuring this marketing and sales alignment is crucial to creating a consistent customer experience along a buyer’s journey. Being intentional about sharing insights between teams is one way to encourage broad acceptance of a successful B2B marketing strategy execution.YOUR NEXT STEPWith only 45% of B2B marketers confident that they have decent, if not high, levels of customer centricity, the time to is now to author your new B2B marketing strategy that elevates you above your competition.

7 Small Business Marketing Trends You Need to Follow in 2018

The way marketing works are essentially changing day by day because of the absolute volume of people using the internet and the depends on new technologies as well.Keeping in mind, here I would like to share the 7 Marketing Trends You Need to Follow in 2018 for your small businesses.1. Email MarketingEmail marketing keeps on to be a vital communications channel to engage with customers and is still an important strategy that every small business should execute. Each and every email that a b2b marketer sends out purposes to generate more qualified leads. It is cost-effective and an affordable.
If you utilize this marketing in the right way, then you can acquire valuable customer or prospects and easily expand your brand awareness. But If your marketing messages aren’t relevant and easily read on mobile devices, you can expect consumers to move on. Because the secret to creating the most valuable email marketing campaigns is to offer relevant information to customers and make mobile friendly as well.Increase your marketing results with these simple techniques which are given below:Be Mobile Friendly
If your emails aren’t mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on the opportunity to engage your customers or prospects and drive results.Use AI Technology
By using an AI, you can execute the most effective email marketing trends and makes emails feel more personal and human.2. Video AdvertisingPeople don’t have enough time to read a long content posted on the small screen of a Smartphone. So nowadays people tune into videos online. Because they can watch videos anytime and anywhere as well as you can use video content to attract new customers and increase conversion to implant a video on your prospects or customers landing page.To keep unlock fresh insights, small businesses need to focus on video marketing and you can share videos on Instagram and Facebook along with hashtags to expand your brand reputation and generate new leads. It boosts the open rates as well as click-through rates.3 .Guest BloggingGuest blogging is a process of creating educational content and make public it on other valid sites that accept guest posts. It helps you make your site get a much better ranking in SEs and increase your SEO ranking in a commercial way. It becomes the fuel for mounting the quality leads in your pipeline.If guest blogging is done correctly, then you can get these benefits which are given below:• Helps you gain traffic and get in front of your audience.
• An essential way to influence other people, whether it’s with regards to their business.
• Will send many different targeted visitors to your business websites.
• You can also get backlinks from high-quality sites.
• Generate brand awareness and ultimately grow your audience.
• Maximize the results that you will receive.Through guest blogging, you can get the chance to network with a lot of top content writers and bloggers related to your niche.4. Social Media MarketingEvery small business needs customers. Without qualified customers, it would be hard for small business to stay alive in the long run. When you use social media marketing for small business you can easily reach out to your target customers and it gives you the power to learn more about your customers, their interests and build a long-lasting relationship as well.The majority of social media advertising is inexpensive than traditional advertising, so you don’t have to waste a lot of dollars to meet more audience and its aid to grow customer base and gain more reputation.If you need to enhance your small business campaign, then try these methods which are mentioned below:• Set Goals and Objectives
• Focus your Efforts on select Networks
• Use Paid Social Ads
• Collect Audience Feedback5. Live StreamingVideo live streaming is the act of transmitting live footage over the internet to active prospects or customers. Live streaming is a powerful tool for connecting with your target audience. Facebook Live is the preferred choice for the most people and marketers around the world to engage their audience and grow their business.
The appearance of Facebook Live and Instagram doesn’t just mean fun for users. Nowadays it’s changing the way small businesses market themselves on social media to connect with their followers and find new ones.6. Influencers MarketingInfluencer marketing is a highly effective way of generating trust and advertise your brand through influencers from a specific niche. It lets you tap into the networks of some of the most connected people in social media.Influencer marketing involves using key brand advocates to drive your message to the larger market in an organic way and grow awareness about your brand and/or products. If you need to promote your products or services, influencer marketing may prove to be the best option for small business.7. Hyper-Local MarketingHyperlocal marketing is a shape of highly targeted and is a marketing buzzword that focused in a certain city, neighborhood or region. It is a great way to increase your businesses presence in your niche marketing and acquire their attention and business.You can use online search ads to drive local traffic to your business. Ensure that the ads are actually optimized for local customers. For online ads, mobile technology is a powerful tool and you can use social media channels to acquire your customers experience and reviews in your hometown as well.In conclusion, start executing these marketing trends for your small business that will help you find customers and prospects as well as you drive both growth and ROI. So, make sure your business has these valuable marketing trends that can guarantee that take your business to the next level.

Finance Jobs – A Boom in Waiting

The science involved in the management of funds is known as finance. The generalized areas of finance are namely business, personal, and public finance. Finance in a broader sense means saving money and many a times lend money. The financial field deals with the interrelation in the concepts of time, money, and risk. In the financial market, graduates seeking good finance jobs have to face many obstacles. Financial organizations, many-a-times, adopt very high standards for middle and upper-level professionals. A finance graduate just passing out from a university can rise quickly in this field if he chooses the right type of entry-level finance job. Entry-level professionals earn around $40,000 a year whole high-level professionals earn around $70 million annually.

A bachelors degree is the least minimum level of education for a career in the field of finance. One can find a variety of jobs in the financial industry. Financial jobs often cover a very wide range of tasks. Finance jobs offer very good financial rewards, if an employee is extremely qualified. The types of financial jobs available in the market include accountancy; corporate, commercial, and investment banking; finance and investment management; management consultancy, personal financial services, retail banking, and taxation.

In the recent past, career advisers used to advise people seeking a career, to go into finance. The finance market was doing well at that time, and finance jobs were available in plenty. Schools offering MBA degree were bustling with students who sought a career in finance. Jobs in the finance sector were not confined only to the financial markets. A strong economy meant that the finance graduates who failed to find jobs in the financial market or an investment bank could easily get jobs in the commerce and industry accounting sector. The remaining students got jobs in middle office finance in public sector. But in the current economic scenario, though there are fewer finance jobs, the struggle for getting the right job will be tougher. Good times will be back again pretty soon. If the trends are observed carefully, one can easily make out that a big boom in the field of finance jobs is to come sooner or later.

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