Is Your Project Manager Salary Really Stopping You from Hiring Top Talent?

Tips to Attract Top Talent into Project Management Roles

According to a global survey, a project manager’s salary for those working on digital projects in the United States lies between $32,000 and $210,000. Actual salaries paid depend on many factors, including:

  • Seniority
  • Experience
  • Location
  • Sector
  • Project budget

It can, therefore, be difficult to judge what salary you should offer to attract the best candidates and compel them to accept your job offer.

Is It Crucial to Offer Competitive Salaries?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics

has forecast that management jobs in the United States will grow by around 6% by 2024. With an estimated 8.7 million to 11 million project managers employed in the United States, we could experience a demand for between 520,000 and 660,000 new project managers over the next few years.

With such demand for project managers, it’s likely that the skills shortage will deepen. One of the weapons that your competitors will use to attract talent is bumping up salaries. But this is a blunt tool. While salary is, of course, important, a Gallup survey found that it takes an average 20% boost to salary to lure a key employee away from their current employer.

What Is Important to Project Managers?

We doubt that you would want to boost salaries by 20% each time you needed to hire a talented project manager.

A better strategy would be to offer

a competitive salary – in line with market rates, and commensurable with salary variables such as responsibilities, location, and experience – and augment this with elements that project managers find most appealing in their work. A 2017 survey by Korn Ferry and the follow-up from 2028 provides empirical evidence as to what these elements might be.

The survey didn’t ask why people sought new jobs. It asked why people wanted to leave their current jobs. The results might surprise you. Higher compensation was way down the list across both surveys, which reads as follows:

  • Desiring a new challenge (73%)
  • To escape a poor work culture (24%)
  • Lack of recognition (9%)
  • Dislike of the employer (9%)
  • For higher pay (5%)

Make Your Offer About the Whole Package

Of course, your salary range should be commensurate with other project manager salaries paid by similar companies in your location. But, clearly, potential candidates desire much more. Salary alone will not be enough to hire talented managers.

If your salary range is not enough on its own to attract suitable candidates to your project management roles, you should consider how you can boost the total compensation package. For example, you may offer extra paid time off, a healthy health insurance, an attractive 401(K), and bonuses that improve net salary.

However, as the Korn Ferry research shows, it is crucial that the job itself is appealing. Ensure that you provide challenging project work that enables project managers to improve their skills, experience, knowledge, and resume.

Highlight your company culture, and how you value teamwork in a purposeful environment. Make it plain that good performance is recognized and rewarded. Add the following into the mix, and you will produce a job offer that would be nearly impossible not to be interested in:

  • Training and development opportunities
  • Flexible working patterns
  • Travel opportunities

Finally, if you can assure the candidate that you won’t compel them to work out of hours, you’ll be almost there. The only factor that now stands between you and the signature you want is the hire’s direct manager. If rapport is created in the interview, then this should be another plus.

In Summary

Your salary should be competitive, but the most talented project managers do not work solely for the money. They want challenging work in an enjoyable work environment. They want to improve their skillsets while boosting their resume and quality of life.

For the help you need to attract, hire, and retain talented project managers, contact Irvine Technology Corporation today.