Should You Only Hire PMPs?

Filed under PMP | Posted by PMStudent

I received an email from the studio audience which has sparked one of my rare but fun rants.

“…companies should use PMPs instead of untrained but experienced project leads. If you have any sources I could use, please send them on!!””

Deep breaths Josh….deep breaths…..

That’s Lazy

If screening for PMP certification is a part of your hiring strategy, and even worse, you screen out candidates for not having it, you are being lazy and doing yourself a disservice. ?It’s a lazy way to look at the candidates and it’s going to yield terrible results for you. ?You are going to turn away people who would have been your rock stars unless you look at the whole picture.

Sure, it’s more work. ?But it’s well worth it to make the right hire than to struggle for months or years with the wrong one.

There are so many people I’ve worked with who had no certifications, many with no advanced degrees, who could mop the floor with most of the credentialed PMPs out there.

If you have PMP blinders on when hiring for project managers, you are cutting corners and you will pay for it in the long run.

That’s Silly

What does “untrained but experienced project leads” mean? ?Do they deliver results? ?Why should I care about 3 letters behind their name in that case?

You tell me.

I abhor the process of screening candidates for the PMP certification. ?I look at candidates in light of the whole package, and any certification or training will enter into that. ?But I have worked with too many people who had the degrees, the certifications, and looked great on paper but fell flat on their faces when it came to getting the job done.

This lie about a PMP certification being a signal of competence is one of the reasons I get so many questions from new project managers about the PMP exam. ?They think they have to go get it, even though they have little to no experience yet. ?It makes me more than a bit upset.

But…I’m not a Hater

I’m a PMP, even though I didn’t drink any of the k00l-aide that was apparently passed around.

I think certifications of all stripes can be a great thing, especially if in the journey to?achieve?them you learn tons you didn’t know before. ?Your paradigm shifts. ?Heck, I help people get certified but I’m adamant about doing it for the right reasons, and in the right way. ?One of the primary reasons I got my PMP is because I knew companies do what I’m railing against right now. ?It’s true. ?And facing reality is a good thing.

At the same time, the primary benefit I received was not the certification itself. ?It was the process of studying. ?My thinking was broadened. ?In some respects, I came to discover how wrong I think the PMI’s approach is in several cases. ?One of my early criticisms was that in trying to describe everything, they describe nothing. ?I’d rather expose myself to something that is trying to be prescriptive, so I can take the parts that seem to work well and apply them to my own work. ?Still, it broadened my thinking and I benefited from it.

pant…pant….wheew….ah…that’s better.