Project Managers are Extremely Popular


More than six in ten project managers have been headhunted or attempts were made to headhunt them. This is what a new survey of the members of IDA’s project manager panel shows.

There is a lack of highly trained people with technical and scientific insight. If they also have years of experience as project managers, they are in especially high demand. This is what a new survey of 1,280 members of IDA’s project manager panel shows.

In the survey, 61% of the members reply that they have been headhunted or attempts have been made to headhunt them to another project management position after they started as project managers. And the more experience you have, the more you are in demand by the headhunters. Among those who have worked as project managers for 16 to 20 years, 81% have been contacted by a headhunter.

“Project management is a challenging discipline. If you have proven that you can both launch a project and ensure that it arrives ‘on time on budget’, you have a good hand. This contributes to making project managers with insight into technology and science more sought after. Unfortunately, we often experience major problems with bottlenecks in the labour market for this type of knowledge worker, so it is only natural that the sky-high demand also applies to project managers in these fields,” says Juliane Marie Neiiendam, chairperson of the Employees’ Council [Ansattes Råd] in IDA.

The survey also sheds light on what companies can do to retain project managers. Here, the most significant factors are higher salaries, more continuing training and greater influence. However, women find continuing education more attractive than a higher salary.

“This is the classic lever that employers need to pull if they want to retain these valuable employees and improve their enjoyment of their work. When the project managers themselves have such a strong focus on continuing training and increased influence, it is because many project managers experience a lot of cross-pressure. The classic example is that while they are responsible for the finances, schedules of a project, they are not responsible for employee resources. In this case, increased influence and more continuing training can help individuals to hold their own better in the project manager role,” says Juliane Marie Neiiendam.

The survey also shows that work enjoyment is greater among those project managers who have chosen their career paths themselves. In this group, 91% consider their jobs to be attractive. Among project managers who have been assigned the role by their employer, only 68% consider their project manager jobs to be attractive.