ESI launch their new project management talent report to coincide with PMI’s Synergy event in Central London today.
The inaugural UK project management talent survey conducted by ESI International aimed to uncover career trends specific to the profession. While the survey had over 1,270 respondents from the project management profession with varying levels of experience across multiple industry sectors in the EMEA region, we selected data solely from the 405 responses stemming from project professionals in the United Kingdom, to offer a bird’s eye view of the state of the profession.
Aside from career trends, the study also revealed critical issues such as project management (PM) professionals’ time-to-proficiency, understaffing challenges and the factors impacting PM salary development.
Our survey found the larger the project, the more likely it was that organisations experienced understaffing issues and expected it tobe harder to find suitable talent. For project professionals, salary and time-to-proficiency were directly impacted by the size of their commissioned projects. Small, low-risk projects took project managers an average of five months to meet proficiency standards; it took them seven months on medium-risk projects and an average of nine months on large-scale, highly integrated projects. It was also found that training had a positive influence on both the speed of proficiency and salary levels, although there was not always a direct correlation between credentials and higher wages.
Training Pays Off
Building on What You Have
The right training at the right time is a wise investment. In a similar salary trend survey in the United States, ESI International found that the return on investment (ROI) for training entry-level new hires was about 500%. Even for more experienced employees, training existing talent led to a significant increase in productivity, as shown in ESI’s 2012 ROI survey. Businesses reported a 10% increase in productivity and an 8.5% improvement in customer satisfaction just 60 days after project management training had been completed. 66% of the trainees themselves reported training-related job performance improvement.
Supporting Proficiency in Project Organisations
Obtaining Professional Certification
Certification has a varied impact on project managers’ salary development. In our survey, we asked if respondents were in the process of obtaining or currently have a certification. Two-thirds responded favourably. Of those with certification, two out of five had the PMP. PRINCE2 Foundation and Practitioner was the second most common certification amongst UK respondents.
As a recent survey conducted by Arras People suggests, however, certification should not be confused with competence. Over half of employed project managers without any credentials whatsoever were found to earn more than those with an APM-related certification. As ESI’s survey has shown, training impacts salary, but not every credential does.
Our research shows that staffing challenges faced by organisations today are best addressed by developing talent internally rather than hiring from the outside. There is a definite cost and time advantage to developing and nurturing project management professionals. Working with the talent you have, by creating an appealing career path, can increase the likelihood that organisations will reap the rewards from their staff investments.
To read more details about the The Project Management Talent Survey 2014 Report, download it here.