Is it correct to think that a project manager should also carry the role of a recruiter and that it is entirely wrong to separate the PM role from the recruiter role?


  1. The project manager can explain best what is to be done on a position, since he is the one giving the daily tasks and coordinating work, he keeps both a sense of the big picture and the smallest detail of work;
  2. The project manager knows the organisational culture and can identify people with the behaviour that will fit into company's or project's culture;
  3. The project manager can come up with the best pre-screening testing tasks, since he gives around tasks every day and he is skilled in leveraging the difficulty and scope of tasks;
  4. The project manager bears responsibility over the success of a project and he bears the brunt of interpersonal conflicts in the team, issues with motivation and productivity, etc. Thus he should have the biggest say who should be sourced, screened and hired, above anyone else. (By the same token he should have full power to fire people, but this is another topic).

Is it correct?

4 Answers 4


Only #4 has any validity of the four reasons you posted.

The PM is accountable for the success for the project and, therefore, should have either decision making responsibility or at least a lot of influence on the decisions about who joins the team. That said, a PM would be best served to understand how to get the most of the employees he is assigned.

Resource selection is a crap shoot. While the PM wants to have that control, without tested selection tools that have some proven validity, (s)he is in no better position to hire than anyone else. Statistically, I can do just about as well as you could for your project that I know nothing about, by sitting here at my laptop with a coin.

So a smart PM who understands the flaws in the selection process would not hold his/her position with too much weight, anyway. (S)he would use a multi-selection process, which would include others, to filter out candidates.

Your #1 is no good because, if the project is large with multi-technologies, the PM will not know this information as well as others on the team. Your #2 is not good because of human biases. Your #3 is not good because, individually, no one can do this. Prediction attributes that we think are good predictors are usually not.



Is it correct to think that a project manager should also carry the role of a recruiter and that it is entirely wrong to separate the PM role from the recruiter role?

The extent of a project manager's authority to populate a project or manage the people assigned to it varies between organizations. However, it would incorrect to lump recruitment or hiring into the core definition of a project manager.

Recruitment and hiring are specific tasks that may be performed by some project managers, but these tasks actually belong to distinct roles that are typically outside the core function of project management. Some distinctions between these roles are drawn below.

Role Definitions

Here are some informal definitions of the various roles relevant to your question:

  • Recruiter

    Someone who seeks out or supplies personnel.

  • Hiring Manager

    The person with the authority to hire someone for a project or company.

  • Project Manager

    Responsible for planning, execution, or closing of a project.

This is not an exhaustive list, and the roles above interact with one another and with other corporate functions (e.g. Human Resources) to staff a project. While it is possible for one person to be responsible for more than one role, each role often requires a different skill set and role-specific expertise that often make it undesirable to put all those hats atop one person's head.


The PM can be part of interview panel to understand few things ike process knowledge, domain etc..so that once he/she joins the team PM will be able to take decision to which role he/she will be suitable. Having said that the resource manager can get the inputs from the PM and check those attributes or PM can mention that "I am looking for the same skill set as the other X team member". In those cases PM need not be on the interview panel. Again as Visu mentioned it will depend on the size of the project, type of skills, need, situation etc..


This will depend on the size of the project, type of project and skills of the PM. If your project is very techie and your PM is not very techie, he should delegate the recuirtment part. In some large organizations the recruitment is done by specialized teams.

But in smaller organizations and smaller team I agree PM can be chief recruiter.

Having said that PM should have a lot of say in who is being recruited or for what position you are recruiting but not necessarily chief recruiter. Chief recruiter sounds more like HR function.

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