What are traits you want in a project manager? What are things to look for while interviewing? Any professional resources that help when trying to find a project manager?
This role in most organizations is designed for maximum fun! Well, maybe not, but I am ever hopeful. In twenty plus years I have led numerous projects and hired a few project leads [aka project managers] most of which have done a great job. For me, the best project managers are home grown. Promotion up through the ranks of the "A" players on the team, all with valuable insight on how all the processes work and interact with one another. However, should this not be possible, you have a lot of work ahead of you. Don't forget all the obvious steps like checking references. But the most important trait for me is that "eye of the tiger" concept. The will to survive. To thrive. The ability to think outside the box for sure, but it is more, it is the knowledge that they can make a difference in your organization. Not that they have done the exact same thing somewhere else, that almost never works! Find someone that must stretch to accomplish your goals. Make them convince you they are the right person for the position. Remember the 80/20 Rule: they need to do most of the talking. Give me a shout if you want a shoulder to cry on. I have hired over 300 people and only had to fire three.
PMP is a project management certification. If your candidate has this certification, then you can be assured that they have the basic body of knowledge defined for that position. They are also required to take classes to keep that certifcation. This assures they stay relevant in the project management craft. But like many certifications, it does not tell you if the person is a good project manager (and vice versa - if someone without a PMP is a good project manager).
One suggestion is to verify that they have project managed in the industry or product base in your business field. A pharmaceutical company will have different requirements than a software company or manufacturing plant.
Ask to see their body of work, project management schedules and charts. Verify that their tracking methods include both planned and actual dates, milestones, risk management, change management and ownership to their significant assignments.
Ask them about the tools they used in their project management daily activities.
Ask them their strategy in reporting - and how they intend to receive/request information from their teams in a way that is meaningful, efficient and accurate (without distracting the others from their course).
Ask them about their most difficult project.
Share with them your project's highlights and ask them how they would project manage it.
Ask them if they are members of a project management association.