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Dear Kristy: What Are Good Qualities For A Project Manager?

recruiting employees, hiring employeesI own a small restoration company in the Southeast, and we’re growing. The time has come for me to hand over actually running the projects to an actual project manager, so I can work on my business rather than in it so much day-to-day. I must say I’m hesitant to hand over the reins of projects to someone else, but do know it’s a critical next step for our company.

Would you be willing to share with me some of the qualities you’ve seen in the best project managers you’ve hired over the years? Also, what kind of criteria should I be looking for as far as experience and background?

Thank you,



Hello Ray!

Congratulations on making it to this level and being brave enough to move to the next step! Before I answer your question, I have a couple questions for you!

  • Do you do mitigation only, or mitigation and recon?
  • What volume is your company doing in a year?

For the sake of this response, I’m going to assume you do mitigation only, and subcontract out the reconstruction portion. I’m also going to assume you are doing about $1.5 million in revenue per year.

Based on this information, I would suggest you look for someone with some mitigation experience, or strong reconstruction experience. I would also suggest finding someone who is currently handling at least $1 million in work, preferably $1.5 million, but has the capacity to handle much more.

Some critical characteristics of a restoration project manager include:

  • Ability to run a large number of jobs at once, ranging in size from a small water loss to a large house fire.
  • Strong organizational skills paired with some tech savviness – so they will document losses well, and have through and complete paperwork that is always easy to locate in your job management software or other file system.
  • Ability to empathize with property owners. Someone who is cold and distant will likely not connect well with property owners who just suffered a potentially traumatic loss on their property and are looking for reassurance that things can be returned to pre-loss condition.
  • Good communication skills. This is Open, constant communication with the property owner is a vital component to successful restoration work.
  • Growth potential. I would suggest since you’re a younger, smaller company, you try to find someone who will come into the company and hope to stay and grow with it. This, of course, is not vital – but finding the right person with true buy-in to your company and its mission will make a big difference in the long run.

Of course, working with a recruiter can really help weed out the good candidates from the not-so-good. Our recruiters screen hundreds of candidates for various restoration positions every year, and can identify a gem from a dud pretty quickly, saving you time and energy!