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Hiring a Project Coordinator: Job Description Template

By Ammar Ahmed

Published:

Understanding the Project Coordinator job description can be challenging. A wrong hire might lead to missed deadlines and reduced efficiency. But with our guide, you’ll have a straightforward approach to finding a Project Coordinator who will genuinely improve your team and projects.


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Responsibilities & Role of a Project Coordinator

Navigating the hiring process for a Project Coordinator demands a firm grasp of the role’s essential responsibilities. While most hiring managers are familiar with the basics, it’s helpful to revisit these duties as a refresher.

  • Central Communication Hub: They connect team members, stakeholders, and management, serving as the project’s go-to communicator.
  • Task Management: Responsible for keeping the project on schedule by setting deadlines and managing tasks.
  • Resource Allocation: Allocates necessary resources like budget and personnel to avoid project delays.
  • Documentation & Reporting: Maintains records and generates progress reports to keep stakeholders in the loop.
  • Problem-Solving: Takes the lead in resolving conflicts and issues to ensure the project stays on course.

In a nutshell, a Project Coordinator is a communicator, taskmaster, resource allocator, and problem solver rolled into one. Keep these responsibilities in mind to refine your hiring criteria.


How to Hire a Project Coordinator

1. Understanding Your Project Coordinator Needs

When it comes to hiring a Project Coordinator, it’s crucial to start with a solid understanding of your specific needs and goals. This goes beyond the basic qualifications and experience. 

  • Are you looking for someone who has expertise in Agile methodologies, or is a background in Six Sigma more in line with your business objectives? 
  • Do you need a Project Coordinator who excels in cross-departmental communication, or is domain-specific knowledge a more important criterion?

Assessing these specialized needs will not only guide you in the candidate selection process but also set the foundation for a more streamlined, efficient project coordination within your organization.

2. Search for the Top Talent

In today’s digital age, limiting your recruitment efforts to a single platform can be a missed opportunity. Using multiple platforms gives you access to a diverse talent pool, making it easier to find the right Project Coordinator, whether for a full-time role or a freelance position.

Here’s how to diversify your search:

  • Project Management Job Boards: Utilize specialized platforms like PM World 360 Magazine and PMI Job Board to find candidates who are deeply engaged in the project management field.
  • LinkedIn:  This professional network is excellent for sourcing experienced candidates and can be particularly useful for full-time positions. You can utilize LinkedIn’s ‘Job Posting’ feature to attract candidates who already have a background in project coordination.
  • Freelance Marketplaces: Upwork, Freelancer, and similar sites are designed to match freelance professionals with projects. These platforms offer the advantage of being able to quickly contract for short-term tasks, making them ideal if you are looking for specialized, project-based freelance roles.
  • Industry-Specific Forums and Websites: If you’re in a specialized industry like tech or healthcare, forums, and industry-specific job boards can be gold mines for highly specialized talent. For instance, websites like GitHub or Stack Overflow can offer candidates deeply ingrained in the specific technologies you’re working with.

3. Look for Professional Qualifications

When searching for an ideal Project Coordinator, scrutinizing their professional qualifications is paramount. Qualifications can offer insights into a candidate’s technical skills, educational background, and specialized expertise.

Pay attention to the following aspects:

  • Certifications: Given that project management has several accredited certifications, looking for qualifications like PMP (Project Management Professional) or CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management) can be indicative of a candidate’s expertise. These certifications are generally recognized as benchmarks for quality in project management and will give you an idea of the candidate’s grasp of best practices.
  • Specialized Skills: In addition to general project management skills, the right Project Coordinator might need domain-specific knowledge or technical skills depending on your industry. For instance, a Project Coordinator in an IT setting might need experience with SCRUM or Agile methodologies, whereas one in construction might require expertise in risk management.
  • Education: While experience often trumps educational background, a bachelor’s or master’s degree in business or project management can provide a solid theoretical framework that complements practical skills.

4. Analyze Their Work Experience

Experience is often the most telling indicator of a candidate’s ability to perform well in a role. However, not all experience is created equal.

When reviewing resumes or conducting interviews, consider focusing on the following areas:

  • Industry-Relevant Experience: Experience in your specific industry can be invaluable. A candidate who has previously coordinated projects in your sector will likely have a better understanding of the unique challenges and requirements it presents.
  • Scope of Previous Projects: Assess the scale and impact of the projects they’ve managed in the past. Experience with projects of similar scope to those your organization handles can be a strong indicator of their suitability for the role.
  • Cross-Functional Team Experience: Project Coordinators often work with marketing, sales, development, and customer service teams. Experience in coordinating projects that require cross-functional collaboration can set a candidate apart.
  • Client Interfacing Skills: If your projects involve client interaction, a Project Coordinator with strong client management skills can make a world of difference in stakeholder satisfaction.

Taking the time to deeply examine professional qualifications and relevant work experience can help ensure you find a Project Coordinator who is not only qualified but also aligns well with your specific needs and objectives.

5. Conduct a Comprehensive Interview Process

The interview process serves as your opportunity to assess the candidate beyond their credentials and skill set; it’s your window into their personality, team compatibility, and alignment with company culture

Conducting a multi-tiered interview process can be advantageous. Start with a preliminary screening to review qualifications and assess basic compatibility. For more in-depth insight, subsequent rounds can include behavioral interviews, case studies, or panel discussions with candidates.

For freelance Project Coordinators, it’s wise to incorporate project-specific questions or even a short trial project to gauge their expertise and reliability. Each layer of the interview process serves to refine your candidate pool, ensuring that you end up with a Project Coordinator who not only has the technical chops but also fits seamlessly into your organizational structure.

6. Cross-Verify References Checks

Incorporating reference checks is crucial in mitigating hiring risks. According to a 2020 survey by ResumeLab, 36% of Americans admitted to lying on their resumes about aspects like job experience or duties. 

Further supporting the case for due diligence, a 2019 survey by Robert Half revealed that 34% of senior managers chose not to hire a candidate based on the findings of a reference check

Reference checks are especially invaluable when hiring freelance Project Coordinators, as past performance and reliability are often the most reliable indicators of future success. By thoroughly vetting candidates, you make a well-informed and safer hiring decision.

Here are the three most important questions you should ask while contacting the candidate’s references:

  • Can you describe the scope and complexity of the projects that the candidate coordinated while working with you?
  • Can you provide an example where the candidate had to adapt to unexpected changes in a project? How did they handle it?
  • How would you rate the candidate’s skills in budget management and ensuring projects were completed on time and within budget?

Tips for Avoiding Red Flags During the Hiring Process

The hiring process can be fraught with pitfalls if you’re not vigilant. Red flags can often be subtle, and recognizing them early can save you from a costly hiring mistake.

Here are some tips specific to hiring a Project Coordinator to help you avoid red flags during the recruitment process:

  • Lack of Metrics: Any experienced Project Coordinator should be able to provide KPIs they’ve used to measure the success of their projects. A lack of awareness about key metrics like ROI, project completion rate, or resource utilization rate could indicate inexperience or inefficiency.
  • Limited Software Skills: If the candidate is not familiar with key project management software such as Jira, Asana, or Smartsheet, that’s a major red flag. Proficiency in these tools is almost a prerequisite for a modern Project Coordinator.
  • Lack of Complexity in Past Projects: Project Coordinators often have portfolios or case studies that showcase their work. If the projects they’ve coordinated seem simplistic or don’t involve multiple departments or phases, consider this a warning.
  • Undefined Leadership Style: Project Coordinators must often serve as mini-PMs and need to effectively lead a team. If they cannot define their leadership style or tailor it according to the needs of a project, be cautious.

By being vigilant in these areas, you increase your chances of hiring a Project Coordinator who is not only qualified but also a good fit for your organizational culture and specific project needs.


A new hire's first day checklist

Project Coordinator Job Description

The significance of crafting a compelling job description cannot be overstated. Not only does it serve as a roadmap for potential candidates but also as a vital tool for filtering the right talent. An Indeed survey found that a remarkable 52% of job applicants consider the quality of a job description as a major factor in deciding whether or not to apply. 

This demonstrates the essential role a well-written job description plays in attracting the most suitable candidates for your open position. So, take your time and use the following template as a guide to create a job description that truly resonates with your target applicants.

Download Template

Position: Project Coordinator

Company: [Your Company Name]

Location: [City, State]

Salary: [$XX,XXX – $XX,XXX]

Job Type: Full-Time / Part-Time / Freelance

About Us:

[Your Company Name] is an industry leader in [Your Industry], committed to innovation and excellence. We offer a dynamic, collaborative work environment and are dedicated to solving complex challenges.

The Opportunity: 

The Project Coordinator will serve as a linchpin for project activities, liaising between team members, stakeholders, and executives. The role entails planning, executing, and monitoring projects from inception to completion, in alignment with company objectives.

What You’ll Do:

  • Coordinate project management activities, resources, equipment, and information.
  • Act as the point of contact and communicate project status to all participants.
  • Break projects into doable actions and set timeframes.
  • Create and maintain comprehensive project documentation, plans, and reports.
  • Monitor project progress and handle any issues that arise.
  • Ensure standards and requirements are met through conducting quality assurance tests.
  • Liaise with clients to identify and define requirements, scope, and objectives.
  • Assign tasks to internal teams and assist with schedule management.
  • Make sure that clients’ needs are met as the project evolves.
  • Analyze risks and opportunities, ensuring they’re clearly communicated and addressed.
  • Organize and attend stakeholder meetings; prepare and distribute minutes.
  • Track expenses and predict future costs.
  • Participate in project design meetings and propose improvements if necessary.

What You’ll Bring:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Business Management, Project Management, or related field.
  • Minimum of 3 years of experience in a project coordination role, preferably in [Your Industry].
  • Knowledge of project management, from conception to delivery.
  • Solid organizational skills, including multitasking and time management.
  • Ability to prepare and interpret flowcharts, schedules, and step-by-step action plans.
  • Familiarity with risk management and quality assurance control.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Project and Microsoft Planner.
  • Hands-on experience with project management tools (e.g., Trello, Slack).
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • PMP / PRINCE2 certification is a plus.

Our Ideal Candidate is Someone Who Has:

  • A PMP, CAPM, or industry-specific certification.
  • Experience with cross-functional team management.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • A proactive approach to problem-solving and the ability to make quick, informed decisions.
  • A knack for building strong relationships with team members, vendors, and clients.
  • A strong ethical framework and unwavering integrity.

Benefits and Perks:

  • Competitive salary.
  • Health and dental insurance.
  • 401(k) plan.
  • Professional development opportunities.
  • Employee discounts.
  • Career advancement opportunities.
  • Bonus structure.
  • Paid time off (PTO).
  • Flexible work schedule.

How to Join Us:

If you’re excited about the opportunity to contribute to dynamic projects and work with a talented team, we’d love to hear from you. To apply, please send your resume and a cover letter detailing your experience and why you’re a fit for this role to [Your Email Address]. The deadline for applications is [Deadline].

We look forward to the possibility of you joining our team!

Note: Feel free to edit this template to suit your company’s specific needs and requirements, ensuring you attract the most qualified Project Coordinators for your unique organizational challenges and goals.


How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Project Coordinator?

Hiring a Project Coordinator involves various costs, which go beyond the obvious salary expenditure. Here’s a breakdown to offer a comprehensive understanding:

Recruitment Costs

  • Recruitment Agencies: Specialized recruitment firms can run a thorough search for you, typically charging between 15-25% of the candidate’s annual salary. For Project Coordinators, who often make between $45,000 to $85,000 a year, this could equate to around $6,750 to $21,250 per hire.
  • Specialized Job Platforms: Each platform has a different pricing model. Some job boards offer customized packages based on your hiring requirements. For instance, The Project Management Institute offers several options for posting job openings on their job board. Prices start at $349 for a 30-day  job posting. They also offer a Job Flash™ Package for $449, which includes having the job emailed to Project Management Professionals and posted for 30 days.
  • Job Ads and Promotions: Boosting your job postings on general platforms like LinkedIn or Indeed can cost an additional $100-$300 per post to reach a wider or more specialized audience. You can set a minimum daily budget of $5 for your job promotion.

Salary

According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary for a Project Coordinator in the U.S. is between $37,000 and $78,000. However, this range can fluctuate based on factors like location, industry, and experience level. For example, Project Coordinators in the tech sector in San Francisco may command salaries above $80,000 due to the high cost of living and industry demand. Freelance rates can vary, typically ranging from $20 to $50 per hour based on project scope and expertise.

Screening and Assessment Tools

Employers increasingly use specialized tests to screen candidates, and these come at a cost. Assessment platforms like Codility charge around $50 per candidate. These tests help in filtering candidates who possess the necessary skills, thereby saving long-term costs related to poor hiring decisions.

Benefits and Perks

  • Benefit Package: It’s easy to overlook the cost of benefits, which can add 20% to 30% to the base salary. This includes healthcare plans, retirement contributions, performance bonuses, and other perks like gym memberships or commuter benefits.
  • Bonuses and Incentives: Many companies offer performance-based bonuses which can add up to 1-5% of the annual salary.

Equipment and Software

You may need to budget for specialized software or hardware that the Project Coordinator will use. A high-quality laptop could cost around $1,000, and software licenses, such as for Microsoft Project or Asana, could add an additional $10 to $50 per user per month.

By understanding these various cost components, you can more accurately budget for hiring a Project Coordinator. Keep in mind that you may need to adjust these estimates based on your specific industry and organizational needs.


Ammar Ahmed

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