Consider what is teachable (backlog management), keeping in mind what is teachable given your surroundings and bandwidth.
Don’t employ for such qualities after you’ve recognized them. They are shiny deterrents. Anyone may enroll in a brief online course and pretend to have these abilities during an interview. They can be taught so readily because of this.
Consider all the attributes that person will need to achieve in the next 3-6 months and that they will need to have in order to go past the APM level. What you CANNOT teach? Recruit for them.
After hired a few APMs at various organizations, I can tell that the most crucial factor is making sure that this person’s brain is wired in a way that you can shape it. APMs are fantastic because they are a blank slate, but they are also hazardous. Finding “that thing” that makes you certain you can trust someone after they can manage the everyday is the key. Is it natural for them to flail when stuck? also to push? Or did they hear that PMs make excellent money and it’s more fun than making support calls? Are they motivated by a desire to solve problems?
I prefer to ask them to discuss a big obstacle they have faced in the past (ideally professionally, in any job), as well as how they overcame it. If they cared to address it, that says more about their motivation than anything else. If they aren’t driven to fix their own problems, they most certainly won’t get fired up about the suffering of your customers. The most intriguing part of their journey is how they got there, assuming they actually look for a solution.
You should also assess your decisiveness. Self-management of time is a necessary skill since without it, it will be difficult for someone to prioritize their own tasks, a backlog, and a future roadmap. In other words, don’t hire someone you have to “train” to do anything. Don’t kill yourself trying to educate them how to manage email when you already need to teach them a new position from scratch.
Additionally, there can be qualities you seek for in an APM that you wouldn’t prioritize in a more senior position. For instance, a generalist PM with years of experience may learn about any client. If an APM can at least gain a basic awareness of the issues your users encounter or the sector you work in, they will be at an advantage. My point is that you should strike a balance between what you’re looking for and a very realistic expectation of how much of a “project” you can take on with this particular individual.
When you reach a position of leadership, people resemble goods in certain ways. Strong base architecture is crucial for what you need now and what you’ll need in the future, just like with a product. You need a coachable candidate who possesses the fundamental traits of the PM you want in a year.