In a big programme that I was asked to recover some time ago I had to search many weeks for competent project managers to lead the sub-projects. Not a single candidate presented to me by the procurement department was acceptable! Looking at the job offerings and ads in the relevant web portals I know why:
Most of the job profiles describe the duties of a project manager that general that everybody who once has done a (sub)project lead can identify himself with it. So many applicants of various quality show up along the lines of “let’s have a look…”. The interposed resource provider is ok with this (his primary interest is in the salary expectations to optimize his own margin), procurement has an (unsuitable) check list, and the selection is finally done by best price.
Describe your project elaborately in detail, its scope, frame conditions (departments involved, suppliers, external staff, stakeholders etc.), the professional requirements, less the technical or industry ones but especially those to the level of the PM. That way the applicant, the recruiter, and the hiring instance can judge the candidate’s match correctly. Don’t have the salary be a criteria for the pre-selection – I myself tell my calculation principally not before I have achieved a common understanding about the job with my principal. Everything else would not be serious.
Better leave the search for professional staff to the HR than to the procurement department – in most cases there is more experience available with job assessments. And reserve the short listing, which you will present to your project sponsor together with your good advice, to yourself. That’s how you normally get people who are capable to do their jobs right and help you lead your project. And your principal thus saves a fortune for expensive experiments with cheap but overwhelmed “practitioners” or “experienced specialists” without sufficient PM skills…