The process of hiring IT staff should be as exacting and organized as the IT field itself. Whether you are looking to hire a contractor or a full-time employee, having rigorous standards and clear-cut procedures will help you recruit the best talent for your company’s specific needs. The following are ten tips for hiring in today’s fast-paced tech world.
1. Know What You Need
It is critical to be able to distinguish between your company’s immediate needs and its long-term vision. Hiring the best candidate for today’s tasks does not always translate into the best decision for the future. Be sure to fully understand how your company’s philosophy, culture, and vision for the future fit together so that you can identify the missing pieces and set out to hire only those candidates who can successfully bridge those gaps.
There are thousands of tech-related events that take place every day. Dedicate some time to researching those that are most relevant and feasible for you and commit to attending a certain number each month. Set specific targets; e.g. in July, we will attend ‘x’ number of events and follow up with ‘y’ number of new contacts.
3. Recruit Continuously
Networking and recruiting continuously come hand in hand. Even if there is not an immediate opening in your company, you want to keep a consistent, vigilant eye out for prime talent who will take your company to the next level. It may not be next week, or even next year; however, once you establish a relationship, it is easy for pathways to converge farther down the line.
4. Interview Many Candidates
Even if you meet a candidate early in the process that really “wows” you, it is critical to interview a certain volume of applicants. Commit to a number and stick to it, no matter who walks in the door.
5. Include Techies in the Interview Process
IT are highly specialized at what they do. In order to be successful in their roles, they must be fluent in technical aspects that a hiring manager may not understand. This is why it is important to include techies in the interview process. For example, if you are looking to hire an IBM Rational admin, it is imperative that someone fluent with the Rational line meet candidates so that he can determine whether or not the applicants have the level of technical expertise necessary to succeed at the job.
6. Include Non-techies in the Interview Process
While it is necessary for potential candidates to be adept at translating digital code, it is just as necessary for applicants to be able to communicate effectively with other team members. Including a non-IT professional in the interview process will help determine if the applicant can succeed in a collaborative team environment.
7. Ask Probing Questions
You want to gauge how a candidate will perform under pressure. Not only do probing questions determine whether an applicant can think on his feet, they can also reveal a person’s core values and motivations. This will help you decipher whether or not candidates’ individual philosophies are in line with your company’s philosophy.
8. Check References
In today’s workplace, there are very strict laws regarding what employers can and cannot say about former employees. However, employers can always share the period of time an employee worked for them.
9. Assign Mentors
Once you have hired a new employee, it is beneficial to assign a mentor. This “buddy” relationship will help the freshly-hired employee acclimate faster and will thereby lead to enhanced productivity.
10. Conduct Exit Interviews
The hiring process begins with the exit process. When employees are on their way out, they are likely to be more honest. This is the prime time for you to gather information about work environment and worker morale. Information gleaned from these interviews may help inform the hiring process.