What to Look for When Hiring for a Tech Position
According to The Balance Careers, the demand for IT positions is expected to increase by 12 percent between 2014 and 2024. Almost half a million jobs will be added in that period. This means more opportunities for those seeking work in the field but more difficulty on the part of those trying to hire employees to fill those slots. If you are someone who is actively recruiting candidates for tech positions, you already know it can be difficult to find the right fit.
Ensuring that each person you employ aligns with your needs and goals is necessary if you wish to remain efficient and enhance your company’s competitive edge. Here are some things to keep in mind when looking for the right person to place in one of your tech jobs.
Although you certainly want someone who has experience in the precise area you specify, you shouldn’t necessarily dismiss an otherwise stellar candidate who is only close to being a match. A brilliant IT specialist in one narrow category usually knows a great deal about the disciplines which overlap. You want someone competent but adaptable. This is especially true if you are engaged in cutting-edge change. Ultimately, experience is about having a strong skill set with demonstrated abilities. Ask the applicant how past experience can be applied to your needs.
Education is a powerful tool, but it is important that it apply to your particular area. In the IT industry, hard skills matter. Because education is highly valued, an applicant will usually put a heavy emphasis on this section their resume. Don’t be wowed by buzzwords, and remember that degrees don’t necessarily equate to hands-on abilities. For career and training purposes, certificates can be just as good as degrees as long as they are in the desired skill.
Ability to Communicate
According to ACE, in one of their surveys of employers, verbal communication skills were rated as more important than adaptability to teamwork, capability to make decisions, or ability to solve problems. Communication was given a rating of 4.63 on a five-point scale. Someone can be the best in the business, but all that talent isn’t going to matter if they aren’t willing and able to effectively interact with others. Very little gets accomplished by those who fail to clarify their concepts.
References are often neglected these days. Many employers make the mistake of solely using their first impression to arrive at a decision. Checking references can be the difference between hiring a great employee or a bad one. Take the time to speak with previous colleagues and employers to ascertain their opinion of the candidate’s record and accomplishments. If the only references are personal friends and Facebook, perhaps the person in question has no past accomplishments.
Much of this can be gleaned from glancing at an applicant’s resume. A desirable candidate should be able to make a concise and pertinent presentation. At best, a padded resume is irrelevant to your purposes, and at worst, it’s suspicious. Focus on the skills you require and the applicants who possess them. Consider their experience, education, communication ability, and references. You need someone who can hit the ground running in a technical and competitive industry. There is one other thing you should always keep in mind, however: your first impression still matters.
As a business leader, there is a lot on your plate. Here is the secret to consistent growth as a leader and as a company.