Hiring in the Technology Industry

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Dec 12, 2017

PathShare®HR Services Webinar Provides Tips to Hiring in IT

Hiring on purpose means being precise: understanding who you are, what you’re looking for in a candidate and communicating this in a compelling way to attract the talent you seek. You want precision in how you determine who will be both successful in the IT role you are hiring for, and who will be a champion for your organizational cause – or purpose!

Recruiting, hiring and retaining IT employees has been a challenge for MSPs and IT Solution Providers.

Since 2014, hiring and attracting good employees has been a top dealer challenge in the GreatAmerica Annual Dealer Survey.

To help address this issue and bring awareness to options, last week I presented a webinar, “Hiring on Purpose in the Technology Industry.” We had a great response and attendees asked several questions.

Here are some frequently asked questions I’ve been asked on this topic of “Hiring in IT”:

  • “Are there standard certifications we should be using to filter IT candidates?”
    • All information, and insight gathered during the assessment process is a data point. Some points are worth more than others, but they should all be viewed in the larger picture. Certifications are important, especially depending on the level you are hiring for. Yet, my perspective is certifications are not the most important data point.
    • Skills can be taught and certifications can be earned. What cannot be taught are values. You either have values that align (i.e. tenacity, integrity, gratitude or entrepreneurialism) or you do not. I would prefer onboarding an IT candidate who is qualified, aligns with the core values of my organization and who I can develop, rather than someone who is qualified, has several certifications, but may erode my culture.
  • “What are some example of open-ended questions you should ask an IT candidate?”
    • There are two behavior-based interview questions I ask to engage what type of thought process I can expect. This helps determine whether a candidate demonstrates an enjoyment in being systematic and thorough in proceeding towards objects.
      • “Tell me a recent example of a project in which you thought through all the relevant steps necessary to accomplish an objective.”
        • “What steps did you take?”
        • “What was the outcome?”
        • “What would you do different next time?”
      • “Give me an example of a time when a project wasn’t moving along as planned.”
        • “What caused this?”
        • “How did you handle this?”
        • “What were the results?”
  • “Our company has had a lot of turnover in the last year which resulted in us trying to hire more IT personnel. How can I fix this or stay ahead of this issue?”
    • Diagnosing a large issue such as IT turnover may be difficult if you’re dealing with symptoms rather than the underlying issue. Many individuals with whom we’ve worked have found great value in what we call a Retention Study. This type of study engages individuals who have left your organization to uncover trends why they left, ultimately letting you diagnose the potential underlying issue. The results of your retention study help you to build trusted plans for the actions which may be taken to increase your employee retention rates.
  • “How long does it typically take to fill an IT position? My whole team is burning out. How can I speed up my hiring process?”
    • According to The Society for Human Resource Management 2016 Human Capital Report, the average time to fill an open position is 42 days. However, I would caution anyone to focus solely on this number. It’s critical for you to not only fill your role, but to focus on diligently getting the right person in the right seat. Don’t trade a short-term fix (a quick hire) for a long-term problem (a bad hire). In order to yield greater hiring success, you need a well thought out and consistent approach to your hiring process. A high-level overview of our “Path to Hiring Success” is:

    • Identify the traits, behaviors, talent and abilities needed for success in the role.
    • Source the talent you are seeking by identifying a diverse pool of candidates for which to recruit from using at least 3 different recruiting sources.
    • Engage with candidates in new ways to attract them and to uncover their needs.
    • Assess the candidates’ attributes for success using more than just standard interview techniques. Include in your assessment culture fit, value alignment and willingness to champion your organizational cause—your purpose!
    • Offer the successful candidate a competitive package that’s framed around their needs.
    • Transition the new hire to your team by aligning them with your team before day one.

If the answers to these questions were of value to you, and you’re looking to bring more precision to your hiring, I strongly encourage you to watch our webinar where we discuss this topic in more depth (see above)!

PathShare Hiring Services

Category: Personnel

About The Author

Arial Harland

Arial Harland is a Human Resources & Organizational Development Consultant with PathShare® HR Services Group at GreatAmerica Financial Services, where she enjoys fostering relationships with business owners by helping them with their organizational challenges. Arial joined GreatAmerica in 2014 and she is a certified AVA Analyst through Bizet Human Asset Management. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Sciences and Psychology at Coe College and is currently pursuing a Master of Organizational Leadership through St. Ambrose University.

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