The Ticket to Finding Good Tech Talent
Prasad Tenjerla, COO
Finding the right talent for that critical technical position in your company is like winning the lottery. When you are trying to acquire the right person for a technical position, it takes tremendous effort: screening, testing technical skills, evaluating equivalent positions, assessing personality, etc. These are all very time consuming and could involve many current employees.
There are many procedural frameworks available in the market to distinguish if a potential recruit has the technical expertise they claim, or if they merely talk a good game. A common mistake supervisors or managers make is expecting a new person, who has a different history of specific experiences and successes, will be able to perform instantly to the same ability in a new and dissimilar environment. There are new people, different personalities, procedures, equipment, expectations, etc. This is where the expectation and reality of life differ.
INCREASE YOUR CHANCES FOR SUCCESS
When going through the hiring process, especially for a non-technical person looking for an IT professional, it’s important to keep certain things in mind to help you recognize the correct talent. Whether it’s for full time permanent employees or contract consultants, the first time you’re hiring technical employees or the hundredth, remember these:
- Candidates are trying to get the job. Although they may be very knowledgeable in the technical area you’re looking for, they may answer questions based on what they think you want to hear.
- References are always helpful, but keep in mind that they are given to you by the potential employee. They are only going to give you people that will provide a positive picture of their abilities and performance. That doesn’t mean it’s a wrong picture, but do listen to the references input knowing they already like your candidate.
- For the technical side, there are different online resources available, but it always helps to have another person assist with the evaluation. Make sure to ask questions that require a description of an issue they needed to address and ask the candidate to draw out or whiteboard how they solved this problem. Tell them of a problem your company has had and ask how they would resolve it.
- It’s easy for interviewees to do some research and discover the type of questions that your company asks during interviews. Glassdoor is a growing resource for job seekers and often has interview questions posted in their reviews. Being aware of this can help you assess the candidate – are they using the information just to get the right answer, or to better understand the needs of your company and how it works?
- Remember the soft skills. For tech positions, tech skills are essential. But the soft skills of conversation, communication, and personality can determine if this candidate will be a good match for the current team or situation.
PROVIDE A WINNING STRATEGY
Once you’ve vetted your new recruit and made them your new employee, it’s important to give them the opportunity to succeed. It’s not uncommon to have probationary periods so that both you and the new IT employee can determine if this really is a winning combination.
To help give everyone the best chances for success, it’s important to have a plan for integrating the new team member.
- Provide the time and training needed to understand your companies procedures, processes, and idiosyncrasies. Both sides need to get better acquainted and allow for an adjustment period.
- Supervisors and management should take some time and develop an understanding of the person’s strengths. Assignment for deliverables, tasks, and duties should progress as this assessment takes place. It’s easy for managers to get carried away when they have additional help and assign new employees too much too soon.
- Create an environment where their talent can grow and flourish. Keep challenging them to present solutions to problems, since they have a different perspective as the new person. Don’t be quickly dismissive, or they will stop suggesting solutions and eventually be discouraged. Then the process of hiring could need to start all over again.
- Keep inspiring them. Allow your new team member to showcase their talents. Provide them with guidance on ways to improve. Provide specific objectives and driving milestones to encourage reaching their potential and hopefully exceed your expectations.
Despite all the money, time, background checks, and review, you’ll only know if you’ve hit all those lucky numbers when the new technical recruit begins working. That is when you’ll find out if you’ve hit the jackpot.