Recruiting technical talent is a pretty overwhelming challenge for an IT recruiter especially if you are not from that field. A healthy competition can be expected from various recruitment agencies for recruiting “Hybrid” (applicants with both technical and business skills) candidates. Many non techie employers may find it challenging to recruit technical talent. The challenge increases further for small companies who are short of on-staff IT experts to assist in candidate selection. Fortunately, many effective methods do exist to help even the most tech-challenged company to help tide over the hiring of right IT candidates.
There’s much more to recruitment than only educational background. Depending on the recruitment search i.e. a hybrid candidate, one needs to focus in more than one direction. Technical people are trained in a specific skill and later on acquire business knowledge in other areas on the job by working on a project. It’s extremely essential to decide first whether one needs an MBA or a tech knowledge candidate to fill the position, only then can the search for the right candidate begin.
Scanning resumes is a hard task to accomplish if one does not have a technical background and often the IT recruiter with understanding which skills are essential for a specific tech position they are looking to fill.
To evaluate the right candidate for the hybrid position answering the following questions will prove useful:
- Does the person’s skill match the requirement?
- Seniority Status
- Experience in the particular field
- Do they have the IT and business tools necessary to get the job done?
- Have they performed similar tasks in their previous workplace?
- Can you afford them?
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Keeping it simple and easy but at the same time following a thorough approach while IT recruiting will help you in selecting the right employee thereby reducing the task of going through all the resumes. For an IT recruiter, doing an in-depth interview and checking referrals remains the first and the strongest source when searching for candidates. Once the list is narrowed to potential employees, start by looking for their experience in the prior jobs, emphasising their focus more towards their time spent between technical and business tasks. Also verify what the prospect means by checking references. In short, broaden your research and look for their contribution in various fields.
Getting in touch with their previous supervisors and asking a few questions about their former employee shall help you in making a decision.
- What did they do on a typical day?
- What was their role in past projects?
- What kind of technical aptitude do they have?
- How is their business sense?
- Describe the role you have in mind for the employee. Would they do well in that role? Where would they likely struggle?
The correct IT skills
It is the human resource specialist who makes decisions when recruiting new prospects to gauge their business acumen and other criteria, but not all companies are equipped with an IT recruiter “to speak” IT during the recruiting process. Having knowledgeable and technical pros on your staff is a huge plus as it makes the entire recruiting process easier. Also, it will be easier to compare the employee’s competencies with those that are required by the job. A technical person on the panel will be responsible for doing a technical screening of the resumes and also conducting technical interviews.
While the IT person concentrates on the technical side of recruitment, checking the other aspects such as communication and social skills also need to be analyzed. The question that then arises is what should the IT recruiter do to hire the correct talent? Listed below are some techniques;
An external recruitment company to verify the skills of the prospective employees
Finding the right skill testing company is no major task as there are many skill testing companies that can identify and segregate the strong and weak points of the prospective candidates and also compare to others who take the tests. As a recruiter, you must know exactly what types of skills and experience your ideal candidate would be an expert in and then log onto the right one.
Get an IT professional to help you out
Search through your network and contacts for a tech savvy colleague from the same field who would assist you in your tech recruiting efforts.
One need not be an actual IT expert to hire an IT staff.You can nod your head while listening to the answers even though you have not understood the terminologies used by the candidate. You may also use google to get more info about the right questions pertaining to the interview. You can set the stage by doing a little research and jot down notes and questions prior to the interview and prepare yourself with related correct answers and also the key phrases.
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Hire someone knowing the ins and outs
As mentioned above, it is always helpful in choosing a candidate who has successfully accomplished the task earlier. A person who has performed one or two implementations before will know where the issues were, can identify areas of improvements, they know how to cut costs or judge a timeline. As a result, you won’t have to worry about the technical competencies with help on hand.
Lastly, get help with IT recruiting and retention
Asking advice and taking help in hiring quality tech talent is no mean task, especially you being no techie yourself. One needs to be patient and more selective when finalizing a candidate as hiring someone in an emergency could be a big disaster. Making a hasty decision could lead to many disruptions and ultimately affect your final productivity and turnover costs.
- “The Non-Techies’ Guide to Hiring Tech Talent” by Sophie Deering, Nov 3rd 2015.
- “IT recruiting tips for the non-techie recruiter” by Monster.com.