How to Hire the Right Geek!
Posted by Bill Weil
What are the key areas a company must look at when hiring technical contract workers?
When hiring technical personnel, we look at three aspects: appearance, intelligence and personality.
Appearance: Does the candidate have the appearance that the client/employer prefers? Each company has their own culture and image, so appearance can play a major factor or, in some cases, a minor one. To service our clients in the proper manner, we need to understand their image and identify candidates that mirror that image. We gather this information about our clients by making personal visits to their offices and by getting to know hiring managers.
Intelligence: Is the candidate intelligent enough to work independently? A qualified consultant should be able to step in and learn the client’s/employers’ environment and begin to provide value in a short period of time. Each person has a different skill set they bring to the client/employer, but most, if not all, should be able to work independently to achieve stated goals. This ability is gauged during the face-to-face interview and verified by checking references from current/previous managers and peers.
Personality: Does the candidate have the right personality that will bring additional value to their day-to-day productivity? Effective communication is a component of productivity. When placing a highly technical person, like a heads-down programmer, or someone who is performing a help desk function, you will find various degrees of communication ability. Technical people should possess the ability to communicate effectively, and this ability directly affects their productivity on a daily basis. This comes across clearly in our face-to-face interviews.
How can a client/company ensure that its prospects will be the right technical and cultural fit?
Employers/clients must analyze the job and create or update a comprehensive job description. They must also understand that there are interchangeable skills that may be as good, or better, than the skills they are specifically seeking in a candidate (Oracle vs. SAP, etc.). There are some candidates that are the type that are able to acquire any skill. Sometimes accepting a candidate with slightly lesser skills may be the best fit. Hiring managers may only get 70-75 percent of the skills they desire but the candidate may be the best fit for a job.
When it comes to a cultural fit, the employer/client must ask questions that ensure the candidate will fit into the culture of the company; this may include dress code, work hours and work ethic. We maximize the fit based on all of these criteria.
How fast should an employer/client make a decision to consult/hire?
With the pace and demand of hiring IT professionals increasing, the average window to make a decision to hire/consult is approximately one to two weeks. We have been experiencing candidates that are receiving multiple offers and counter-offers. Employers go to great extremes to keep their current talent on staff by matching or exceeding compensation of employees that are being lured away by other firms. It’s always costly to lose talent you want to keep. It’s also costly to lost newly referred candidates because of the inability to hire in a timely manner. We have found that unnecessary foot dragging will lose a good candidate.
If you would like additional information on best practices for recruiting, please contact us to request a no obligation consultation.