Sifting through applications is one of the most important first hurdles for an IT hiring manager to overcome in the selection process. Unfortunately, this first step can also be the downfall of the hiring process due to one key mistake: prioritizing applications with greater years of experience instead of looking for contenders whose experience shows potential. Instead of focusing your screening and interviewing energy on selecting the “Most Experienced Candidate,” consider which prospects stand out for their work in the following four categories.
Who Possesses the Best Skill Sets?
Whether an IT pro is traditionally educated or a self-starter, you’re looking for someone who’s acquired the knowledge and skill sets needed to get the job done. Many hiring managers falsely assume that these skills could only have been acquired through years of experience. Asking your interviewees specific software or project-related questions will give you greater insight.
Whose Achievements Stand Out?
Assessing the value – rather than the length – of an IT pro’s past experiences is what’s most important. While some pros are able to succeed and thrive in their same field for many years, others become stale; consultants with relevant-yet-varied experience may be better fits. Ask storytelling questions to get a better sense of both the quality of your candidates’ past experiences and their current outlook on employment within the field.
Who’s an Awesome Culture Fit?
Culture fit should always be a primary consideration during recruitment—whether you’re looking for a full-time employee or a temporary hire—because ‘everyday behavior’ is ultimately what determines future accomplishments. The interview process is your chance to ask unique and quirky questions to gain an even better sense of whether or not you could work well with a given consultant.
Who Displays the Strongest Aptitude for Learning?
In some ways, an IT pro’s ability to adapt and learn is the most important consideration when hiring for potential instead of experience. Because your typical contract needs will involve working in a fast-paced, changing environment, you need to identify pros who are agile learners. IT pros who are recently educated, or who have a varied background in many different areas of IT are more likely to excel in this category.
Would there be an “IT Talent Shortage” if hiring managers changed their tune? Nearly 50 percent of business technologists don’t believe so, and many qualified IT opportunity seekers are frustrated to know that the talent-shortage paradox primarily exists because of their evaluation based on experience, rather than potential. By evaluating your candidates based on their non-experience qualifications you’re sure to find a great IT pro fast and say “sayonara” to your talent shortage worries.
Abridged August 2017
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