As the world moves ever more rapidly towards an IT-centric future, the number of IT roles continue to exceed supply. As hiring for technical roles becomes more competitive, the first thing companies must do is to stop sabotaging their efforts with poor hiring practices.
Here are 5 common mistakes that smart recruiters need to stamp out:
Getting the skills profile wrong
Many businesses err by designing job descriptions that don't actually reflect the reality of the role. When recruiting for technical roles, there is often an over-emphasis on hard technical skills and a corresponding lack of focus on soft skills.
The number of essential skills listed must also be carefully considered. Strong candidates could be deterred if they do not have competence in a specific skill listed as essential. On the other hand, they might dismiss a role with too few technical skills listed. So spend time with your IT team getting the balance right.
Browse the profiles of employees in similar roles to the one you're offering. That should help you align your job description with the real world job market. After all, you can't hire talent that doesn't exist!
A common mistake made by firms hiring for senior IT roles is downplaying the importance of business and communication skills. Senior IT personnel are often required to liaise with non-technical stakeholders from both within and outside of the company.
Disregarding the candidate's experience
In a tight labour market, it is more important than ever to consider your candidates' needs and show them respect during the hiring process.
The Enterprise Project criticises some companies for writing 'one-way job descriptions. These focus only on what the candidate can do for the company and not what is in the deal for the candidate. Competing on salary is often not enough when it comes to attracting top talent. Work-life balance, company culture and development potential can be deciding factors for many in-demand candidates.
Companies can also lose out on quality candidates by failing to keep them updated or taking too long to interview them. Smart companies have taken steps to streamline the hiring process. This is not only more efficient, it's more respectful of the candidate's time.
Hiring by resume
Another common mistake is downplaying the importance of face-to-face interviews and making hiring decisions on the strength of a resume alone. This is a very risky strategy because it only focuses on the candidate's written communication skills. A well-rounded hiring process should present a range of challenges and tests, including team-working exercises and personality assessments. A final face-to-face interview gives employers the ability to assess verbal communication skills and determine company fit.
In their drive to hire the perfect IT professional, companies sometimes fail to see the talent in front of their noses. Don't immediately disregard existing employees or candidates who lack experience in a key technical skill. A willingness to learn and develop combined with tuition from senior IT professionals can be a powerful combination.
Hiring as individuals
Giving one person the responsibility for hiring IT talent is another common mistake. It is unlikely that any one person in your company will have the depth and breadth of understanding to make that decision on their own.
Effective hiring demands a team approach. Too many interviews are poorly co-ordinated, leading to multiple people asking the candidate the same questions. This is not only ineffective, it presents a poor impression to the candidate. Everyone involved in the interview process should provide a unique contribution based on their role in the company.