finding the right IT professionalSo you need to hire an IT professional? There’s quite a bit of depth to IT staffing solutions as a field. But there’s one rule that will serve you well for finding the right employee.

Are you ready? Here it is:

Hire the person, not the skills.

It’s technology. Within 18 months, whatever skill you’ve hired could be obsolete. The person will remain. And replacing an employee is much more difficult than hiring the right employee the first time. 40% of business hires end in firing or resignation within 15 months.

What do we mean by “hire the person”?

Technology has exploded into so many different industries so quickly that many developers and other IT professionals with sought-after skills have been able to lean on their technical knowledge without developing much in the way of soft skills.

But we’re reaching a turning point. Personal computers and the Internet have been around for long enough that IT skills are no longer as rare as they once were. Companies can start to be choosy about who they hire.

That means when you’re hiring an IT professional – make sure they have the technical skills, of course – but also make sure they:

  • Communicate clearly and effectively: It doesn’t do much good to have a technical wizard on your team if they can’t articulate their advice. In any IT environment, there will be many situations when a non-technical individual proposes an idea with drawbacks that are only obvious to the IT professional. In that moment you want someone who can say with clarity, “I’m afraid that idea cannot be done, here’s what we can do instead.
  • Are adept at working with others in a team: Some coders think they’re rock stars who can handle everything themselves. Avoid them. It’s vital that IT employees are able to manage and be managed in a group.
  • Can adapt to tough project management schedules, pushing their tasks forward and keeping on their toes throughout a job: Some IT professionals are used to coasting – secure in the knowledge that no one else understands what they do well enough to see when they’re slacking off. Obviously, that’s not what you want. It pays to be able to identify that unfortunate habit early on.
  • Can learn quickly: As we stated, skills in IT quickly become obsolete. The most valuable employee is one who can keep up with change. What’s more, IT professionals are oftentimes called to learn on the job. Sudden software problems may require an employee to learn how to implement fixes in a serious hurry

IT staffing solutions for your hiring process

One of the best and easiest ways to find IT professionals with the type of character that you need is to simply relay what you’re looking for to your IT staffing service. If they’re anything like us, they will have these soft skills in mind when sending you candidates anyway.

The next best way to find the correct workers for your It jobs is to prepare scrupulously for interviews. Define the job description as fully and completely as you can. Throw a spontaneous coding scenario at the applicant to assess their skills. Ask tough, incisive questions to get to the root of their personality.  Make sure the right person is interviewing the applicant.

A good interview is more than a “friendly chat.” It is a structured analysis of an employee. It is your biggest opportunity to ensure that you are truly hiring the right person for the job. Be tough, be fair, be critical.

Again, it helps quite a bit to have a staffing firm watching your back and only sending the best qualified individuals. Ideally, you will want to work with a firm experienced in IT as your first line of defense against poor or unqualified candidates.

IT is a very important field, and is only becoming more critical to business. Good IT infrastructure and a good IT team will help your company run the way it’s supposed to.

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