Many different staff roles are needed to keep a business running smoothly, but perhaps one of the most important teams for a firm to build is one to handle IT. Efficient IT staff are vital, whether you need to develop a key piece of software in order to enhance your product or you just require a technician who can keep your hardware working in a tip-top fashion the whole year round.
But no two IT specialists are the same, and there’s also no guarantee that your new hire will provide you with the skills you need – even if you go through a recruiter or rely on a great reference from a previous employer. For that reason, it’s worth becoming as savvy as possible about the IT staff market – and working out how to spot a good potential hire when you see one. This article will explore what to keep an eye out for when sifting through resumes the next time you’ve got an IT role vacancy.
One of the great things about the IT sector is that there are lots of different routes in. For positions other than the obvious self-taught sub-fields discussed below, it’s likely that your new hire will have an IT qualification of some kind. Technicians may have a degree, for example, or they may have accreditation from a company that manufactures equipment – such as Microsoft. Programmers,network architects, developers and other senior people, meanwhile, may have computer science degrees, while a computer networking degree – usually a BSC – is also a possibility.
For lots of roles, experience will probably be the second-most important factor to consider. Experience can signify a lot of different things: it can prove that your potential hire knows how rigorous the IT industry is, for example, while it can also show that their basic industry knowledge will be up to scratch. It’s a good idea to first work out what specific expertise you want your new hire’s experience to signify, as this will help you to narrow down the list and identify the talent you need.
But the IT sector, of course, is one that doesn’t wholly rely on experience. While experience or education is essential for many roles, there are several skills and important functions in the IT world which can be self-taught: coding is one of those. However, if you’re hiring a software developer, then, you should look for some experience – especially if you’re filling a senior developer role.
But if you’re simply seeking someone to help out on a basic coding project, it may be worth looking straight at the skills section on their resume rather than wondering about their previous employment history. The key, of course, is to test for accuracy. At the interview stage, you should perhaps set up some basic coding exercises so that you can gauge how accurate their claims are. Experience in the field, or a relevant qualification, can act as a proxy for skills in some cases, but if you’re going to make a hiring judgement based on stated skills alone then you need to make sure it’s correct.
How a person you want to hire interacts around others isn’t necessarily the most important aspect of a potential hire, but it’s still something to think about – especially in IT, where good team dynamics are often required in order to solve complex problems. To begin, consider what the culture in your office is like at the moment. Do your teams, for example, work in a solitary way, and focus on individual projects rather than group efforts? Or do you consider your office to be a lively and bubbly sort of an environment, where your teams regularly socialize and build relationships after working hours?
If it’s the former, a new colleague with an outgoing personality may not fit in. And if it’s the latter, it’s wise to think twice about hiring a colleague who appears shy. There’s no easy rule of thumb to apply here, but it’s certainly worth considering those dynamics because they can often have more of an effect than you might expect.
Hiring a new IT staff member may seem like a tough job, especially in today’s market – where there are lots of candidates and plenty of information,but it doesn’t have to be so hard. By keeping factors like experience, education and even personality at the forefront of your mind, you’ll have some great criteria to use to narrow down your list and find the perfect candidate for the role.