Finding top tech talent is a goal for every company. Often, these roles are critical to the functioning of other business areas. With that in mind, you want to make sure you find the best candidates possible. But, how do you separate the rock stars from the rest of the pack?
While traditional mechanisms, like resumes and educational qualifications, can provide a good start, they only provide a fundamental understanding of their capabilities. Essentially, you are testing a top-of-the-line graphics card by observing the picture on a CRT monitor.
If you want to see who can shine in the position, consider these five best practices to get you the kind of information you need to make a better hiring decision.
1. Put Their Skills to the Test
Just because an applicant looks like they have the right stuff on paper doesn’t mean they can put that knowledge into practice. Remember, you don’t have to be a straight-A student or employee of the year to have these items show up on a resume. If you want to know what they are made of, consider a test.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to give everyone access to critical systems to see what they can do. Instead, see if there is an adequate simulation that can do the job. If that isn’t available, even having them provide solutions to problems on a whiteboard can help. This will help you see what they can do, as well as how passionate they are about doing it.
2. Always Check References
Contacting references allows you to see how the candidate’s previous work was perceived by others. It gives a resume context and can give you insights you would otherwise miss. Even though most applicants wll list references that will say the most positive things, it can still be valuable.
When references are limited in what they can say, and the candidate no longer works with the reference, consider asking them if the person would be eligible for rehire into the same department or position, or if they would work with the applicant again. This can give some people an opening where a simple yes or no response can mean more.
3. Consider the Content of Cover Letters
Thanks to the internet, it is easy to design a professional-looking resume. So don’t pay too much attention to the format and really zero in on the content. Their cover letter should be engaging and designed to market them as an ideal candidate. Standard copy-and-paste jobs can be a sign of a rushed job or an assumption the content didn’t matter. Applicants who craft individual letters targeting the position to which they are applying, are likely more passionate about the work and more engaged when doing their work.
4. Focus on Things You Can’t Teach
Given the opportunity, most people can learn any hard skill a job requires. However, soft skills are harder to pass along. If someone has the enthusiasm, desire and drive, but only has fundamental skills, they may be in the perfect position to be molded into exactly what you need. In contrast, someone with all of the skills but no excitement about the work may remain disinterested over the long term.
5. Don’t Rush
As challenging as it is to be without a body in that chair, rushing could lead to less desirable results. Take your time to complete every step of the process well. If you don’t find a great candidate from the first batch, consider advertising the position in different ways to attract new interest.
For those times when you can’t sort through the sea of resumes alone, consider working with a staffing company to help narrow the field. Resolution Technologies has the industry-specific experience you need to help you make a more intelligent choice. Contact Resolution Technologies today, and you can have a new IT rock star employee before you know it.