What to Avoid When Hiring IT Talent

These days, finding IT talent, particularly for some jobs, is worse than a needle in a haystack. Sometimes, it’s much worse. You may think you’ll take on just about anything and anyone when looking at job candidates. You need people and you need them yesterday.

But consider the effect of one bad hire on the rest of your IT team. Imagine the impact on your culture, not to mention the wasted costs of hiring and training. From this perspective, we know you’ll agree that being at least a little discerning when hiring is a good idea—even in IT.

So, what should you avoid when hiring IT talent? Here are some thoughts for your consideration.

Tips for Hiring IT Talent

1. Compromise on the hard skills—sort of. Avoid skipping over those “almost perfect” candidates.

Our first tip is to consider hiring for soft skills over hard skills. While we don’t want you to skimp on your requirements, we do know that some hard skills can be taught. Plus, many job descriptions in IT are like a bucket list. There are skills on most JDs that would be nice to have someday but the reality is very few candidates (if any) have everything on your list. This leads to the question of what you do if an IT candidate has most of the skills on your list and is willing to learn the rest. Is that a compromise you’re willing to make if the job seeker has incredible soft skills, such as:

  • Great attitude and work ethic.
  • Team player.
  • Proven track record of meeting goals.
  • Strong leadership skills.
  • Emotional maturity.

Our point here is to avoid walking away from the nearly perfect candidate in favor of one who may or may not exist. Unless, of course, you feel like the team behind the scenes can wait a bit longer for the role to be filled.

2. Understand what the candidate wants. Avoid overlooking their expectations about their next job.

It’s a great time to be any job candidate, but particularly an IT job seeker. For the first time in perhaps forever, candidates (in just about every industry) have the power because the job market has so many unfilled positions. In the past, candidates were courting employers, even if they were in IT, but over the past several years, and particularly post-COVID, it’s the other way around. What does that mean for you? It means you should be careful to avoid assuming the candidate you make an offer to will take what you give them. Expect that an IT candidate will counter your job offer. No matter their stack, IT talent has options. How can you prepare for this new reality (which probably won’t go away soon)?

  • First, create a job ad that discusses what’s in it for the candidate. A litany of job requirements without any reference to culture, pay, and benefits, will simply net you fewer applicants.
  • Next, train your recruiting team to talk about what matters to the candidate. How do they know what matters to the candidate? They should ask during the interview, then pass along these details to the rest of the hiring team. Your goal should be to find out what matters and then approach your interviews with a value proposition that will make them want to work for you. Call it selling, if you will, but just remember one thing—today’s IT candidates are interviewing you as much as you’re interviewing them.

Reach Out To Us Today!

Worried about getting your next IT interview right? Why not hand off the process of sourcing and pre-screening candidates to Blackstone Talent Group? We know what to avoid during IT job screens and can increase your talent funnel with well-qualified candidates eager to work at your company. Call on us to find out more.

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