The quality of the IT personnel you hire for your company can make the difference between success and failure. One reason for this is because hiring employees is expensive, but hiring the wrong employees is even more so. When you recruit the wrong people a great deal of energy must be spent resolving the situation which wastes time, money and opportunity costs. Below are some warning signs you should watch for during the hiring process, as they will help you weed out employees that don’t suit your needs.
They Lack a Verifiable Track Record of Success
Because of the high costs involved with hiring an employee, you should make sure the IT staff you select have a track record of success that can be verified. Have they achieved any awards or recognition from previous employers, academia or industry publications? Any candidate can claim to have done this or that, but one who can point to concrete evidence of their success is the one you’ll want to hire.
The Candidate Doesn’t Understand the Job
During the hiring process, you’ll often come across candidates that have no idea what the job is about. These people are time wasters, and the goal of human resources should be to sift through them as quickly as possible. One way to achieve this is by asking candidates specific questions which are designed to test their knowledge of the job. During this questioning, use IT industry terms that only someone with experience would be familiar with. If their responses are incoherent, this tells you all you need to know.
Demonstrates Unreliability for Simple Tasks
Arguably the most important quality in an employee is reliability. If a candidate demonstrates unreliability for simple tasks, such as showing up on time, forgetting to respond to emails or sending documents, then this tells you this individual is not serious about the position, and will ultimately cause more problems than they solve.
They Display a “Know It All” Attitude
This phenomenon is seen in all industries, but is a particular cause for concern in Information Technology. There is no shortage of smart people in the IT field, and there is also no shortage of people who are arrogant and think they know it all. Be wary of candidates that are overconfident. Watch for those that speak condescendingly, disregard the contributions of others or are unable to describe a mistake they’ve made. An employee in the IT sector that doesn’t know their weaknesses or the limits of their knowledge is a liability.
Their Values Don’t Match Those of Your Organization
To detect candidates whose values differ dramatically from those of your organization, you must first be clear about what your company’s values are. For instance, if your company prioritizes collaboration or speed, applicants that aren’t aligned will ultimately cause problems. Oftentimes, human resource staff don’t emphasize this clearly during interviews, and it allows bad apples to slip through. Be sure that interviewers emphasize the company values to applicants, and can weed out those who don’t match them. Too many interviewers focus solely on the information the candidates put on the form, but this is only one factor that should be taken into consideration.