The UK is amidst a digital skills crisis; the need for IT expertise grew for the fifth consecutive year in 2016 according to the Hays Global Skills Index, but the pool of capable individuals is lacking. Finding experienced database admins, IT leaders and IT managers that fit your organisation can be especially difficult. Businesses are under pressure to get new IT hires right, first time. But how can you find the right people? What are the key things you need to consider when recruiting?
In this article we look at five things to think carefully about before you start searching for new IT staff. This should give your recruitment process the best start towards finding the perfect IT employee!
Research conducted by Undercover Recruiter demonstrates that referral hires stay in their role longer when compared to other recruitment sources. Here are the stats:
As you can see, employees sourced via a referral are clear winners in terms of retention.
Let’s not forget too that hiring via referral will often carry a much lower cost than using a recruiter. That a cost that could be used towards a perk to catch the perfect candidate!
So, instead of just posting the vacancy on your usual job sites and specialist recruiters, think about who you could ask from within in your business and social network for referrals. You might be surprised at the coverage — and the results — you can get, simply by putting the word out to current employees, clients, partner companies and suppliers.
2. Experience vs. Newb
An effective team requires a mix of wisdom and naive enthusiasm. The obvious consideration here is the total amount of salary overhead you have to play with. Surely with unlimited salary budget you would hire a team of immensely experienced, independent IT pros, right?
Having some fresh-faced talent can have other advantages over experience however:
- Experienced candidates will have ingrained habits and inflexibilities that may not fit the way you run your team.
- Less experienced individuals can be shaped into “ideal” employees which pays dividends in the long run (but this is caveated by the increased training and guidance to begin with).
- Less experienced candidates can bring ‘mad’ ideas and levels of energy that might not be found in more experienced potentials.
3. Prioritise Digitisation
Adopting new technologies and working practises is crucial for the future development of every IT team and the infrastructure that they support.
This should be kept front of mind when recruiting – either by bringing in skills/experience outside of your current systems, or by sourcing individuals that show a desire/aptitude for change and learning.
4. Cultural Fit
Former Thomson Reuters’ Vice President and CIO Kelli Crane’s hiring philosophy is “Find the most talented individual who has the best [cultural] fit with the organization”.
If an organisation that measures revenue in the 10’s of billions puts cultural fit as one of the two most important aspects of a hire, then we probably all should.
Kelli goes on to effectively describe her approach to sourcing employees that best fit their culture:
“…culture is defined by our core values, which are: customers are the heart of everything; performance matters; people make the difference; and business is global … I keep these values top of mind when I'm hiring because the extent a candidate fits with these values often translates into the level of success he or she will have...”
So there you go, having a good cultural fit is part of any candidate’s success.
5. System Efficiencies
Before you begin the recruitment process, take time to review processes and systems for inefficiencies that are draining the time from you or your team’s working day. A few well-placed efficiency improvements and investments can collectively release a surprisingly large amount of “man-hour” time, which in turn means you or your current team could collectively fulfil the roles and responsibilities of a potential new hire.
At the very least, this efficiency review will mean that any new hire’s activity is in the areas that are taking IT department and business forward, not simply compensating for system inefficiencies. Immervox are telecoms experts and can help improve the efficiency of your telecom systems. Don’t forget to check out 7 signs of an inefficient system and our Phone System efficiency checklist.
Effective recruitment is tough, especially when it comes to finding great IT and telecoms staff. Hopefully by taking on-board some of our advice, you’ll be better equipped to start your search. Stay tuned for the next part in our recruitment series where we look at the things you need to watch out for during the recruitment process.