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When the work is piling up, it's tempting to say "yes" to a candidate based primarily on the need to get projects off your desk.
"While it's completely understandable to just want to be done with the recruiting process, patience is a virtue," TEKsystems' Russell says. "No matter how tempting, don't compromise quality for speed."
Jeff Gordon, founder of online marketing agency Interactive99 and a former industry recruiter, agrees. "Your hiring decision is the most important decision, and if a company chooses the wrong person, it can be more painful than having vacant headcount," he says.
He believes companies should bring in at least three candidates to get a good understanding of their strengths and weaknesses.
Also, if you identify red flags in the screening process, don't gloss over them. According to Russell, "[Those red flags] will be blazing after you extend the offer so keep searching. A great hire is worth the wait."
Stringing candidates along can be as detrimental as making rash hiring decisions -- especially in this economy where certain IT jobs, such as developers, are in high demand.
"Our interview process for IT talent is lengthy with interviews that can go up to four steps," says Joanne Johnson, director of recruiting at technology integrator Force 3. "This means that we have candidates coming in three times, not including initial screens and tech screens."
She acknowledges this approach takes its toll on the candidate pool and even can cause those who need to make a move quickly to drop out.
To ensure that the company is not only attracting top-notch applicants, but hiring them as well, Johnson educates IT managers how to expedite interviews and decision-making. In addition, Force 3 is contemplating a move to full-day interviews vs. multiple rounds.
The best candidate for the job could be right under your nose. However, you'd only know that if you had a "next step" for your workers, according Russell.
"A-players like to have a vision of how they can develop and advance, and showing them opportunities for growth that exist within the company will help retain them," she says.
SAP uses its SuccessFactors human capital management software to track employees' hard and soft skills. They map available internal skills against project requirements to identify candidates for promotion or transfer. Employees are able to add skills as they acquire them, such as project management or a new technology, ensuring profiles are always up to date.
Generalis considers this the human capital equivalent of having an inventory of your technology assets, adding the software provides unique visibility into existing resources so you can train up internal staff in time to lead future projects.
Recruiters can command upward of 25% of a hire's first-year salary. Yet, many IT managers don't take the time to educate them about what they need from the position in terms of hard and soft skills and corporate cultural fit.