How to Hire a Superstar IT Athlete

by Versique

If you are an NFL and NBA draft nut like I am, you’ve often heard teams say, “We drafted the best athletes available.” Likewise, it makes sense for companies to hire the best IT athletes available! (Sorry, had to make a sports reference.)

According to a recent survey and report by the Minnesota Labor Market Information office, more than a third of IT openings in Minnesota are difficult to fill.

Some companies turn to out-of-state consultants to fill the gap. For companies who want to hire full-time candidates rather than consultants, the task can be more difficult. Companies looking for full-time talent often try to fill the gap by developing job descriptions that ask for candidates who have a wide variety of development language, database and networking skills, or what I call an “everything and the kitchen sink” candidate.

It’s fine to cast a wide net for full-time candidates, but it’s smarter to hire the best IT athlete possible. Hiring companies should first look at a candidate’s track record. Candidates who change back and forth from consulting to full-time jobs are likely to continue doing so, depending on which option pays the most. If you have a choice, pick a full-time IT candidate who has a record of staying in one job for a longer time.

Hiring companies should pick one skill that is most important to them in a candidate, and not waver from finding that skill.

It’s realistic to ask for a Java developer with 5+ years of experience. It’s not realistic to ask for a Java developer with 5+ year’s experience who also has a list of database and networking skills. That’s when troubles arise in hiring a full-time IT candidate.

Hiring companies try to over-compensate for a shortage of IT talent in their company by asking for a candidate who can fill many holes. What they end up getting is a disgruntled candidate who leaves the job because they were pulled in too many directions and not able to develop marketable skills.

Disgruntled-employee

 

Instead of hiring for the widest assortment of skills, hiring companies are often better served by looking for raw technical skills or soft skills in a candidate that compliment the most important technical skills in a job description. Finding a developer who has great presentation skills or can be a great liaison between an IT department and other company department s may be the best IT athlete available.

What do you think is the most valuable trait in an IT candidate? 

Content provided by Joe Janasz

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