Wood Words

Are You Making Any of These Common IT Hiring Mistakes?

Many companies spend more time selecting a new copier than they do hiring a new IT employee. Yet a bad hire can cost your business between two and seven times the amount of the person’s yearly salary. This figure doesn’t even include less obvious costs like lost productivity, project delays, drain on management and lowered morale.

How sound is your hiring process for IT specialists? Does it consistently yield high performing employees who thrive long-term?

If you didn’t answer with a resounding “Yes,” you may be making one of these common IT hiring mistakes:

  1. Skipping the phone interview. Many times a brief call can save you hours of interviewing time. Conduct phone interviews with your most promising candidates – as well as those you’re on the fence about – to ensure that the people who make it to the in-person interview round are the most qualified.
  2. Not asking candidates to “walk the walk.” Asking a candidate about their skills is one thing; asking them to demonstrate those skills is quite another. If it makes sense for the position, require candidates to prove their abilities: conduct coding or tech support simulation tests; make your candidates whiteboard their approaches to solving programming problems; ask candidates to walk you through how they diagnose computer issues. In addition to demonstrating skills, these exercises provide valuable insight into how candidates perform under pressure.
  3. Ignoring culture fit. You hire the whole person – not just his skill set. Bringing on an employee who doesn’t fit with your corporate culture can lead to alienation and/or animosity, both of which will cause your talented new tech employee to look for greener pastures. When interviewing, make sure you ask questions about how a candidate works best, and the types of environments in which he enjoys working. Paint a clear picture of your company’s culture as well, so both parties can ensure a good fit.
  4. Relying too heavily on IT job boards. Your next great hire could come from anywhere – but he probably won’t fall into your lap (especially in today’s tight IT talent markets). Instead of waiting for job boards to deliver, challenge hiring managers to use more creative, proactive recruiting methods: maintaining and nurturing a database of available candidates; creating an in-house referral bonus program; searching internally for the right talent; using social media to build your employment brand and connect with job seekers; tapping personal and professional networks.
  5. Slow decisions. The best tech employees don’t stay on the market long. If your hiring process is too lengthy or forces candidates to “jump through hoops,” competitors will lure them away. Examine your entire process – from application through onboarding – to identify and eliminate the potential for delays.
  6. Going it alone. Finding the right IT talent – high performers with the skills, experience and work ethic to thrive in your company – is a difficult and time-consuming process. So why do it alone? Work with Wood Personnel to meet your IT staffing needs. Our recruiting specialists actively maintain relationships with a network of top IT candidates throughout Middle Tennessee. We quickly deliver the talent you need for discrete projects or direct hires – so you can stay focused on your business.