All South Florida residents are familiar with performance sports cars. We see them on the road on a fairly regular basis. Perhaps you or someone you love owns a performance vehicle.
If you know anything about sports cars, you know that they are equal parts beauty and brawn. IT recruiting is quite similar. In the field, we like to say that a skilled IT professional without passion is like a Ferrari without a motor, and truly, what is a Ferrari without a motor?
If you follow human resources trends, you know that there has been a push in recent years to hire on personality more so than skills. While this may be true in some sectors, IT is different. One is not more important than the other. In order to find candidates who will truly be a good fit for your team, you’ve got to look for equal parts skill and personality.
Striking the Right Balance
How can you be sure that you’re hiring IT professionals with the right balance of skills and personality? It can be tricky, since interviews skew in favor of natural extroverts, but at the same time you don’t want to hire an extrovert that is all flash and no substance. Follow these guidelines to ensure you’re balancing out skill as well as personality.
- Know the position inside and out – Before you call anyone in for an interview, be sure you are 100 percent clear on the requirements, skills, and qualifications that you are looking for. Once you know those, hash out the soft skills needed to excel at the position. Will this person need to interact often with other departments, or will they be working alone most of the time? Do they have any interaction with customers? Higher ups? Make a list of personality traits and soft skills and keep it next to your list of tech skills.
- Examine your interview questions – You only have a short window of time with each candidate. Do your interview questions make the most of that time? Using your list of tech skills and soft skills, evaluate the interview questions you are using and see if they will get you the answers you truly need. If not, work with your HR team to develop some new, more effective questions.
- Utilize personality and skills assessments – These assessments can help in two ways. They allow you to measure skills in an unbiased way, and allow you to determine whether a quiet candidate was disinterested in the position, or perhaps they were just a natural introvert. The results of these assessments can be used to match candidates with your ideal traits.
- Check references – If you want to learn more about who a candidate truly is and where their skills lie, be sure to run a thorough reference check.
Let them meet the team – More and more companies are allowing their existing team members to meet with candidates who have made the short list. Sometimes this involves sitting everyone in the conference room (without a manager present) so that the candidate can ask questions. Other times, companies take candidates out for a social event to see how everyone interacts together. No matter the method, allowing candidates to meet the existing team can give you an idea of how will an individual will fit in with the group.