The hiring process for IT professionals is not particularly difficult, but there seem to be many roadblocks. Some HR departments claim that there is a massive skills gap between what they actually need and the talents potential new hires possess, while other companies find themselves considering too many individuals for a single role. The bottom line is that every hiring manager has his or her share of pros and cons to deal with, whether these involve the public perception of the brand or the lack of skilled professionals.
Whatever the problems are, the grass always seems greener on the other side, and in that respect, taking a look at what other organizations are doing to attract and hire new IT employees can provide a useful perspective. It is even possible to learn a thing or two from businesses that experience seemingly unlimited success when hiring.
Here are three strategies that some of the biggest tech companies employ when they are searching for new talent.
1. Take the A-player approach
When talking about impressive tech manufacturers and developers, Apple is likely to be at the forefront of many people’s minds. In a blog post on LinkedIn, Alan Cutter of AC Lion explained the process Steve Jobs used to build his team of high-tier IT professionals. Cutter pointed out that in association with Patty McCord, former CTO at Netflix, Jobs found the “A-players” in this industry and hired them.
“Only hire candidates who are as good as or better than current employees.”
The idea was simple: Only hire candidates who are as good as or better than current employees. Cutter posited that staff members will be happier and more productive if they do not have to constantly correct a co-worker’s mistakes.
CNN Money reported on the Mobile World Congress conference that took place in April, at which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that he only has one rule for hiring people, and it closely aligns with the perspective at Apple.
“I will only hire someone to work directly for me if I would work for that person,” Zuckerburg told the crowd, according to the source. “I think this rule has served me pretty well.”
2. Create a hiring rubric
In many ways, Apple and Facebook’s “A-player” approach seems easy, but how do hiring managers identify whether candidates are “better” than current employees? Google has an interesting strategy that those staff members can follow.
Hosted on Wired, in an excerpt from his new book about hiring at Google, Laszlo Bock, SVP of people operations at Google, presented his opinion that businesses should use a combination of new hire assessment techniques, as that approach is more valuable than leveraging a single process. Essentially, interviews should be structured, according to Bock. Hiring managers should start by asking specific questions pertaining to directly to the job and the tasks that it demands, then go on to assess candidates’ performance. After that, candidates should undergo a test on their cognitive abilities. Bock suggested asking questions with either right or wrong answers.
This combination of behavioral and situational assessments will enable hiring managers to determine potential new hires’ cognitive abilities, conscientiousness and leadership skills.
3. Offer perks and rewards
Sometimes the interview process is not as much about finding the best IT professionals as it is an attempt to impress candidates and inspire them to take open positions. To that end, Inc. reported a few ways to hire the best tech talent, citing Web development company ArsDigita’s approach to attracting skilled IT workers.
As the story goes, founder Philip Greens “went extreme,” parking a yellow Ferrari F355 outside and promising it as a reward to any employee who referred 10 qualified programmers. Whether someone drove home in a new car or not is irrelevant, as it is likely that at least a few great IT professionals recommended their friends and colleagues in an attempt to win the prize.
If a hiring manager does not have the budget to shell out for a Ferrari, there are cheaper alternatives. Inc. recalled the story of Eric Harshbarger, a tech-industry veteran. The source reported that while on a business trip in April 2000, Harshbarger received an email from a fellow with a company in Seattle. The problem: One new hire stipulated that he wanted a desk made out of LEGOs in his job offer. Harshbarger built the desk for $2,000, according to Inc., and that employee must be pretty happy in his or her role.
These three tips might not shake up the whole hiring process, but with insight into what the biggest and best tech companies are doing correctly, hiring managers and IT department heads can implement a new strategy for attracting top industry talent. It is a competitive market out there, and success relies on thinking outside of the box.