What Areas Should Leaders Focus on When it Comes to Hiring?

by Pranav Ramesh
December 01, 2020
Important Leadership Skills for Workplace Success

There are many areas leaders should focus on when it comes to hiring. That is, at least, if they are focused on hiring truly top-tier IT talent.

The hiring and retention practices you follow tend to form a cycle—your current team affects who you hire, your new consultants then affect the current team, so on and so forth. When choosing what areas to focus on in terms of hiring, balance is the key. Your goal is to both create an environment that attracts only the best and hiring new team members who would build on it.

All leaders, regardless of being amateurs or experienced, should focus on the following areas when it comes to hiring:

Topics Covered

  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Company Culture
  • Communication
  • Skills and Potential
  • The Intangibles

1. Diversity and Inclusion

Leaders shouldn’t be focusing on diverse and inclusive hiring just to check a box or capitalize on a buzzword. They should do it because it’s a smart business decision.

According to a survey conducted by Glassdoor, 67% of job seekers feel that diversity and inclusion are a critical factor during the job search. Many will flat-out refuse to work for a company that doesn’t value sociopolitical or cultural differences. In order to attract and retain top talent, the employees should be convinced that they are working with a company that values not just the idea of diversity, but the people who bring it to the table too.

2. Company Culture

94% of executives believe that a distinct team culture is critical to their business success. That culture is either an asset or a detriment to your talent acquisition initiatives.

Having a strong, well-defined team and company culture creates engaged employees. Those same employees have their own personal networks, often related to the technical field they work in. Referrals and positive word of mouth are not only great for your product or service but work magic when it comes to finding passive candidates.

3. Communication

You already know how important effective communication is for candidates, but have you thought about how your internal communication relates to hiring?

Top talent aspires to work in an environment where their voice will be heard. They feel like a stakeholder, invested in the outcome of the project, and want it to succeed nearly as much as you. If they have an idea or suggestion, they need assurance that it won’t fall on deaf ears. Whether they voice this concern or not, rest assured that in the back of their head they are wondering about it. If your processes and policies encourage open, direct lines of communication, and cultivate a safe space for sharing ideas, it will attract best-in-class talent.

 

RELATED: Three Leadership Skills That Can Get You Promoted

 

4. Technical Skills

It is obvious that we would recommend you to screen for technical skills. After all, you are hiring for a technical position. The question isn’t “should you?”, rather, “how should you?”.

Build a process to objectively analyze the candidate’s work. Look closely at their portfolio or GitHub pages not only for what they have built but to gauge how well it has been documented and debugged. Coding challenges are great for developers, provided they are changed and updated frequently. This ensures the answers aren’t easily found online.

Other positions like network professionals and database admins, may not have a portfolio of code to show off, but they can demonstrate in other ways. Have them diagram their latest build on a whiteboard. Then ask them what they would do if component A failed or some other curveball emerged. Focus more on their process than on the outcome. How they would handle the situation is far more telling than what solution first comes to mind.

5. The Intangibles

This is the area where great hiring managers shine. Being able to differentiate between great talent and great talent ideal for the project should be a skill all leaders should perfect when it comes to hiring.

Technology, products, and processes have one thing in common–they all change. You want to focus on hiring people who can and do, as well. Look for those who get excited when they are challenged or are put in the position to learn something new. Ask how they would go about learning that new programming language or network architecture. Seek out candidates who are more passionate about learning the next big thing than perfecting and proving what they already know. Skills may get short-term projects done, but only passion and adaptability could drive the future.

RELATED: Why Leaders Should Make Themselves Replaceable

 

Conclusion

When it comes to hiring, leaders have many areas to focus on. You have to find the right technical skills, the personalities that fit the team, and the ones that bring in new perspectives. They should also possess the hidden ‘X’ factor that will drive development and growth over time. Balance is the key.

Analyze your current hiring procedures. Identify which areas you already excel in and which need to be revamped. Decide whether, in the long run, you will be better off hiring to change the environment or changing the environment to attract better hires. No team is perfect, everyone can improve; so, focus on these five areas and you’ll be on your way to building a culture of best-in-class IT talent!

 

PTP helps you in hiring the top IT talent.

Let us connect you with the strongest candidates to help meet your goals; say hello@ptechpartners.com or contact us here.

 

 

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