Hiring the right employee can be a daunting task, especially in the field of information technology (IT). Potential candidates may sound great on paper, but how do you know if they are the well-rounded hire your business needs to succeed?
There has been a surge in the emphasis on soft skill importance. When looking for the perfect hire, it is proving beneficial to consider the characteristics that aren’t necessarily taught in school or solidified by a certificate. Traits such as creativity and passion can go a long way in the IT world, more so than ever before.
If you are in charge of hiring an IT professional for your business, be sure to consider the following list. We have compiled the top five qualities of all great IT team members, as well as ways to elucidate them in the interview process.
The best IT professionals have very creative minds and love to use them when solving technical challenges. There is more to coding than searching for answers on Google. Try asking them what their next move is when they’ve been stuck on a bug for hours, or about the architecture of a recent project they worked on and how they’d have done it differently. Beyond having a technologically competent employee, it’s important to find an IT professional that has the ability to think outside of the box.
Being able to problem solve is absolutely critical to the success of an IT professional (and to the success of your business). In the interview process, if you can find out how they innovatively approached problems in the past, it will give you a good sense of how they might handle their work in the future pertaining to your business.
A Team Player
A successful company is built on the backs of many. Even if your IT department operates as a one-person division, successful IT professionals need to be able to see themselves as a part of the larger team and interact with others well. One of the biggest aspects of this is communicating technological jargon in plain speech, so that problems can be understood by all. Communication, along with collaboration and open mindedness, are all marks of a great team player, and a valuable employee.
During the interview, it will be helpful to ask them scenario-based questions relating directly to working as a team – not everyone works well with others, and it’s better to know this sooner than later! Try asking them which aspect of working in a team they struggle with the most, and see if their answer gives you any hints as to whether they’d mesh with your organization.
Sees the Bigger Picture
Good employees, in any discipline, see beyond their role and think about how they fit into the grander scheme of things. Having employees that are engaged and dedicated to the bottom line is critical to the success of your organization. An IT professional that doesn’t see past their duties will eventually produce a negative result. As the saying goes: “If you want to go fast, go alone; if you want to go far, go together”.
In the same vein, you can inquire about times your candidate had to work beyond the scope of their role or collaborate with another department to achieve a result. Getting their insights on areas outside of their own will demonstrate whether or not they are thinking big.
Passionate about Technology
Someone that is passionate about technology and the way that it works is more likely to not only be better at their jobs, they are more likely to be happier as well. Happier employees are said to be around 20% more productive than their uninspired counterparts, so it is in your best interest for your employees to love what they do.
You can ask them their opinions or insights on some technology-related news or trends – something that isn’t necessarily related to the job in question – and see how they are able to speak about it.
Eager to Learn
Someone who is passionate about their jobs will also typically be open to constant learning, making them an even more valuable asset to your operation. The world of technology is constantly changing, as are IT roles. It takes someone special to put the extra effort into keeping up with those changes and applying them thoughtfully to their professional work. Hire someone who is on top of the latest developments and enthusiastic about learning about them. Whether or not the candidate is interested in staying relevant in their discipline could make or break the success of your hiring decision.
Questions that allude to the candidate’s teachability and their interest in the greater field will help confirm whether or not they are still passionate about learning new skills!
Looking to hire an IT professional? Look no further than Next Level Group – IT is one of our specialities! Head to our employers page or email us directly to find out what we can do for you.