It May Be Time to Update IT Hiring Practices

Susan Hall
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Top 25 Oddball Interview Questions for 2013

Many practices in recruiting and hiring need to go, according to a piece at on “sacred cows and silly practices.” It goes so far as to pan in-person interviews, which raised some eyebrows among those commenting. It urges nixing behavioral interviews--asking about the past as a determiner of future performance--in favor of putting the candidate in a virtual situation with problems to be solved.

And handing new recruits a notebook full of paper forms to fill out on their first day could have new tech hires--particularly Millennials--running for the exits, this Forbes piece points out.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development surveyed companies about their professed difficulty in hiring the tech talent they need and found many times those employers shoot themselves in the foot.

Among the problems:

  • They write overly specific job descriptions. (One company was looking for someone who was proficient with four different software platforms and could edit images as well.)
  • They complain that too many candidates are IT generalists.
  •  They complain that candidates have too much or too little experience.
  • They complain that younger workers don’t want to work on older technology.
  • They don’t offer competitive wages.

An ongoing problem is companies’ unwillingness to train, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Instead, they have strict, specific job requirements that few candidates can meet.

The report urges making IT workplaces more attractive to women, that companies make more efforts to retain older workers who know their older technology, and that they help workers stay up to date on the latest technology.

The survey also found that 14 percent of the “difficult to fill” vacancies required no formal training.

The Tribune story quotes Chris Ratzlaff, senior human resources administrator at Dakota Electric, who advocates looking for candidates who can learn quickly:

“If somebody taught themselves a specific software program, or they’re a good learner, there’s a good chance that they’re going to be able to pick up the skill that you want them to have.”

Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jul 31, 2013 6:50 AM Jerry Jerry  says:
What are you thoughts on the over reliance companies have on technical recruiters? Twenty years ago, a company needing a specific type of resource posted ads in local newspapers and had a compensation number in mind. If one interviewed with the company and there was interest, compensation was negotiated. With the recruiter model, more often than not, 'senior' level positions are posted with enormous lists of skill sets and the recruiter's first question is, "What is your rate?" If it is above what they are looking for the call is immediately terminated. IT hiring managers are losing opportunities to work with tremendously talented and experienced developers because their recruiter can not spot talent when it is placed in front of them. Reply
Jul 31, 2013 11:53 AM hoapres hoapres  says:
PAY MORE MONEY Problem solved Reply

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