Hiring for open IT jobs can be difficult. It can be difficult to write job descriptions which accurately ask for the candidate you need– especially when most tech projects are a moving target. Add to that the fact that there’s already a lack of qualified IT professionals in the US. This creates a strong job seeker’s market, where the candidate can set the terms and be picky about the jobs they take. Add to that the usual stresses of hiring: how do you find somebody who can do everything they say they can do and mesh well with your team? But while hiring for open tech positions can be difficult, figuring out what questions to ask shouldn’t. Here are 4 questions IT recruiters suggest using that will help you find the best candidate for your team.
1. What was the environment like in the last job you held? The one before that? IT staffing firms suggest this question, especially first, because it gives you strong sense of a candidates’ technical experience. The candidate should respond to this question by giving you an idea of what technologies they used in their past jobs, what development method was used, and the size and scope of responsibilities. With this info, you’ll quickly hear if the candidate is prepared to handle your company environment. If, for example, your candidate is a Sys Admin coming from a small company, you’ll know they may not be ready to take on a huge company with numerous servers instead of one or two.
2. What do you like to do? What don’t you like to do? IT recruiting firms find this question helps create an open, honest dialogue about the job description. Since, as discussed earlier, IT professionals are in demand, most feel comfortable being blunt about what they want in their next position. Listen carefully to see if the candidate quickly lists off work that will be a big part of the job description. You’ll also be likely to hear how happy (or unhappy) a candidate is to interact with a team, end users, etc. If you don’t hear any of this, then you can certainly go back and ask it explicitly.
3. Describe the biggest accomplishment you’ve had at a previous job. This won’t necessarily get you a technical answer, but it probably will, especially for more advanced technical jobs. Technical recruiters find this question will reveal more than technical skills and strengths, though. The way a candidate answers this question will also tell you about how teamwork-oriented they are. Listen for the pronouns. Does the candidate use a lot of ‘we’ or ‘I’? How does this mesh with your company culture?
4. What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced at work? This question reveals a few things, both technical and not technical. You should get a more technical answer from candidates who are applying to higher level roles, like an ERP Systems Analyst, Solutions Architect, Lead Developer, etc. This will illuminate some of their strengths for you. Beyond technical skills and experience, the answer to this question will also tell you a lot about the candidate’s attitude as an employee. Listen for the tone of the answer and the solution. Does the candidate focus on the challenge and how much it hindered them, or do they focus on what they did to overcome it? IT staffing agencies find that great candidates will use this question to show off their technical acumen. They should use the opportunity to tell a story of how their skills helped them fix a major issue, not badmouth former employers, bosses, coworkers, etc.
AVID Technical Resources
AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.