Present Blog – IT Thought Leadership

5_must-have_skills_to_look_for_when_hiring_talented_IT_resourcesAfter more than 24 years of experience, hiring top talent is one of the most important management tasks our recruters do. 

When selecting employees that we’ll be working with for years, the choices we make are of paramount importance to the success of the whole team.

However, in this fast paced world, many hiring decisions are just made too rapidly and not treated with the importance they deserve.


There are a multitude of books on hiring and the general principles are always the same:

1. Clearly define what the job is and the skills required (both technical & human)

2. Get as many candidates as possible

3. Funnel through a short list

4. Proceed with interviews

5. Check references

6. Make your choice


Experience shows that there are 5 must-have skills to look for when hiring talented resources in IT. Identifying these skills can prevent costly hiring mistakes and can also help you make better hiring decision.


Here are 5 must-have skills to look for in your future IT resources


#1: Intelligence

Is the candidate good at problem solving? Will he/she learn fast?

In IT, we are constantly faced with issues of all sorts, and we need to be quick at finding the appropriate solutions. Candidates who have strong analytic, trouble-shooting, logical skills, and a global vision bring a huge value to IT departments

Questions to ask:

• Have you already been in XYZ situation? How did you manage it?

• Let’s say, you have to fix XYZ problem, can you describe the steps of your process?


#2: Professionalism

Is the candidate organised? Does he say what he will do and do what he says? Is the candidate able to be professional in any situation? 

This is highly important when doing customer service and for team collaboration.

Questions to ask:

• What kind of situations put you under a lot of stress?

• How do you react to stress?

• How do you manage your stress with your teammates?

• How do you manage your stress with customers?


#3: Passion

Is he genuinely passionate about IT? Will he enjoy the position we have for him? You don't want someone who will be passive. You want resources that will go the extra mile.

Questions to ask:

• Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

• How do you think this position will help you get there?

• What are the tasks required for the position that you feel uncomfortable doing? How can this affect your performance?


#4: Versatility

We are in an increasingly complex world. 30 years ago, you had a central computer and all you needed were programmers and technicians. Today there are a multitude of commercial and in-house applications to support, various servers and storage, virtualization, complex networks, VoIP, security, and more. Is the candidate versatile enough?

Questions to ask:

• I see you have no experience in XYZ. Although this is not the main requirement for the position, we expect the person we hire to be able to handle this. How will you get up to speed?

• How comfortable are you with using technologies you are not familiar with?


#5: Positivity

Is he/she successful, or are there issues for which the candidate is never responsible? Does he/she get results, or give excuses? This can have a dramatic impact on the team, positively, or negatively.

Questions to ask:

• What is your biggest success in your career? How do you explain it?

• What is your biggest failure in your career? How do you explain it? What have you learned from it?


What about technical skills?

Given the type of position you need to fill, the list of technical skills required will be easy to determine when hiring IT resources. Let’s say you need to hire a JAVA analyst. You won’t hire someone who has no JAVA knowledge.

We are not saying technical skills are not important, they are. Still, given the cost of hiring and developing talented IT resources, a mid to long term vision should draw IT managers to hire individuals who share common values and have good work habits and ethics.

Lack of technical skills is an easy gap to bridge when the individual has the 5 skills mentioned above.



For more successful hiring decisions, focus on values and soft skills that make the candidate a true value-added individual to the team, rather than on technical skills that simply make people good subordinates.


Guide to Selecting the Right IT Resource for Your Business | CIO  

Want to read more like this? Subscribe to our blog


@vege - Fotolia