Merchant Capital

6 Mistakes To Avoid When Hiring IT Talent

The digital workforce is changing and with it, there are constant shifts in how to best find competent IT specialists. The issue is that many business owners are not up to date with the shifting trends in this highly specialised recruitment process. So what do you need to know in order to hire IT staff successfully and avoid important mistakes in this meticulous process? 

1. Don’t focus too much on your own needs

Rather than remaining laser-focused on what your company is looking for, open yourself up to the possibility of what the IT candidate might need too. Understand how they might benefit from the company culture or if they are motivated by financial incentives for example. The right recruit will blend your needs with theirs and if something doesn’t feel right, it’s okay to keep looking.

2. Think carefully about KPI-driven hires

There are companies that still hand out bonuses for finding new talent. While this can start off as a good incentive it can also lead to complications down the line. Sometimes hiring someone simply to close a KPI means that the talent is abandoned after the quota is filled. Further to this, when KPIs are involved, talent development is often forgotten about which leads to problems in the business structure as a whole. 

3. Don’t overlook the candidate’s expectations

In the past, the idea was that a candidate should court a company and not the other way round. In this new market, however, the talent is in a more powerful position and won’t simply take what they are offered. Rather, they come with lots of options and won’t stay in a position out of obligation alone. In this way, businesses need to pay close attention to their employee value propositions in order to attract and retain valuable talent. 

4. Be wary of over-communicating 

Building rapport with a potential hire is a fine balancing act. So be wary of getting too clingy or smothering your talent. There is an idea that you need to “keep your candidates warm” with a single meaningful daily reach-out. A better way might be to ask them directly how they like to be contacted and at what frequency. This signals that you are holding their needs in mind without becoming overbearing. 

5. Don’t use money as the only motivator

While money is an important motivator, it is not the only one. Top IT talent can pull substantial salaries anywhere so you need to think carefully about what else your company can offer to retain their services. A good way to do this is to get to know your candidate personally and find out what is important to them. Perhaps they love to travel and this can be built into their role. Or perhaps they have significant family obligations and a flexible schedule would be welcomed. Finding these soft ‘perks’ can be the deciding factor in whether a recruit chooses your company or the next one.

6. Don’t be inflexible

The pandemic permanently changed the game because the world learned very quickly how to manage their own schedules and workloads remotely. This has changed employee expectations with a persistent push towards more flexibility in the office environment. This flexible mindset extends to the hiring process and companies are needing to be more negotiable in terms of communication, flexi-time and hybridity. 

The bottom line

The workforce is changing and with it, recruitment is evolving. This is particularly true in relation to IT specialist recruitment and so it is vital that business owners understand the shift in mindset required to hire well. By avoiding these key mistakes you will be able to steer clear of any outdated thinking and move your business towards a growth mindset when it comes to sustainable IT recruitment.

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