With 73% of IT professionals in the UK applying for a job in the last month, it’s time for hiring managers to find out what they really want.
We all know about the high demand for IT and digital professionals; the world is becoming increasingly tech-orientated as the days (if not minutes, or seconds) go by, meaning those working in the IT and tech sectors are like gold dust to businesses.
With the digital sector creating jobs twice as fast as the non-digital sector, it is imperative that we encourage young people interested in STEM subjects and educate them about the wide range of career possibilities in the future.
However, for those already in the world of business whose company either, a) already has a large IT team, b) has a few IT employees or c) is coming to the realization that the lack of IT staff is a hindrance, research is finally giving us guidance on how and what we should look for. Whether it’s a DevOps Engineer, Frontend Developer, Software Architect or First Line Support candidate you’re looking for, there are a few things all hiring managers should be aware of when they are recruiting.
Tip 1: Put candidates to the test
They don’t necessarily need to sit a complex exam as a part of the recruitment process, but in order to determine a candidate’s level of ability or skill in a certain programming language, for example, a short test is a great way to do this. A quick and effective way to examine someone’s proficiency in something tech-related is to present them with a problem and ask them to code a solution for it in the language of their choice. You’ll also be able to assess their problem-solving skills as well as their technical skills by doing this, so it’s a win-win!
Tip 2: Have the latest tech stacks available
Depending on the level of role you are recruiting for, it’s definitely worth being aware that candidates in the early stages of their career are more interested in the latest tech stacks, languages and frameworks used when they’re accepting a job. Research shows that over one third of IT professionals aged 18-24 rate the tech stacks and frameworks they will be using more than traditional ‘benefits’, such as a salary and a competitive holiday allowance.
Tip 3: Look out for open source code contributors
If it’s applicable to the role you’re recruiting for, one valuable method to evaluate technical insight is to ask candidates if they are open source code contributors, and if so, if they would be able to provide some examples of projects they have contributed to, or authored. There are numerous reasons why it’s beneficial to ask candidates this; for example, demonstrating a passion and interest in coding outside of work can only be a good sign. Furthermore, if you’ve been sent the examples prior to interviewing them, you’ll be able to ask questions and quiz them on it!
Tip 4: Think outside the box in terms of ‘benefits’
A common mistake often made during the hiring process (of most professionals, not just IT experts) is that the salary is the most important aspect of a job offer. Wrong! Research has also shown that 49% of IT professionals value flexible working hours, types of projects and the location/commute the most when accepting a new job. In addition to this, only 5% of IT workers value bonuses, traditional benefits and holidays the most, meaning companies hiring IT staff definitely need to find out what their candidates really want in a job offer.
Author: Steve Corley is Key Accounts Director at Evolution Recruitment Solutions, and has worked in the IT recruitment industry for almost 15 years.