How to Hire the Right IT Team for Your Business
Undeniably, small businesses are increasingly reliant on technology to scale and grow their operations. According to a recent survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 84 percent of small enterprises are using at least one major digital platform to provide information to their customers. Of course, not all entrepreneurs have technology experience, which is why hiring effective IT personnel is so important. If you’re seeking to expand your IT team, the following steps can help you hire the right employees for your company.
5 Tips for Hiring an IT Team
1. Write a Job Description
The job description is your first opportunity to outline the specific skills you’re seeking as well as your new hire’s responsibilities. As you write it, be clear and succinct about your expectations. While you can always expand responsibilities down the road, it’s essential that your new hire fulfills your immediate needs and can hit the ground running.
Additionally, give the position a descriptive title. You’re more likely to attract the right people if the job title aligns with its responsibilities. On the other hand, giving the position a generic title like “IT Specialist” may cast too wide a net, requiring you to sort through a stack of unsuitable resumes.
2. Determine Your Budget
Ideally, you want to hire the best workers money can buy. Realistically, you’re likely working with a limited budget. Before you start interviewing candidates, you should decide how you want to pay them. For example, if you don’t think you’ll need a full-time IT staff, it may make sense to hire one or more independent contractors on a part-time basis.
If you’re building a team of full-time employees, you should determine whether you can offer additional forms of compensation to attract qualified candidates, such as stock options or health benefits. Being clear — and firm — about your budget helps ensure that you only consider serious candidates and don’t overextend your finances.
3. Advertise in the Right Places
If you don’t have the means to hire a professional recruiting agency, make sure that your job description is posted in the right places to attract qualified candidates. Advertising your job opening on professional networking sites and industry-specific job boards can increase your chances of finding the right employees. If you’re unsure where to start, a list of tech-focused job boards may help you direct your efforts.
4. Test Their Technical Skills
While a resume can quickly help you understand someone’s background and experience level, one of the best ways to determine whether a candidate will meet your IT needs is to give them a hypothetical assignment and see how they perform. Whether you’re looking for someone highly specialized or someone with a broad set of IT skills, your test project should address the tasks you’re mostly likely to need performed on a regular basis. Most serious candidates will take this opportunity to showcase their talents and separate themselves from the competition.
5. Make Sure They’re a Good Cultural Fit
In addition to having the right qualifications and technical skills, any new hire should be a good fit within your company’s culture, especially when your business is in its early stages. Many employers argue that cultural fit is one of the strongest — if not the strongest — indicator of employee retention.
To determine whether your candidate’s values and ambitions are aligned with your company’s vision, you should be able to clearly articulate your company’s story, which you can include in the written job description and discuss during the interview process. Additionally, certain questions can help reveal whether your prospective hire is a good fit within your organization.
Finally, be thorough and patient. Although you may be tempted to quickly hire someone to fill an immediate need, remember that finding good employees often takes time. When you’re building an IT team, it’s essential that the people you hire not only have complementary skill sets but can also work together to achieve the company’s goals. Frequent employee turnover can be costly and inefficient, so once you’ve determined your personnel needs, be diligent in your hiring process until you’ve identified the right people.
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