Starting to think about hiring some new tech talent? It can be a minefield. After all the natural emphasis should be on their technical wizardry, right? Maybe.
There’s no denying they need the technical know-how to do their job but there are also skills and qualities that will take your next tech hire from good to amazing. Here’s the list that we’d recommend you use.
Experience and expertise
Note that we haven’t said qualifications. Yes, relevant degrees and qualifications are a good indicator. But when you’re looking for new tech talent experience and expertise, particularly in niche fields can trump a degree. Focusing on experience rather than qualifications can also widen your talent pool, particularly to those from a diverse background who may have gone straight into the workforce from school.
Interview tip: Move holding a degree or relevant qualification from your essential to your desired criteria, or if you’re feeling brave remove it completely and see the results.
Diverse teams breed innovation and creativity. Two vital skills for a great tech team. What’s more, diverse teams also contribute to more profitable businesses. The challenge comes from how to find and attract diverse talent to join your organisation. Look at where you’re advertising, the language used, the essential criteria and your interview process to create a more welcoming and inclusive experience.
Interview tip: Make sure that if you’re hiring in a diverse manner your interview process is set up to allow everyone to succeed.
Curiosity and innovation
We want to push the tech boundaries but the only way to do that is through curiosity and innovation. Being happy to ask questions, thinking creatively, trying new things and readiness to fail are all key qualities to a great tech mind. These skills don’t have to be developed in another tech role, there might be other areas of their lives that they can demonstrate so think broadly when it comes to this criteria.
Interview tip: Put a question around a project that’s had an innovative solution to them, or ask them about what puzzles them most about a certain aspect of technology.
Even the most technical people need to be able to communicate with their wider team. Whether that’s explaining a detailed concept verbally, or disseminating information via email. Communication is vital and shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s important to bear in mind that communication styles and preferences differ and this should be accommodated through the hiring process.
Interview tip: An awareness of the challenges when communicating is a good sign of great communication so ask about their communication style and how they make sure they get their message across.
Working in the tech industry is one puzzle after another. Anyone coming into the industry needs to be a keen, and successful, problem solver. Whether they need to collect and analyse data to resolve program errors or identify what’s causing a malfunction, there’s always a problem to understand and solve. Those that lack problem solving skills will struggle to progress in a tech career.
Interview tip: Ask the candidate to explain the most complicated problem they’ve come across and their role in solving it.
This one quality underpins all the others. You need to be looking for passion. This isn’t something you can fake, or even something that grows at a later date. When you’re interviewing you need to be looking for that glint in their eye, the excitement and the drive that’s motivated them to get to the point they’re at. You don’t just want someone who ticks the boxes, you want someone who loves going to work because they love what they do.
Interview tip: Talk to the individual about what they love about working with tech or in the tech industry.
A person is more than just their technical know-how. That’s why looking at the softer skills will help you make a more accurate judgement of whether they’ll fit into your team and organisation. Being confident that someone can communicate, innovate and problem solve then complements their technical skills and creates an all-rounder. Someone who can do the technical side while working well with the non-technical arm of your business.
Do those people exist? Of course, if you haven’t found them yet then maybe you’re looking in the wrong place.
Source Technology are dedicated to discovering technology talent to drive your business forward. If you’re passionate about building an inclusive future for your organisation, then speak to our experts today. Find out our process and how we can work with you, here.