With the unemployment rate at its lowest in 50 years, finding qualified candidates for IT positions is an increasingly difficult task. We should know, we are currently dealing with it ourselves. For the past few years, we’ve continuously fine-tuned our employee recruitment process. This has ranged from how we onboard new hires, to ongoing employee management and retention. In this two-part series, we’ll share Snap Tech IT’s approach to hiring new talent, so you can put it to work for your business. First, we’ll focus on our recruitment tips.

ABR: Always Be Recruiting

In today’s competitive hiring climate, it’s tempting to jump on the first candidate with the right technical qualifications. This could be a big mistake. Hiring an employee based solely on their skills could cost you in the long run if they don’t fit in to your organization’s culture. Consider how much time, money, and effort goes into on-boarding a new employee, only to have them not work out. Additionally, weeks or months will go by, and you’re no closer to filling the open position and may have missed out on some good candidates.

At Snap Tech, we implemented our “ABR” recruitment tip to keep a database of qualified candidates ready for when we need to hire someone. Our job ads run constantly for our most common positions, and we regularly screen candidates to keep an eye on available talent.

If a candidate is qualified, we keep their resume on file marked “Future Prospect.” When we are ready to hire, we contact them first. When searching, if we come across a “Rockstar” candidate during screening, we will bring them in for an interview immediately. If they are too good to pass up, we will try to bring them on board, budget permitting.

Our recruiting and screening process goes like this:

Step 1: Post paid-for ads on Indeed and ZipRecruiter with screening questions

We’ve found that adding screening questions to our job postings helps to prevent “resume blasters” who apply for jobs without reading the description. This ensures us candidates who are the best fit for the job. A quick glance at their form answers allows us to determine if they meet our requirements or not, saving us the time of performing an initial candidate screening.

Step 2:  Conduct a cultural fit phone interview

When an applicant seems promising, we setup an initial phone interview. In this call, our primary focus is on culture. Beyond their ability to perform the job, we want to know how the candidate will fit in with our core values and how they will function within our team. Our questions are based on Patrick Lencioni’s “The Ideal Team Player.” This book discusses how to identify (and then hire) a candidate who will fit into your team. Lencioni’s concept is that an “ideal team player” displays three virtues:

  1. Humility
  2. Hunger
  3. People smarts

We recommend reading this book, especially if you’re in a hiring rut or have consistently hired the “wrong” people. We ask questions with the goal of determining any red flags in these three key areas. You can find sample interview questions here.

If the candidate lacks either humility, hunger to learn and grow, or smarts when communicating with others, we pass on them, even if they had an incredible skillset. These people just won’t work out and we cannot compromise our own values just to fill a role.

After deeming someone a culturally good fit, we gauge their technical proficiency and ability to complete the required tasks. If a candidate is a great cultural fit but lacks some of the skills, we may still bring them on board and bring them up to speed internally. We have found some incredible people by holding out for those who fit in with our values and culture.

Part two of our recruitment tips series will discuss how to best retain good employees.

By Kim Dickerson, Director of HR and Systems Manager