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12 common IT hiring mistakes and how to avoid them

Rich Hein | Feb. 1, 2013
Bringing a new employee into your IT department has the potential to make or break your team. Avoid these common hiring mistakes and build a team of IT pros that fire on all cylinders.

Take the time to carefully think through and write the job posting. "It should be specific about what you're looking for to discourage the unqualified [and] broad where you're open to a wider set of talents. Don't ignore "soft skills" when crafting your job descriptions and during the interview," says Lichty.

If your job description isn't interesting, who will want to read it? "Make it read like an ad," says Cashman," Most people want to see something in writing and it's important that it sells. Maybe they are going to learn a new technology or get experience in a certain line of business.

11. Not making recruiters your best friend."Staffing will play more of a role in your success than any other group. Make internal recruiters your friends. Learn to explain what you're looking for in their lingo," says Lichty.

Cashman's advice: "Be clear about what your nonnegotiables are, but be realistic and give feedback." Talk to recruiters on a regular basis and give them the rundown after interviews. For example, " the last person you sent was a perfect fit via skillset but wasn't a great culture fit. We are looking for someone who works better on a team than in a silo."

12. Ignoring the culture fit. Someone may have all the qualifications and seem like the perfect candidate on paper, but if he doesn't fit into your corporate culture than you may very well be having to go through this whole process again before too long. "What you're really looking for is someone who is going to thrive over time, says Rosenbaum.

Lichty's advice: "While the rule is that good people recommend good people, always, always, always listen to your gut."

The important thing is to learn to fail fast. If you make a mistake in hiring, identify it and fix it, which doesn't always entail terminating the person. If you've decided you made a hiring error ask yourself, what's the problem? Is it a cultural misfit? If that's the case, then, yes, you probably want to get rid of that person. However, if it's a skills issue, consider whether there may be another place in your organization where that person can excel? You've already put the time, resources and effort into hiring this person, so don't let it go to waste.


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