Avoiding 12 common IT hiring mistakes

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By Frank Hayes

Bringing a new hire into your IT department can boost output and help reach you business goals, or create missed deadlines and damage morale for your entire IT team, writes Rich Hein, who collected a dozen tips from five IT hiring experts for an article in CIO.

Those tips extend to the process both before and after the interview. Frequent mistakes by hiring managers in advance of the interview include failing to prepare beyond reading the resume, failing to screen candidates by phone in advance ("Many times a 20-minute call can save you hours of interviewing and ensure the people who actually make it to the interview are qualified," Hein notes) and failing to motivate all current employees to refer candidates--and that includes looking for candidates internally, as well as through recruiters and job boards.

During the interview, common errors include neglecting to ask for details about projects a candidate worked on, and failing to get programmers to demonstrate their coding ability.

But some companies also make the mistake of setting the bar too high. "If they've got a laundry list of 10 items, they want all 10 [and] they aren't willing to settle for five and a great personality; they want everything," says Tracey Cashman, general manager in IT with recruiter WinterWyman.

Hiring managers can also forget that taking too long to hire can lose qualified candidates, and also costs the bottom line because of projects that can't be completed. And if a new hire doesn't work out because the interviewer didn't pay attention to how well the candidate would fit in, don't compound the mistake by waiting to deal with the problem.

If it's a cultural misfit, "you probably want to get rid of that person," Hein writes. "However, if it's a skills issue, consider whether there may be another place in your organization where that person can excel."

For more:
- see Rich Hein's article at CIO

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