10 tips for... successful IT recruitment

Hiring a new employee is one of the most expensive, stressful and time consuming things a business can do. However, the dearth of talent in the Middle East, combined with a focus on experience over qualifications, can result in an even bigger headache for any CIO. ACN brings you its top 10 tips for successful IT recruitment.

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10 tips for... successful IT recruitment Mazen Jabri, Global Knowledge.
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By  Piers Ford Published  August 26, 2010

5. Make time available for study

If CIOs can overcome their nervousness at investing in staff training, they also need to show their commitment to an employee’s development by providing them with the resources to study for qualifications. Without it, your investment could be for nothing.

“Companies and organisations need to give their employees enough time to prepare for the training and ensuing exams, as well as time to access the lab,” says Mazen Jabri, managing director at IT training and business skills provider Global Knowledge Middle East and Africa.

Jabri advises that employers can should consider offering financial assistance as well. “They should provide financial subsidies to help cover the cost of the certification. In return, they can expect the candidate to commit to at least two years of service to the company,” he says.

4. Seek proof of skills, not just a certificate

Vendor certification is important of course, but a certificate is only valuable if the employee can demonstrate their ability to use the skills it represents and convert what they have been taught into a practical situation. Anybody who has been trained by a reputable third party should be able to do this.

“Earning the certification is not necessarily proof that you are skilled in the particular area you trained for,” says Ubare. “What matters most is the experience you have in dealing with the product or technology, and how you can utilise that experience in solving problems on the job.”

3. Measure the benefits

It should be relatively easy to measure the benefits of investment in training and certification. The impact on an employee’s performance and technical capability – and their contribution to the IT department’s productivity should soon become apparent. But it should always be followed up through mentoring and monitoring.

“The ideal way of measuring the benefits is to compare their work before the course, with that produced afterwards,” says Jabri. “The time and money invested in an employee’s qualification will reap its benefits through increased efficiency and productivity of the candidate. This will be in addition to the value of downtime saved and return on investment in IT assets, all of which can be measured in monetary values,” adds Jabri.

SNS’ Shelton agrees that it is important for organisations to track progress and suggests that the responsibility for this should fall on an experienced member of the team. “Employers need to look at whether the employee is using their newly acquired qualification to deliver on a project, and I would advise assigning a more senior member of staff to monitor their progress.”

2. Background research is not just good, but essential

CIOs should beware of relying on the certificate itself, and pay close attention to a candidate’s real life experience, particularly if they are looking to plug a premium skills gap – a mixture of new and old technology abilities, for example, or compliance and auditing experience – and the impact of a poor choice will be more significant, and possibily, costly.

“Unfortunately, certifications nowadays are used as keyword to speed up the search for individual recruits,” says Aslam. “However, reference checks from previous workplaces are vital, and the CIO or IT manager must conduct a technical interview to at least draw a line under the basic skills that the candidate has,” he adds.

1. Plan for the future

Candidates with diverse skills will potentially have a wider positive impact throughout the IT team. They are likely to be flexible, keen to add to their knowledge, and used to being part of a team. But they also need incentives.

“An individual training and growth plan that matches the organisation’s needs is key,” says Aslam at New Horizons. “CIOs must understand each recruit’s strengths and build a dynamic career plan that illustrates their goals and rewards. The plan should also clearly state the outcome expected in terms of performance, flexibility and development.”

He adds that it is vital for CIOs and IT management to keep staff motivated once they have settled into their new role. “Stress the fact that this is not a routine job. It is dynamic, fun and comes with great rewards.”

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