Bridge the gap: A non-tech HR Recruiter’s guide to finding the right IT talent

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There’s no sugar-coating it: finding the right IT talent can feel like navigating a maze blindfolded when you’re not a tech insider. In a world where PHP, Java, and Python are not just exotic islands or dangerous animals, the task can seem daunting. However, don’t despair just yet. 

“Bridging the gap between non-tech HR and high-tech IT isn’t impossible, it’s an adventure.”

As an HR recruiter, you hold the map to find the right talent for your company. Sure, the language can seem foreign, the skills assessments complex, but the journey is far from impossible. In fact, it’s a challenge many SMEs are rising to with great success! 

  • Myth 1: You need to be a tech whizz to hire an IT professional
  • Myth 2: Only IT experts can understand IT jargon

These myths can be intimidating, but they’re just that – myths. In truth, you just need the right tools, strategies, and a pinch of insight into the IT industry. That’s where this guide comes in, set to arm you with all these and more. Ready to bridge the gap?

Step 1: Understanding the role you’re looking for 

Before you even begin your search for IT talent, it’s crucial to have a clear understanding of the role you’re looking to fill. This understanding is the foundation upon which successful hiring decisions are made. 

Start with discussions with your team, specifically those who are closely linked to the role. This could be project managers, team leads, or even your current IT staff. These conversations should help you pinpoint the required responsibilities and competencies. Here are some questions that might help: 

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the role?
  • What technical skills are imperative for someone in this position?
  • What are some of the challenges this role is expected to address?
  • What tools or software does the role require familiarity with?

Next, move on to the research phase. There’s no harm in looking at how other companies define similar roles. Understand the necessary technical skills that are common in the industry for this role. But remember, every company is unique, so use this as a guideline, not a hard-and-fast rule. 

Finally, identify any gaps in your current team. Are there skills that are currently missing but necessary for a more efficient operation? This will help you find a candidate that not only fits the role but also complements your existing team. 

In the end, understanding the role you’re looking to fill is not just about listing out the job duties, but also about understanding the bigger picture – how the role fits into your company’s operations and goals.

Utilize online job boards and social media platforms to reach a wider pool of candidates. Be sure to use relevant keywords in your job posting to attract the right candidates. You can also consider working with a recruitment agency that specializes in IT talent to help you find the right fit for your organisation like Bashlee.

Understanding the role and establishing budgets 

Just as vital as defining the role is establishing a realistic budget. Working out the financial logistics of the position is crucial. The budget should reflect the level of expertise and responsibilities the job entails. 

The candidate’s salary expectations should be in line with their skills and experience. This can be a tricky balancing act but think of it as investing in the future of your company. After all, having the right person in the right role can drive your business to new heights. 

Remember, you’re not just paying for the employee’s time. You’re also investing in their skills, expertise, and potential contribution to your company’s growth.

Finding the right IT talent 

With the role defined and the budget set, it’s time to dive into the talent pool. But where do you start? With the digital world at your fingertips, the possibilities are virtually endless. 

  • Online Job Boards: These platforms are teeming with potential candidates. Make sure to use relevant keywords in your job descriptions to attract the right talent.
  • Social Media: Platforms like LinkedIn can be goldmines of IT talent. Use it to not only post jobs, but also to actively search for and connect with professionals.
  • Recruitment Agencies: Consider collaborating with an agency that specializes in IT recruitment. This could save you valuable time and help you find the right fit, faster.
MethodAdvantage
Online Job BoardsWide reach, use of keywords to attract suitable candidates
Social MediaAble to actively search and connect with professionals
Recruitment AgenciesExpertise in finding IT talent, saves time

Remember, every business’s needs are unique. So, don’t be afraid to mix and match these strategies until you find what works best for you.

Step 2: Consider the soft skills 

While technical expertise is undeniably important, don’t overlook the value of soft skills. The right candidate needs more than just programming prowess. They need to fit within your company culture, communicate effectively with different departments and be able to handle the pressure of tight deadlines.

Look for candidates who have demonstrated teamwork, problem-solving, adaptability, and time management. These are key skills for any IT professional, and they can often mean the difference between a project’s success or failure.

Remember: 

“Hire for attitude, train for skill.”

It’s often easier to teach someone a new technical skill than it is to instill in them the right mindset and work ethic.

When recruiting for IT talent, it’s key to remember that while technical knowledge is important, a candidate’s soft skills can be just as vital. So, what soft skills should you be focusing on? Let’s dive in: 

Key soft skills for IT talent 

IT skills are undoubtedly vital when scouting for tech talent, but soft skills are equally crucial. They bring harmony to the team, foster communication, and facilitate problem-solving. Here are a few soft skills to look out for when hiring IT talent. 

Communication: In the IT world, complexity is an everyday reality. You need a professional who can simplify complex ideas into understandable language for non-tech people. They should also be exceptional at documenting procedures and reporting issues. 

Problem-solving: The tech field is riddled with challenges, some of which are completely new. You want a candidate who can think on their feet, approach problems creatively, and not crack under pressure. 

Teamwork: Though we often envision IT professionals as lone wolves, today’s tech environment requires teamwork. Look for candidates who can work well with others, respecting different opinions and contributing to the team’s success.  new methodologies learning new skills, adapting to changes, and adopting. 

Finding the right candidate isn’t solely about matching technical skills with job requirements. The best IT talent should also fit seamlessly into your company culture. This means considering interpersonal skills, attitudes, and values as well. 

For instance, a highly skilled IT professional who lacks teamwork skills could disrupt the harmony of your team. Likewise, an IT whizz who doesn’t align with your company’s values and mission might not be the best fit, regardless of their impressive technical skills. 

Step 3: Technical proficiency – a non-negotiable

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room: yes, technical skills are crucial. However, don’t fret if you can’t distinguish between Python and Java (which are programming languages, by the way) or if the phrase ‘machine learning’ leaves you flummoxed. You don’t necessarily need to dive into these technicalities. Instead, ensure that the candidates possess the necessary qualifications and certifications related to the job role. Use a skills matrix, a simple table delineating the required skills and the candidate’s proficiency in each, to streamline the evaluation process. 

SkillsProficiency
PythonAdvanced
Machine learningIntermediate

During the interview process, it’s important to ask technical questions that are relevant to the role. This can help you assess the candidate’s knowledge and experience. You can also consider having a technical expert sit in on the interview to provide additional insight.

Understanding IT jargon 

One of the tricky aspects of hiring IT talent is navigating the complex world of IT jargon. Tech acronyms and industry-specific terminology can be daunting. However, gaining a basic understanding can help you make more informed decisions during the recruitment process. 

Consider enlisting the support of an IT consultant or mentor to guide you through the process. They can help you understand the must-have skills and nice-to-haves, enabling you to filter through the jargon and identify the most suitable candidates.

Embrace the power of third-party tools 

When it comes to technical evaluations, there’s no need to go it alone. Numerous third-party tools can aid non-tech recruiters in assessing the IT prowess of potential hires. These tools can help you efficiently and effectively screen candidates, ensuring they possess the necessary skills for the job. 

Top tools for technical tests and evaluations 

  • Codility: Codility is a tech recruitment platform that offers online coding tests to help you assess a candidate’s coding abilities. It’s easy to use, even for non-tech recruiters.
  • HackerRank: HackerRank is another platform that provides coding tests. It also offers a feature where candidates can solve real-world problems, providing a practical snapshot of how they might perform in the role.
  • Mettl: Mettl offers a range of technical assessments, from coding tests to psychometric assessments. It provides comprehensive reports on candidate performance, making your decision-making process easier.

Remember, these tools are designed to help you, not replace you. They provide valuable data, but it’s up to you to interpret that data and decide which candidate is the best fit for your company.

Integrating these third-party tools into your recruitment process can be a game-changer. They provide a more accurate gauge of technical abilities than a standard interview, taking the guesswork out of hiring IT talent.

Step 4: Making an offer 

Understanding the worth of IT talent is imperative. Notably, the calibre of IT professionals you attract is highly influenced by the competitiveness of your offer. The IT industry is dynamic and in high demand; hence, remuneration has to mirror these factors. 

Factor in the level of expertise, the location of the potential hire, and the nature of the job – remote or on-site. These elements can significantly impact the salary expectations and overall compensation package. In short, if you want top-tier IT talent, be ready to pay for it. 

Besides the compensation offer, before you get to any agreement with the candidate, you should have clear some important points as follows:

Establishing the role’s expectations 

First things first, you must define the role you’re hiring for. Be specific about the job responsibilities, the technical skills required, and the level of expertise needed. For example, a cybersecurity role may demand a deep understanding of intrusion detection systems, encryption algorithms, and VPNs. Understanding the job role helps in shaping the later stages of the recruitment process. 

Crafting a competitive compensation package 

Next, consider the potential salary and benefits package. This can be influenced by factors such as the candidate’s location, the nature of the job (remote or on-site), and the level of expertise required. Remember: if you want top-tier IT talent, you should be ready to offer a competitive compensation package. 

Legal considerations 

Finally, consider any potential legal paperwork. For instance, if your prospective IT role involves handling sensitive data or working with cybersecurity, it’s crucial that you create Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) to protect your company. Engage legal experts to guide you through the process if necessary. 

A step beyond recruitment with Bashlee

Securing the right IT talent amidst a sea of candidates is not an easy task, especially when you’re a non-tech HR recruiter. But with a keen understanding of the right technical skills, an appreciation for soft abilities, a willingness to adapt, and the prudence to handle legal matters, you can bridge the gap. 

But you don’t have to do this alone. The process may be complex, but it can certainly be simplified. This is where we come in. We’re not just a recruitment agency; we’re your partner in talent acquisition, specialising in the Irish market. 

“Navigating the IT recruitment landscape requires a unique blend of technical understanding and recruitment expertise. In Bashlee, we can handle the whole process for you or accompany you with our consultancy services.”

Let’s make IT recruitment easy 

We know that hiring for an IT role requires much more than posting a job ad and sorting through CVs. What you need is a holistic approach, and that’s precisely what we offer. 

  • Comprehensive Screening: We utilise a multi-layered selection process to sift through candidates and prioritise quality.
  • Industry Expertise: Our team has hands-on experience within the tech industry, enabling us to identify the best fit for your needs.
  • Guided Process: We can walk you through the entire recruitment journey, ensuring every step is compliant, tailored and effective.

Remember, hiring IT talent is not just about filling an open position. It’s about finding the right person who can drive your company’s technology forward. And we’re here to help you do just that. Let’s bridge the gap together.

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