We’ve found that the strength of an IT firm is built on the strength of its team.

The same can be said for any business. If your employees are terrible, you’re halfway to failing.

If you’re growing, like we are, and are looking to hire in 2016, here are our tips on hiring great employees, inside of your IT business.

#1 Do they have the basic skill set required?

When you’re meeting with a potential employee, go over their resume and ask them to explain their experiences with the technology you will need them to use.

You also need to be able to clearly communicate with the candidate what your technical expectation is. Write a clear and effective job description so you attract the right person.

Get specific examples of what they’ve done and how they’re done it.

Lacking some knowledge in certain areas is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but candidates that have not kept up with the advances in software and do not have a basic understanding of technology programs similar to what you employ, then be wary.

#2 Can they handle the pressure?

You make a fatal error in hiring if you only look at what skills they have, and do not account for their temperament.

Consider these when talking with a candidate:

  • Do they get impatient with team members?
  • Are they easily frustrated?
  • How do they respond to stressful situations?
  • Are they able to be objective when under pressure?

Chances are your IT hires will be dealing with clients or high-level executives/business leaders.
So you need to ensure they can remain calm and professional even under high-stress situations. This is key to having a successful team.

During your interview process, see how an individual feels about handling clients, but also if they can respond to higher executives and explain complex subject matter with patience and professionalism.

#3 Will they fit your company culture?

Michael Hyatt, author and former CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishing, talks often about culture. “Most hires don’t work out because they don’t fit the company’s culture.”

Take a look at Michael’s other thoughts on hiring here.

Essentially one of the most overlooked pieces to look for in a new team member is if they fit in with your company culture and your existing team.

You need to clearly identify and communicate your core values, mission, and vision to whomever you’re considering hiring. This candidate needs to embrace these.

When considering a candidate, think about your current staff.

  • What’s the personality of your current team like?
  • Are they all incredibly quiet, and work diligently in silence, or are they loud and chatty?
  • Can you afford to hire someone who will constantly distract your team, or allow them to get their work done?
  • Will this new hire cause stress and create conflict or do they bridge relationships, and positively influence others?

Ultimately, you need to ask yourself how this potential new person will fit into your team.

A huge mistake is not having the direct supervisor or department head, who will work with this new hire, meet the candidate and give their input.

Nothing is worse than hiring an individual and finding out they do not mix with your current staff. It’s also extremely expensive when it doesn’t work out.

# 4 Are they willing to fix a mistake they made?

People all make mistakes, but how they deal with them will mean whether crisis’ are resolved properly or not.

This ties somewhat into handling pressure. You want an employee who is willing to acknowledge they made a mistake and address it.

You do not want someone to drop the ball and then pass it onto another person. You ideally want someone who can own their mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and extend forgiveness to others.

Mistakes are a part of life. Encourage people to make them, assuming that making mistakes doesn’t border on incompetence. But when they’re made, you want people on your team who can quickly resolve these and move forward.

#5 Are they willing to learn?

You never stop learning in life.

Find employees who are willing to learn, as well as open to criticism.

To give an example:

Setting expectations during the interview process can help you choose the right people for your team. For instance, let’s say you have a certain turn-around ticket response time, and ask them what they would do if they got behind.

Ideally, you want potential employees to be willing to admit they are falling behind or having difficulties. You want to avoid those who afraid to talk about their issue, or unwilling to admit their mistakes. They should also be willing to accept feedback on what they need to change, in order to learn.

Whatever way they are falling short, they need to be willing to own their fault, or take help, otherwise, your business will suffer.

People will make or break your business

The strength of a business is found in its employees, and their ability to push the business further with their talents. Take your time, and really take all the above points into consideration when hiring new team members.

Remember, your staff is the face of your company to your clients, make sure it’s the face you want to be presenting to the world.

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