A Hire Calling: 10 Tips for Hiring an IT Dream Team​

When interviewing IT job candidates, why simply fill vacancies when you can bring on a dream team of well-rounded players?​

By assessing candidates for strengths that extend far beyond a simple command of job description-based tech skills, you’ll recruit employees who can make meaningful, lasting impact throughout your entire organization. In the book, Hiring Greatness: How to Recruit Your Dream Team and Crush the Competition (Wiley/available now), author David E. Perry reveals best practices—as well as pitfalls to avoid—in landing future stars who will unleash innovation while generating enviable ROI for your department. (Thus, elevating your perceived value in the process.) In one section, the authors list a number of “core attributes” of winning team members, and we’ve adapted the following from that list. As a managing partner at Perry-Martel International, Perry is a veteran recruiter of senior executives—and has also closed more than $300 million in deals on five continents with a 99.97% success rate.

1. Integrity Matters

Deceptive employees can sink a team—or an entire organization. Look for inconsistencies/exaggerations as candidates tell their story during interviews and/or in their resumes/cover letters.

2. Interpersonal Skills

Find out whether potential hires can blend in effortlessly within a team of diverse personalities and backgrounds. Assess whether they shirk from opportunities to work with people from outside IT, or relish such occasions.

3. Persistence

Does an applicant take initiatives (handwritten thank-you letters, for example) that others don’t? That’s the sign of potentially valuable self-starter.

4. Resiliency

Ask direct questions that force candidates to reveal key moments of failure, and what they did to come back stronger.

5. Natural Curiosity

The best IT employees have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. During discussions, provide plenty of opportunity for interviewees to ask good questions. Examine what they’ve done to incorporate continuous learning in their professional lives.

6. Enterprise Thinking

Do candidates think only in terms of tasks and technologies? Or do they understand how tasks and technologies contribute to organization wide processes and strategies?

7. Business Savvy

Potential team members should immerse themselves into the needs of business, and convey an in-depth understanding of industry trends and challenges. Determine whether their relationships with business influencers are deep and meaningful, or shallow and opportunistic.

8. Sound Judgment

Can candidates deal with novel, complex situations for which there is no industry, corporate or department history—and make sound decisions without a roadmap?

9. Customer/Stakeholder Focus

Find out how a potential recruit recognized an unaddressed need, and then overcame obstacles to get the best possible product/services to customers and stakeholders.

10. Risk Tolerance

Do candidates avoid challenges in the interest of playing it safe? Or do they seek to raise the bar of accomplishment through knowledge-supported risk-taking?

Look for these 10 qualities in your hires, and you’ll have your own dream team before you know it!​

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