Why you need to test candidates to hire the right tech staff

Gurvinder Singh, co-founder of TechRank, explains why testing candidates for the level of skill the position requires allows businesses can make an objective decision about who they’re hiring to look after their tech

Hiring the right technical staff can be difficult. Why? Firstly, the nature of the candidates themselves; for example, introverts with great skills may lack the salesmanship that will get them through the interview process successfully. Secondly, a recruitment process that isn’t fit for purpose can be a real problem. These difficulties lead to a recruitment process led by ‘gut feel’ and intuition rather than facts and hard data. This is why testing tech candidates is essential; by finding out the true depth and breadth of their skills, you can make it far easier to recruit the right person.
Going with what’s available?
There is a tendency to fill positions from the pool of candidates that come forward. A recruitment decision based on hard data will put more of the right candidates into the pool and ensure that the person chosen really fits your needs.
The right piece of the jigsaw
Balancing the skills’ pool across multiple staff may mean that you are looking for skills across multiple technologies but with an emphasis, or depth of knowledge, on one or two skills that maintain equilibrium within the business in addition to the element of meeting expected future demand. With over 1.5 million people working in the digital tech sector in the UK, finding the person that will fit precisely into your business is nigh on impossible without an accurate assessment of candidates’ real skills.
Reducing time wasted
Writing a job description, choosing and briefing an agency, sifting through CVs and interviewing all use up a lot of time – often from more than one person. If this process has to be repeated because of a poor hire, the costs multiply – up to three times that person’s salary can be wasted if they are the wrong person.
Bad hires impact staff morale and retention
The wrong hire can negatively impact the business. Someone with the wrong skills means others have to take up the slack, or projects take longer than planned. This can reduce the morale of staff not used to this; they may start believing that standards are being allowed to slip, leading to a decline in their productivity or the quality of their output.
The right hire delivers for everyone
So far, we’ve considered the consequences of a poor hiring decision brought about by a process that is no longer fit for purpose. Making the right hire delivers in a range of ways…

  1. Growth enabler: adding capacity to a team, with the right skills, allows a company to grow as they have more of what their target audience needs and wants.
  2. Reputation enhancer: the right skillset means projects are delivered on time, on budget and to, at least, the standards expected by the client. Happy clients talk, and reputations are enhanced.
  3. Staff retention improvement: companies that recruit the right people – and look after them – often only need to recruit for growth, not to replace leavers. Happy staff stay where they are respected and supported.
  4. Productivity improvements: the closer the overall skills’ mix is to what is needed, the more smoothly business runs. Smooth-running businesses are always more productive and more profitable.

Better hiring decisions – based on facts and hard data, rather than gut feel and intuition – will ensure you avoid the pitfalls and gain the benefits of hiring people with the right tech skills.
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