Hiring someone for an executive or management position is something to be approached with care and deliberation. That is true in every business but has special emphasis in the IT industry, where there’s a real need to understand technology in order to better anticipate and react to trends in the business world.
So when you’re going through the IT recruiting process at the management or executive level, how do you know you’re making the right choice?
One thing that gives you a good head start is knowing what to look for in an applicant’s resume. A keen eye for red flags and an ability to sense the soft skills of a candidate are some of the most useful IT recruiting skills to have, and we’ll share what you should pay attention to when it comes to the resumes of a potential tech executive.
IT Roles & Responsibilities
Of course, professional qualifications matter, and, assuming an executive is truthful with their resume, it will be easy to determine the scope of their knowledge and skill set. So, one area of the resume you should be concentrating on is the type of roles and responsibilities taken on. If you’re very lucky, the exact role you have in mind will appear listed in the resume.
However, just because the specific role or responsibility you are offering isn’t one a candidate has held before, that doesn’t mean the candidate is unqualified.
Management duties comprise many cross-compatible skill sets, so it’s not unusual at all to see an applicant fulfilling a different role that still meets the functions you’re looking for.
Throughout the resume, you should always be looking for indications that the executive or manager applying to you has problem-solving skills.
At some point, things will go wrong, the unexpected will occur, or some kind of crisis will emerge. Someone who has never been through such a situation or led others through one is not someone you want in charge of staff.
In the same way, for many businesses, the core of their appeal is that they are able to solve problems for customers, clients, or partners. Someone who can only stick to the script they are given is not going to do you much good in an industry that relies on innovation and finding new ways to overcome obstacles.
References Beyond the Resume
You should always be asking for—and following up on—references for any applicant. However, at the executive level, it’s just good business sense for you to do so. Investigate the references provided within the resume and take the time to have an extensive conversation with them.
Getting these outside perspectives is important and helps give you a fuller sense of the applicant’s experience and personality, informing you as to how well they will fit in at your company.
You should also consider getting a better idea of who an executive is with additional references that may not have been provided. Thanks to the nature of the IT industry, it’s not just IT recruiting companies that can get more detailed information. You should always take advantage of social media, looking up more about a potential candidate on places like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an incredibly valuable professional resource for your recruitment needs. Look up a candidate’s associations on LinkedIn, and see if there are any additional people that you can talk to about the candidate.
Look for a Unique Difference or Bold Choices
One of the things you should really keep an eye out for in a resume is an executive or manager who does things differently from what you’re used to or expecting. Of course, you want someone who can fit into your corporate culture.
But do you really want someone who is going to do the same thing other managers or executives have done and add nothing new to your company?
It’s important to understand that new hires can also bring new things, and a business should embrace fresh perspectives that might push it to evolve.
If you find yourself leaning towards applicants who do things exactly how you would, you may be short-changing yourself on a new hire who could improve operations in unexpected ways. Take a chance on growth, rather than choosing a person who will lead your team down the same old paths.
We’ll Help You Hire the Ideal IT Executive
For faster results, go with an IT recruiting firm like us! Poly Tech Talent has the IT recruiting skills to help you find the personnel that can add value and innovation to your company. If you’re looking to get more competitive in your industry, let us find the people to move your company forward. Talk to us today!
Learn more about hiring the right Tech Talent in our Ultimate Guide to Hiring Executive Talent in Technology.