10 World Class Staffing Best Practices to recruit and retain creative IT Pros
- Focus on the identification, nurturing and growing of highly talented people - This task is one that is the foundation for all of the other best practices.
- Actively manage collaboration among the talent pool - World Class IT Professionals perform at peak levels when they have others that challenge them and move them to achieve optimal performance.
- Have clearly defined job requirements - Functional and accurate Job descriptions are necessary first step. To that end the Internet and IT Job Descriptions HandiGuide is a must have document.
- Recruit from the places that turn out the top talent. Good training grounds will produce multiple good resources.
- Avoid the trap of hiring the best available resource today if they do not meet all of your requirements. Often you are pressured to fill a position, but when none of the candidates meet the total requirement it often is best to continue the recruiting process until the right candidate is found.
- Have core metrics in place to measure performance. Top measure is to modify behavior. If the IT talent knows that they are being measured and compensated accordingly they will perform better.
- Cull your mistakes quickly. Hiring mistakes are made all the time. Do not be afraid to say you made a mistake and find a new candidate.
- If you allow your most talented people free rein to innovate, don't stigmatize failure. When people experiment they will make mistakes, you have to allow this to happen and communicate that if talent does not fail on occasion they are not trying their hardest.
- Have staff work on only on "core activities" related to the requirements of the job - eliminate activities that do not have an impact on performance. People hate bureaucracy as an unproductive task do not burden creative talent with too much overhead.
- Get support staff to do the non-core activities.
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Hiring Best Practices
Hiring is the most critical aspect of a CIO's role. For a CIO it can be fatal of they hire a new employee find out there is a mismatch.
Background screening is a critical part of the hiring process for the majority of organizations today, but it is even more essential in the current economy for several reasons. eJobDescription.com has found that a shortage of key skills is the number one challenge facing CIOs and IT functions. This may seem counter-intuitive at first given the news of continued high levels of unemployment and a "jobless" economic recovery. However coupled with many discussions with CIOs and HR professionals in end-user organizations, confirms that finding the right talent - the talent with the right mix of skills, behaviors and values to fit with the organization - is still a challenge. In fact, more applicants in the pool makes filtering and screening even more critical to ensure that time isn't lost on applicants who aren't a good fit or who might not be qualified for the position.
Hiring managers understand that a often an individual's capabilities are not necessarily a good fit. Capability refers to the skills, tools and experience that a person needs to successfully perform a job. It is not new information that many applicants exaggerate their abilities on their resumes and job applications. Things to look for are:
- Skills Definition - Good Job Descriptions - Do you know what skills are needed to succeed and whether the employee possesses those skills? If they do not possess the necessary skills, how will the CIO help them to acquire them, and how long will that process to take? It is in everyone's best interest for the CIO to set appropriate expectations for the employee from the beginning. This is especially true if the position requires unique technical capabilities.
- Tools Definition - Good IT Infrastructure - Even if an individual has the skills and experience to do the job, do they have the tools to deliver peak performance? For example, a highly skilled and experienced web designer cannot build a website without adequate computer hardware and software. The tools do not have to be the most up-to-date, but a system that crashes can be incredibly frustrating and unproductive, even to the best performer.
- Experience - Just because an employee has the skills to do a job does not mean that they has the experience to apply those skills in his specific position. This is especially true for recent graduates, outside hires from different industries and internal hires from different departments. While the required skills may be similar from one job to the next, differing applications and terminology may require that the new hire take time to learn the nuances of his new position