How HR Can Future-Proof the Hiring Process

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How HR Can Future-Proof the Hiring Process

Due to the pace of technological change, many people across a variety of industries continue to wonder about what skills will be needed in the future, which tech tools we’ll be using or how the addition of machines in the workplace will change the employment landscape down the road.

With such unpredictability, is there a way to “future proof” the hiring process to inject more solid answers? Yes.

Obviously we’ll always continue to monitor such developments for the rate of change, but here’s what we do know in the interim: Good IT talent will represent critical hires, because only they can train and manage the workplace machines of the future.

Let’s talk about the best ways to find and hire technology professionals who can help with your transition to automation, now and in the years to come.

Why It’s Important to Hire the Right Technology Professionals

Technology isn’t simply an operational business tool these days. It’s a strategic tool. Companies that meet their customers’ expectations for a personalized, responsive experience will be best suited to pull ahead in the new economy — but to do that, you’ll need the right IT tools and staff.

With well-chosen tech hires, your staff and board will be able to better meet strategic goals by overcoming current tech obstacles with creative solutions and your customers will benefit from a better experience with your company, powered by technology.

Unfortunately, techies are especially hard to hire. Often focused on skills, these computer wizards can either be withdrawn and uncommunicative or brilliant, fun people to talk to with a range of interesting hobbies and passions. The problem is that it’s hard to determine what kind of tech professional you’re hiring when all you have to work with is an interview.

Luckily, you now have a “cheat sheet” of the top things to look for in a tech candidate who can keep pace with technological changes and guide your company to a successful future:

What to Look for to Hire the Right Person for the Job

While reading the resume
Not only do applicants need skills to do the job, they also need to be lifelong learners. Technology changes often, so the skills you’re hiring for today may shift next year. The ability to communicate knowledge is also key.

  • Check for a history of adding new certified skills, not just renewals. If your candidate isn’t motivated to learn on their own, they’re unlikely to keep up with their field’s constant changes. You don’t want someone behind the times leading your company into the future.
  • Make sure their resume is easy to understand.
    Techies are the only people in the company who can explain what our computers are trying to tell us. Choose talented written communicators with a gift for clear explanation backed by strong sentence structure.

During the phone screen
Extend your knowledge of the candidate by assessing their ability to adapt to new information or situations, because the only thing we know for sure about technology is that it’s guaranteed to change.

  • Keep them improvising.
    Mix up the traditional phone screen by surprising them with extra people on the call. If your candidate remains calm and cool, they’re adaptable.
  • Listen to how they talk.
    As the pace of business increases, you’ll need fast-thinking people who can explain technology clearly to others. Feel free to frequently inject clarifying questions or have them explain the workings of a tool they use in their current job.

At the interview
Unstructured, free-form interviews don’t help hiring managers learn about candidates, so best practices suggest that you ask specific questions about past actions during the interview. Get examples for each major claim.

  • Get them thinking creatively.
    When machines take over jobs, they won’t make the same repetitive mistakes that humans make. You can determine your candidate’s creative thinking skills for new challenges by having them walk you through how they arrived at creative solutions to past problems.
  • Do an empathy assessment.
    Empathy is nearly impossible to teach, yet it’s critical for effective leadership and workplace cooperation. Your IT staff will need the ability to put themselves in the shoes of fearful human employees to facilitate new ways of working alongside robots.

After the interview
As a hiring manager, you know how crucial it is to reflect on the interview process so you can predict which candidate will best serve your company. Likewise, any tech employee you choose will need the ability to reflect so they can predict your organization’s future IT needs.

As Winston Churchill said, “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”

  • Encourage interview reflection.
    Send a short post-interview questionnaire asking candidates what went well and what could improve in the interview process. This will provide you with valuable insight and will demonstrate the candidate’s ability to assess past choices and actions.
  • Compare their real-life self to their online persona.
    Since your IT employees work in both the digital and the physical realm, consistency is key. Make sure that they communicate well across both spheres and maintain empathy in all interactions.

Future Proofing Your Workforce Helps You Gain the Competitive Edge

When you focus on finding tech hires who aren’t just skills-based but are also talented in communication, creative thinking, adaptability and relationship building, you’ll be hiring employees that last. As a result, when you can spend less time recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training an endless stream of new workers, your business benefits by becoming more agile and cost-effective.

In addition, when you future proof your company with technology experts now, they’ll be likely to implement appropriate infrastructure early on that supports future changes. With the right infrastructure in place, you’ll be covered when you do pull ahead of your competitors because your company will have the necessary resources to handle your exponential growth with ease.

Get help hiring the right tech employees with ISG On Demand. Contact us to learn how our rigorous interview process helps you find the perfect fit for your company.