You’ve just received a very disappointing report from your HR head: your newest developer just quit. And really, it’s not unexpected news because this individual just wasn’t pulling his weight. But what’s odd is that this developer was incredibly qualified, with an Ivy League education, years of relevant experience, a killer resume, a broad skill set, and glowing references. In theory, this person should have been the ideal fit! You even went out of your way to ensure that your company met his salary and benefits requirements. So what gives? How could the perfect person turn out to be so wrong?
Well, this is a surprisingly common dilemma, particularly in the tech and IT industry, where experience, skills, and qualifications are just one piece of a very complex puzzle. The reality is that an individual’s abilities should be just one of several points for consideration. You should be hiring for cultural fit, for company-wide skill redundancy, and for your immediate needs.
Hire for Cultural Fit Within Your Company
Cultural fit is extremely important when making a hiring decision, as cultural conflicts are one of the most common deal-breakers that prompt a company and talent to part ways. The cultural environment within your organization will affect many aspects of the worker’s experience, including, but not limited to:
- The overall atmosphere within the company;
- How an individual interacts with and relates to her coworkers;
- How talent perceives her working environment and colleagues; and
- How the person views her role within the company as a whole.
In fact, an April 2017 study by the Kapor Center found that â€œunfairness or mistreatment was the most common reason cited by American tech workers who decided to quit. This is significant when you consider that an individual’s expectations and perceptions are largely affected by the company culture (and how well-suited the person is for that culture.)
For instance, if you’re accustomed to a liberal company culture with lots of freedoms, such as the ability to bring your pet to work, then you may view it as unfair if you’re forced to leave your dog at home. Similarly, you could feel as though you’re being mistreated if your employer requires you to spend 40 hours per week in the office, particularly if your last company had a very liberal policy on telecommuting. Conversely, an employee who is accustomed to a more conservative company culture may not see any problem with prohibitions surrounding pets in the office or telecommuting; in fact, they may actually prefer a pet-free workplace where most colleagues are within earshot.
Another company culture-related consideration surrounds interpersonal dynamics. If an individual is accustomed to working alone or in small groups, he may feel overwhelmed if he’s suddenly placed in an environment where he’s required to work in a large group. On the other hand, an individual who has worked in medium and large-sized groups may find small group dynamics to be stifling and uncomfortable. Therefore, when hiring for cultural fit, it’s important to evaluate prospective employees relative to the local working environment and the company culture as a whole.
Hire to Create Redundancy Amongst Employee Skill Sets
It’s dangerous for a company to rely heavily upon a single individual, as this could result in a situation where operations grind to a halt if that person is removed from the equation. Even dedicated, loyal employees can encounter an unexpected twist of fate, like a serious auto accident or a sudden illness.
The most successful companies prepare for the unexpected by hiring with skill set redundancy in mind. It’s important that you have at least a couple people who can perform a specific task or fulfill a particular role.
Company leaders should ensure that each department or division head performs a complete evaluation to identify key skills, identify individuals who possess each skill, and finally, identify which skills should be sought-after in new talent.
Hire With an Emphasis on Your Immediate Needs
While it’s always wise to consider how your company, your clients, and your mission will evolve in the coming months and years, it’s important to remember how rapidly and how profoundly the tech industry evolves and shifts. What’s more, the typical tenure in the tech industry is quite short, with the average developer changing jobs every two to three years.
Really, it’s impractical to plan years in advance when it comes to your staffing, as it can be difficult to predict which skill sets will be in demand years in the future. So while you certainly do not want to be short-sighted, it’s important to place greater emphasis on your immediate needs. For example, let’s say you’re choosing between two individuals. Candidate A could stay with your company indefinitely, but his skill level is just average. Candidate B is extremely talented, with a broad skill set, but she plans to move to California after her husband finishes med school in just under two years. Most companies would be better served by Candidate B, as life plans are not written in stone and she can serve your company well, even if she only stays on board for a couple years.
Meeting Your Company’s Needs With a Creative Tech and IT Staffing Solution
Hiring for cultural fit and skill redundancy in a way that meets your company’s immediate needs isn’t a simple proposition. Some companies consider less traditional staffing solutions, like outsourcing, to find great talent, as this allows you to bypass some of the time, cost and hassle associated with the recruiting and hiring process. Insourcing is the precise opposite of outsourcing: Instead of sending your project out to a third-party service provider, you bring a team in to help your company meet its objective. iTech is one of the industry’s leading insourcing tech staffing providers.
This unique staffing strategy helps you avoid the time, hassle, and expense associated with the recruiting process. Plus, the talent will be ready to hit the ground running, as iTech’s development teams are carefully assembled so that individual work styles and personality types complement each other. What’s more, you keep a great deal of control over the project since it’s all in-house.
If you want to learn more about this alternative to new hires, iTech can assist. Based in Texas, we work with clients locally in Dallas, Houston, and Austin, nationally, and even internationally. Contact iTech to learn more.