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For the Best IT Candidates, Don’t Skip the “Req Qualification” Step

As an IT manager looking to fill an open position, you might think your job is done (with a relieved swipe-swipe of your hands) when you provide your comprehensive list of job requirements to your internal HR person. Your internal HR coordinator then hands the hiring req off to an experienced IT recruiter or recruiting agency, who you expect will come back to you with several ideal candidates for you to interview.

But with IT unemployment averaging 2% or less, candidate applications are not just going to pour in. Your recruiter is going to have to go searching for people who meet your requirements. If your hiring requisition has 16 “required” technical skills, your candidate pool is going to be severely limited.

And if your recruiter does immediately come back with a bunch of resumes for you to review, you are probably going to waste a lot of time examining candidates you will ultimately reject.

So how do you get the qualified applicants you want with the least amount of effort?

The answer is a req qualification call directly between you, the hiring manager, and the assigned IT recruiter.

When your IT recruiting agency insists on a req qualification call, please don’t think of it as more work for you. In fact, the time you spend on this call will save you many hours later in the process.

Three Key Outcomes of a Req Qualification Call  

Technical Skills Must-Haves. The first thing you should do is help you narrow down your list of technical requirements to just three or four must-haves; the skills that, if missing, are absolute deal-breakers. Think in terms of the 80/20 rule: Of all the skills on your wish list of skills, what 20% will this person be using 80% of the time in this job. At the bottom of this article, you can see how an experienced IT recruiter has written four must-have technical requirements off of an original 24-point list.

Call-out box: An artificial intelligence system can do skill-matching. The reason you hire an experienced IT recruiting agency is to bring you qualified candidates who will prove to be good hires.

Deliverables. The second question your recruiter should ask is: What are the top three deliverables that this person is going to have to create on a regular basis? The answer to this question is going to help your recruiter in several ways. First, it helps locate people who might be a good fit for the job, because candidate resumes and LinkedIn profiles typically feature accomplishments more than lists of skills. Second, to make sure the must-have technical skills align with the deliverables the person is actually going to be responsible for. Third, the deliverables are going to related to the non-technical skills a person will need to be successful in this position.

Non-Technical Requirements. The third part of the req qualifications call will address non-technical attributes that the candidates needs to have. The goal is to find candidates who will mesh with the company chemistry and approach to work. If the candidate is used to a more informal approach to development and a more nurturing management style, that is probably not going to be a good fit with a company with a mature Agile process, a rigorous test-driven development approach, and a sink-or-swim management style. The recruiter is going to have to use indirect questioning during the screening interview to decide if the candidate qualifies or not.

When your IT recruiting agency takes the time to really get to know you, your open req, and your company, they will do a much better job of providing you with the candidates you need and they will make your life as a hiring manager easier as well.

Cemco Systems Provides the IT Recruiting Expertise You Need

Cemco Systems, a subsidiary of Vertex Resource Group, is an executive search firm that provides the IT recruiting services—including great job description writing—that you need to fill specialized positions. As an independent firm, we can recruit from your competitors and approach top candidates on a confidential, one-to-one basis. Call us at 630-485-4401.