Lessons We’ve Learned the Hard Way: What It Takes to Hire Great IT Talent

The right talent is the foundation of a successful company. At Simpat, we’ve found this to be true time and again throughout our time in business. Yet finding great candidates isn’t always easy. In fact, employers cite sourcing tech talent to be among their top challenges, and many are left with more vacancies than they can fill.

Despite these challenges, building a strong IT team is possible if you have the right process in place. Below are some of the key lessons we’ve learned about hiring, as well as tips on how you can apply them to your organization. 

Prioritize Your HR Department

One of the first things we did when launching Simpat was to hire a human resources specialist. In fact, they were among our first five hires and one of our best business decisions to date. 

While it may seem counterintuitive to establish your HR department so early in the process, we’ve found that it’s an effective way to build a healthy company culture and ensure you’re bringing the right talent into the mix. 

If you’re not ready for a full HR team, hiring a people partner is a good place to start. As you scale, you can grow your team and provide them with the resources they need to get the right talent in the door.

Develop a Comprehensive Hiring Process

Once you have your HR leadership in place, it’s time to focus on your hiring process. An effective way to do this is to start with the attributes shared by your top performers and use them as a framework for finding the best hires. 

Focus On Your Core Principles

Over the years, we’ve found that our most successful hires are those that embody our company’s values, which include:

  • Building trust through communication
  • Exploring the unknown
  • Learning from mistakes
  • Demanding greatness
  • Challenging the status quo
  • Treating other team members like family

Combined, these principles highlight not only who we are as a team, but who we want to be as we continue to scale.

As you look for new talent to join your team, it’s important to ensure that the candidates you choose are aligned with your values. These can include your company’s mission, your clients’ needs, or even your preferred way of working. By prioritizing candidates who embody these principles, you’ll be able to maintain your company culture as you move into the next phase of growth.

Hire Employees Who Have an Eagerness to Learn

One of the other things to look for with new hires is how eager they are to learn and grow. While certain skills can be learned on the job, enthusiasm for learning is a must. When candidates are willing to challenge themselves, they’re able to add value in innovative ways and to help push the organization forward. 

Over the years, we’ve found that candidates who are willing to get out of their comfort zones are often better suited to new business challenges and able to deliver consistent results. As a result, we encourage continued growth and support our team members in achieving it. 

Look for Candidates Who Have the Right Skills and Experience

Of course, in addition to a growth-focused mindset, it’s important that employees also have a solid baseline of experience. Since IT is a highly specialized field, identifying candidates who have the right technical skillset can make a big difference when it comes to on-the-job performance. 

As you narrow down your talent pool, focus on candidates who have a broad range of skills. This will help you determine which candidates are a good fit for the role, as well as allowing you to hone in on areas where they may need additional coaching. 

Build Your Talent Pipeline

The final step in establishing your talent acquisition strategy is to develop your talent pipeline. This should include active and passive candidates who may be a good fit for your team, both now and in the future. 

At Simpat, our most successful way of sourcing new talent is through referrals. Due to our network of internal talent, we consistently find qualified candidates who embody our values and have the skills and experience we’re looking for. 

If you’re in the early stages of building your talent pool, focusing on referrals is often a great first step. You’ll be able to identify candidates who are vetted by your current team members and who are likely already familiar with your company culture.

Beyond referrals, consider looking to nearby universities and colleges as you begin recruiting. These institutions are a valuable resource for early-career talent and they can help you fill internship slots as well as full-time roles. 

Networking groups are another useful resource and a simple way to establish a community outside of your organization. At Simpat, we run the Microsoft .NET User Group in Monterrey — a community that has more than 1,000 members and has allowed us to support emerging talent while growing our employer brand.

Not only does the process outlined above deliver continuous results, it’s led to us being named the number one place to code in Latin America and the fourth fastest-growing company in Central Texas. So while hiring the best IT talent can be challenging, a comprehensive talent acquisition strategy can eliminate the guesswork and help you find the employees you need. 

Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on facebook