"Tell me about your current IT Project recruitment process."
Getting to know a client and how they operate is key to Access Talent's success at placing the right talent with the right business. Not just in terms of their ability to deliver in a role, but how well they will fit your culture. So, learning about how you've gone about gathering your current team should give us a useful insight, and it does, but only when the client themselves understands it.
IT Project professionals are experts at process. It's in your DNA! The process of hiring IT Project professionals, however, seems to be one that is eluding many, and at great cost!
More often, "Tell me about your current IT Project recruitment process" is met with a vague reply, a blank look or a shrug of the shoulders.
This is paradoxically both totally understandable and potential for disaster. I mean, it's understandable in that, unlike Access Talent, recruiting IT Project rock stars isn't your day job! You are rightly focussed on the activity that pays the bills, the thing that your strategic IT Projects support, the reason that you're in business. The thing is, those IT Projects ARE increasingly strategic and aligned with business goals, when IT Projects go wrong, they very quickly take business goals with them.
Commonly, IT Project hirers don't have a set time frame for making a hire, a clear idea of what their ideal candidate looks like, how to filter the CVs they get, how to interview and identify the best talent or how much that top talent is going to cost them.
Imagine approaching your strategic IT Projects in this manner? What would your success rates be like if you didn't have a clear vision of the end result, a firm grip on the timeline or a realistic idea of the budget required? How many projects would even get green-lighted? Imagine sitting before the board with a project that was going to change the face of your industry, and disrupt the market ... with no idea of how much it will cost, when you'll deliver or what it will look like when you do!
But of course, you don't approach IT Projects in this way. You DO have a firm grip on process and methodology, budgets and a clear vision of the deliverables.
So, indulge me ... an exercise.
"Tell me about your current IT Project recruitment process."
Open up a Word doc, grab your journal or a sheet of A4 paper out of the printer and take a few minutes to sketch out how you go about attracting the best IT Project Talent to work for you in this increasingly competitive, candidate-driven market.
If you actually did this exercise, what did you discover? Let's explore some of the scenarios.
SCENARIO 1 - You've got this!
Let's say you identified your process as a six-stage plan:
STAGE 1: RUN ADVERTS Maximum 1 week, placed on the right platforms for maximum effective exposure;
STAGE 2: PROFILING Shortlist suitable candidates for interviewing;
STAGE 3: RECRUITER INTERVIEW 1 The interview process begins with a telephone or Skype interview within 3 days;
STAGE 4: RECRUITER INTERVIEW 2 Face to face interviews within a week;
STAGE 5: JOB OFFER Factoring in average notice period of one month;
STAGE 6: Candidate starts and Onboarding.
Well done, you are probably attracting the cream of available talent already! I will say this to you though: having your process so well mapped out means you are in an unenviable position of being able to improve it! Can you post your ads in even better places? Are they as focussed as they could be or do you copy and paste each time? How streamlined is the interview and selection process (opting for a typical two-stage interview process, conducted over two weeks, can increase candidate dropout rate by up to 30%, for example)?
SCENARIO 2 - It was a bit vague!
If your ideal candidate was 'anyone with the right qualifications', or your timeframe was 'as long as it takes' or your salary budget wasn't clearly defined or anything else a bit vague, then you need to have a rethink.
The good news is that you probably have the skills and disciplines already to create the perfect recruitment plan, use your IT Project delivery mindset, apply it to your recruitment process, and you'll get a measurably better return on your investment.
As I say, you have the skills already but when applying your project management mindset, you may have remembered the success you get from outsourcing and the Project Management as a Service market. Recruitment is one of the most well established 'as a Service' offers, it's been around since before 'aaS' was even a thing.
We've established that recruiting specialist IT Project talent isn't your day job. It is ours! Your specialist IT Project management recruitment process WILL benefit from the services of an IT Project recruitment partner.
SCENARIO 3 - You didn't do the exercise.
There could be three reasons for this: You have IT Project recruitment nailed; you are too busy, or you sort of knew what the result would be.
Whatever the reason for not doing this little exercise, you should give us a call at Access Talent.
If you knew what the result would be, that your recruitment process might not be up to scratch, we can help you.
If you're too busy to complete a ten-minute exercise about recruitment, I hear you. It may be that you also too busy to dedicate the right time to the process itself - get someone in who spends their whole working day focussed on recruiting IT Project talent so that you can focus on your passion.
AND, if you ARE nailing IT Project recruitment, you should still call us. I mean, you really should be working for us!
Joking apart, even if you are 'acing' the process, there may be improvements you can make, like peer profiling or subject matter expert written job specs. It's also worth future-proofing yourself as demand for talent increases and IT Projects continue to become more complex, specialist and business-critical.
A typical IT Project recruitment cycle takes, on average, 8 weeks to recruit a permanent Project Manager. Understanding how this process works and what is involved is important in terms of being able to speed this process up where you can. It's so obvious, yet hardly anyone does it! What an easy way to give yourself a competitive advantage!
Go on then ... "Tell me about your current IT Project recruitment process."
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