New Trends In High-Tech Recruiting There is a new trend developing in the recruiting of high-tech employees. Due to the competitive nature of the business, companies are looking for new ways to recruit individuals that not only have the business and technical knowledge required to perform a specific job, but they are also looking for candidates that fit well into the corporate culture of the organization. Tech Planet is one such high-tech firm that is using this new approach to recruiting. Instead of the normal first round job interview, applicants at Tech Planet sit down to an informal meal with employees. The goal is to socialize with the employees to determine whether the applicants belong in the organization.
After the initial meal, employees vote on which candidates will be invited back for the next round. During the second phase, job applicants are asked tobring an essay explaining how they feel about working with small businesses and how they envision their next job – plus an inanimate object that best describes them. Objects brought by potential candidates in the past have included Silly Putty, soccer balls, hair gel, and pictures of family pets. Several other companies, including executive recruiters, are transitioning from a traditional approach to this new unorthodox method of screening applicants. At some firms, candidates are asked to play touch football or Yahtzee with other employees. The belief is that these activities can demonstrate an individual’s ability to work in a team setting and how they will get along with colleagues.
Though this appears to be a new trend in the world of recruiting, some employment experts question the value of this new approach. They feel that companies may overlook the most highly skilled applicants in search of people who are just fun. Another trend in the high-tech business world is the scarcity of information technology employees. Recruiters are facing new challenges in filling open positions within both technology and non-technology firms alike. Typically, the high-tech firms, new start-ups with hopes of going public, are having an easier time filling their IT positions as they focus on higher wages, bonus compensation, and stock options. Conversely, non-technology companies with IT needs are finding it difficult to entice qualified candidates to fill their openings. They just can’t offer the perks that other technology companies are offering and are losing potential candidates as a result. Today’s generation is motivated more by instant gratification and high incomes than benefits packages including medical and dental insurance. In my experience as a manager, I have found it difficult at times to find the best candidates for positions for which I’m recruiting.
Though there may be several applicants who possess the necessary technical and business knowledge to perform the tasks, there is a level of uncertainty regarding their ability to work within the culture of the organization. Formal interviews are beneficial in determining some behavioral tendencies, but it is still difficult to determine how individuals will work with others in the organization if hired. If we were to implement a new approach similar to the one depicted in the article, we might be better able to foresee how the candidates will work within their teams, with their co-workers, and with their managers. The interaction could also help uncover any negative tendencies that may be present that might not normally surface until the candidate has been hired into the organization. I agree with the employment experts that organizations may wind up hiring people who are just fun, but that’s a risk that may be worth taking.
Business and technical knowledge can be learned by most individuals that have a minimum set of skills, but personality and behavioral skills are much more difficult to alter. Personal skills are not typically learned through any coursework or training that individuals may attend but through life experiences, though these may include training of some kind. I would prefer hiring candidates who I felt reasonably confident would fit into the organization and could learn the required business and technical skills rather than hiring individuals who already had the business and technical knowledge but would not have the ability to fit in the organization. In addition, I feel that companies should do more market research to determine what types of compensation the employees they are trying to recruit are wanting. If the company can only offer A, B, and C, and the employee only wants D, E, and F, then there isn’t a good match for either party.
If employers are having a difficult time filling current positions, they should modify their benefit structure if at all possible or begin looking toward a different market segment that may be able to perform the same type of work. Business.