A resume presents a picture of a candidate’s job history, but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Candidates present their work in the best possible light, and may mention projects and technologies where they had little involvement. Resumes that aren’t organized chronologically can make it difficult to see the progression of the candidate’s career. Because of these issues, it’s important to ask good questions during an interview to get a deeper understanding of the candidate’s work history. These questions will help:
Walk me through your positions and how your career has developed.
This question gives the candidate a chance to clarify the sequence of their jobs and explain how they’ve developed new skills through each new job.
The skills and experience a candidate brings to the job are important indicators of how qualified they are to perform the task, and you’ll want to consider them seriously when you make your hiring decisions. You’ll also want to consider factors like the candidate’s personality and their enthusiasm. If two candidates are equally qualified, consider hiring the more enthusiastic candidate. If two candidates are not equally qualified, but the difference in qualifications is slight, you should also consider hiring the more enthusiastic candidate. Here’s why:
- Enthusiastic candidates are more likely to pursue training and improvement. People who are excited about the work they’re doing want to get better at it. These candidates will invest time in training...
There are two approaches you can take to getting the most out of your employees: You can criticize work that needs improvement, or you can praise work that was done well. Actually, managing effectively requires both.
Avoid Unconstructive Criticism
Negative feedback can’t always be avoided, and criticism has value when it’s done constructively. This means placing the criticism in context and making sure an action is being criticized, not the person. Constructive criticism should be specific and related to a particular situation. There should be suggestions on how to improve, but you should collaborate with the employee to come up with a plan.
If done well, constructive criticism will leave an employee feeling like you’ve partnered...more
Coping with holes in your staff is challenging. It’s easy to wish for a new hire who’ll come in, do a good job, and stay there so you never need to fill that role again. But to benefit the company most, you should be looking for employees who’ll stay a while and then make a move—not move on, but move up. That means hiring with growth potential in mind. When seeking employees who’ll excel over time, look for the following characteristics.
Core competency. The candidate has to do a solid job in the position they start out with, no question. Without baseline technical skills, they won’t get the job done. They also won’t earn the respect of their teammates and colleagues in other departments, which is critical for more senior jobs that require more...more
Sometime in the future, robots may replace all workers, even IT workers. When that time comes, employee personality won’t matter. If a robot worker doesn’t fit in, you’ll just have them reprogrammed. Until that time comes, though, employees are people, not robots. Personalities can’t simply be reprogrammed, and an employee whose personality doesn’t fit in can have a surprisingly large impact on the rest of the team.
Conflict With Employees and Job Responsibilities
There can be a personality conflict between employees and their bosses, between employees and their co-workers, and even between employees and their customers. All of these conflicts make it difficult to work together to achieve the goal of a project. Conflicts with customers can even result in a...more
Dallas is ranked number two in the technology job market. Technology employers and job seekers in the Dallas area will find the search for employees and employers in 2016 impacted by national and local trends that are both positive and negative.
Trends Indicate More Competition for Top Employees
One survey placed both Dallas and Plano among the top 25 cities for job seekers, with Plano actually topping the list. While that’s good news for job hunters that means employers may need to work harder to convince candidates to accept their offers. Bureau of Labor Statistics...more
IT projects are collaborative efforts. There usually isn’t a solo programmer sitting alone in a room, cranking out code. Even if there is a single programmer, getting an application from concept to deployment requires other people to perform testing, packaging, and support.
When the tech workers are remote from each other or from the product owner defining the project requirements, coordinating and collaborating becomes more challenging and effective management of a team is even more critical. Use these tips to ensure that your remote IT workers are able to succeed despite being separated from the rest of the organization.
1. Make sure local and remote employees communicate about the project. Include the remote team in team meetings through...more
When you review job candidates, their employment history isn’t the only thing you should look at. Their activities outside work give you insight into their interests and motivations. When those outside activities include open source projects, you should view that as a strong positive factor. Here’s why:
- Contributing to an open source project shows a candidate has strong motivation and is self-directed. There’s no requirement for a candidate to work on an open source project, so their participation is entirely voluntary. And once they’ve signed up, their work is entirely self-directed; there’s no specific work assignment and no project manager assigning a deadline.
- Shows a candidate keeps current technically. If they’re working on a widely...
Like it or not, employees have lives outside the office. Eventually, their lives will pull them away from the office—whether to focus on family or because their career ambitions can’t be achieved with their current employer. So every business needs a plan for coping with employee resignations. Some parts of the process are common whatever the employee’s responsibilities, but there are also some steps specific to IT workers.
Finalize the logistics of the employee’s resignation. Agree on the employee’s last day of work. Two weeks is traditional and still standard, but some departing employees may have the flexibility to offer you a longer notice period if their project is at a critical point. Agree on who will announce the departure to the rest of the team; the way...more
For most IT workers, avoiding distractions at work is impossible. It’s inherent in the way the workplace is designed with low-walled cubicles that mean there’s no such thing as a confidential conversation. You probably can’t do much about the office layout, but there are things you can do to reduce these other four common office distractions and help your team stay focused and productive.
Massive Email Blasts
Keeping everyone informed is important, but massive email blasts that cc: everyone on a project are more distracting than useful. Target your emails to only those who need to respond to them. If there’s valuable information you want to make sure doesn’t get lost, use a collaboration tool and either save a document or create a discussion thread that...more