In today’s fast-paced world, information technology (IT) is the backbone of any business.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in economic fallout causing massive layoffs. This situation accelerated remote job searching and hiring, and more and more people realize the importance of skills stacking.
Despite all the ups and downs, the future employment prospects in the field of IT are still quite amazing.
An estimating number of 531,200 will be created. The overall sector is predicted to grow at an 11% rate between 2019 and 2029 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Claudia editor of crowd writer delegated that the key drivers for this growth are the demand for cloud computing, IT security, and big data storage.
If you have recently shifted to remote working and looking to hire an IT pro, then this article is just for you.
Nine tips for hiring the right IT professionals for remote working during Covid-19
Here are some tips that business managers would need while recruiting IT specialists for their remotely operating firm.
1. Know what you are looking for
The first and foremost step is to define what you need in an IT professional. Since every company has different IT operations based on their size, it is important to specify your IT needs.
For instance, you might be experiencing growth and need to add new employees then your IT specialist would be responsible mainly for installing and configuring computer software and hardware and for setting up new accounts.
But if you are not a startup, you just need an expert IT person to monitor and maintain systems and provide technical support remotely.
The things you mention will define a ‘big picture’ of your business and require expert knowledge and above-average experience. This also helps IT professionals finding search jobs relevant to their skill set.
Unquestionably, you expect your IT specialist to be well-versed in security management, system administration, programming languages and have a keen eye for detail. Of course, an IT expert with more skills will be more beneficial.
2. Modify the job description for remote IT jobs
The Covid-19 situation has completely changed how people interact and work. For most of the positions, the job description usually remains the same for both in-house employees and remote workers.
A well-written clear job description serves as a communication tool and allows both to understand the expectations of the job role. But sometimes responsibilities change as companies move from office to home.
Thus, it is important to inform candidates about any new (yes, new) responsibilities that come with the work from home policy. Here are some actionable tips for managers that can help them create the revised job description for IT jobs.
- Define what you mean from ‘Flexible’ and ‘Remote.’
- Consider adding some of the most commonly used keywords to the job description such as Work from home, Remote, Virtual, Telecommuting, Home office.
- Clarify the location (where the employee lives and in some cases, mention clearly why the person should live in a particular region).
- Mention the daily, weekly, or monthly meeting schedule.
- Mention the equipment that will be provided by the company.
3. Search for candidates in the right place
Searching for ‘right people at the right place’ has high implications for human resource managers. If you are expecting good candidates from a social media platform popular among youngsters, I bet you’ll never find a single good candidate.
Access quality social media platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook. There are some other industry-based job boards like IT Job Pro, Tech Fetch, IT Job Café, Mashable Jobs etc.
I personally recommend you to socialize with professionals in the IT industry and get quality referrals.
4. Diversity is the essence of the NEW talent pool
A diverse pool of unique applicants means more creativity and innovation. Yet, if you see the workplace composition in most firms, you’ll find zero diversity and no fair hiring and technology sector is no exception.
Take the example of Google, where approximately 80% of the workforce consists of men. The company released its figures in 2014, which created chaos in the business market.
This is the reason why Google is not best at everything…
And unfortunately, it’s not just Google, but there are other high-tech firms. Facebook, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon also call themselves equal employment opportunity providers despite the fact that their figure tells a very different story.
What needs to be done?
- Neutralize job descriptions and job advertisements.
- Avoid gendered language.
- Replace phrases like ‘searching for top-tier talent’ with ‘you are committed to learning’.
- Partner with community groups that works with underrepresented groups.
5. Go virtual
Working remotely gives you the opportunity to hire an IT specialist from abroad when you face a shortage of locally.
According to a study, Scandinavian-based countries have an acute shortage of tech talent, meaning that companies are forced to look beyond borders to hire the people they need (Emerging Europe).
If this is the case with you, you can give relocation offers to non-nationals or outsource IT jobs. Moreover, if you are finding people for short-term IT projects such as building a website or making new user accounts.
Why? Because it is better to hire remotely than hiring an in-house employee and fire them when the project comes to an end. Remote workers are more independent and can look for other opportunities while being on the job.
6. Be flexible when it comes to the job interview
The fact that you are hiring people who can work from home doesn’t eliminate the need to interview a person face-to-face.
In fact, an IT person plays a critical role in an organization, and it is very important for employers to talk in-person at least once and make an educated guess about their knowledge and ability.
Luckily, there are many modern communication tools and apps available that allow us to make video calls that have reduced the need to meet candidates. Most employers are using Zoom (43%), Skype (12%), Google Hangouts (19%), and Microsoft Teams (75%) for conducting video interviews (The Balance Careers, 2020).
7. Articulate your expectations clearly
How would employees know if they are performing well or need to bring improvement when they lack information on what a company expects from them?
As a manager, you are responsible for telling candidates clearly what the organization wants from them. IT specialists deal with critical company data and are responsible for protecting the systems from rivals and cyber attackers.
Managers should simply tell that they expect the following behavior from the IT specialist:
- Displaying a positive, responsible, and respectful attitude.
- Working with complete honesty.
- Follow standard policies and procedures when encountering a specific problem.
- Reject any favor and partnership offer from competitors and hackers.
- Showing willingness to help the organization in crisis situations.
- Be prepared for unforeseen situations such as ransomware attacks.
8. Ask them clearly ‘Can you handle work from home’?
Instead of playing the guessing game, ask your candidates straightforwardly if they’ll be able to manage work from home. Asking questions in a transparent manner allows interviewers to assess further if the person is right for the position or not.
If you feel that the candidate has the right potential but needs some improvement, don’t hesitate from giving some expert tips for remote working related to time management, picking a workspace, managing distractions, and increasing productivity.
9. Know the pros and cons of remote hiring
There are multiple pros and cons of remote hiring. When you have a good understanding of them, the chances are higher that you’ll reduce their impact.
Remote hiring and working are less expensive because you don’t need to dress up daily and don’t drive to the office. You save your time, energy, fuel expense, and start work with a fresh mind. On the flip side, not everyone is tech-savvy, and many people are not comfortable being on screen.
A study by a leading report writing services shows that coronavirus is here to stay and so is remote working. Considering this background, companies should find out ways to make the most use of digital technologies.
Now that you’ve already got some amazing tips, it’s the right time to begin your talent. I hope that this information will prove to be fruitful for you.