Hiring for tech jobs not easy, Canadian tech leaders claim

Technology jobs are a hot topic right now, with companies hiring more workers for tech jobs than for any other position; however, not all of these hires lead to a happy ending.

The majority of Canadian tech leaders – 93 per cent – say they have made a bad hire, according to a new report from Robert Half Technology.

Of the IT hiring managers surveyed, 30 per cent stated that inadequate technical skills were to blame for new employees being let go. Other top reasons included a lack of interpersonal skills, with the top reason given that the new hire did not fit into corporate culture.

“The negative effects of a poor hiring decision can be felt across all areas of the business,” said Deborah Bottineau, a district director for Robert Half Technology in a press release. “Not only do they cost organizations time and money, inadequate hires also impact overall productivity and morale, especially if the rest of the team is picking up the slack.”

Finding the perfect candidate can be hard enough, but in tech, issues like assessing technical and soft skills, as well as company compatibility, can cause early concern in the hiring process Robert Half’s researchers said. Forty-four per cent of IT managers told the company that technical skills are the most difficult to evaluate during an interview, followed by whether the candidate is a good fit with corporate culture. Soft skills were also difficult to gauge.

This report comes at a time when tech employment is growing four times faster than overall Canadian employment and 60 per cent of Canadian tech hiring managers are planning to expand their teams, according to statistics from Robert Half.

The human resource consulting firm also predicts a shortage of Canadian tech workers by the year 2020.

With this increase in available tech jobs but a lack of qualified candidates, there may be more difficulties ahead for tech leaders trying to make the right hiring decisions. In the spirit of helping them out, Robert Half offered a few tips for managers hoping to avoid another bad hire:

  • Be clear about the position in the job description;
  • Test technical skills;
  • Include co-workers in the process to evaluate a candidate’s interpersonal skills;
  • Try using contract employees as a trial run;
  • Be flexible – in such a tight candidate market it can be hard to find the perfect fit, so determine which skills and experience are most important to your company and be willing to train promising candidates.

For the report, Robert Half surveyed 270 senior managers in Canada with the responsibility for making IT hiring decisions.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson
Meagan Simpson is a staff writer for IT World Canada. A graduate of Carleton University’s journalism program, she loves sports, travelling, reading and photography, and when not covering tech news she can be found cuddled up on the couch with her cat and a good book.

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