What is IT Staffing
IT staffing is an art.
At one level, IT staffing can be defined as the act of finding the right candidate for the right job in an IT company.
But, clearly, by performing this act diligently, consistently, and passionately, it can evolve into an art form.
The IT staffing process involves finding competent candidates, attracting them to join your organization, evaluating them, interviewing them, selecting them, recruiting them, and appraising them.
It is a strategic role.
IT staffing is a key strategic role in the HR function at an IT company.
In order to fulfill this role, you must understand your company’s vision, values, and goals completely. Remember that you are not just meeting the objective of achieving a headcount. Technology is a constantly evolving space. And when you are staffing for an IT team or an IT company, you are actually hiring domain experts. You are looking for and onboarding highly-skilled people. So, you need to be an ambassador for your company and not just a recruiter.
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The life cycle of an employee
How you recruit people is largely a function of how you view the life cycle of an employee in your company. If you see every employee as an asset, you will look forward to hiring the right people so that they stay on and add value to your company’s business goals. So, it is important you know what kind of employee is the right one for your company.
A robust understanding of the life cycle of an employee means you know what the current and future recruitment needs of your company are. This way, you can go beyond just filling positions, look to bring talented people on board who are the right fit for the job and for your company’s culture.
The key steps in IT staffing
Workforce or people planning is an important first step in staffing your organization. Whom are you recruiting—the quality of the people? And how many are you recruiting—the number of people? The quality and quantity: These are two aspects that critically contribute to the planning process. In the first part, you look for qualifications, previous work experience, special attitude skills that the job entails, and positive reference reviews from past employers and colleagues. Having your people plan laid out elaborately before you begin the staffing process is very important.
Recruitment and selection
Knowing where to find the candidates you are looking for is crucial. Job portals, social media, industry forums, educational forums, and internal buddy referral programs—all these are great sources for leads. Once you have identified and begun receiving applications from prospective candidates, you set up your selection process. Having a detailed job description and matching each candidate’s profile with this description is the right way to narrow down your selection. This approach will leave you with a list that ranks your potential candidates in order of preference. The right candidate for the right job is often found through this extensive and detailed exercise.
Interviewing, placement, and induction
When interviewing candidates, you must surely look for their technical and job-specific skills. But you must also consider if they fit your company’s culture. So, look for people who have the right attitude for the job.
When placing selected candidates into your company, please make sure you are placing them in the right jobs. Do not place people in functions or roles that don’t fit them just because you are under pressure to fill vacancies or requirements.
Induce people with warmth and care. Make sure you develop and adhere to a process of familiarizing each candidate with your company’s rules, policies, and culture. Also, outline their job descriptions and roles for them. And give them the assurance that you and your team are available to hand-hold them as they settle in.
This is not the same as induction. While induction is a one-time process that is typically gone through within the first week of a new employee’s tenure in a company, onboarding involves hand-holding and checking on how they are feeling, how they are settling in. This is a key stage in the life cycle of an employee. It can typically determine how productive the employee will eventually be. An employee who has been onboarded well often goes on to create value and also stays on for a longer period of time.
Training and development
This requires a detailed and in-depth plan. New hires must be trained on the job. But they must also be put through technical training if their job or role demands it. Also, it is important to plan an employee’s training and development needs and have them regularly attend learning programs that are essential for developing their skills and for their personal development.
Employees feel valued when they can visibly see how much the organization cares for their career and personal growth. When employees don’t feel valued, they are less productive and often frustrated. That’s when they leave an organization.
Typically, most organizations have a process for this. But if the process is not transparent and timely, it often defeats the purpose. Employees expect their managers and their HR teams to appraise them periodically. They appreciate and cherish structured feedback and know what their career growth plan looks like.
Retain the best employees, retrain them, and empower them to grow. Empowering them here means giving them new roles and responsibilities, investing in their learning and development, and compensating and rewarding them adequately. A satisfied employee, who stays on and serves an organization is an asset. Retaining such a person saves costs, improves productivity, grows profitability, and, importantly, impacts the culture positively.
Handle exits with great care. If you are letting go of an employee who has not performed, know what factors are inhibiting their performance. If a disgruntled employee is leaving you, ask them to tell you how you can make things better at the workplace. And if a great performer is leaving you, wish them well and celebrate them. You want them to be an ambassador for your organization wherever they go.
Getting better at art
Consistency, good planning, empathy, and a continuous effort to improve the processes—all these are critical to making IT staffing a fine art. The more you practice art efficiently, the better you get at it!