With a steadily rising demand for technical talent and a shortage of qualified personnel to fill these jobs, it is tempting to start looking for candidates outside of the available talent pool or even in other markets or countries altogether. The tech talent shortage is at its worst level in the last 10 years, according to ManpowerGroup’s 2016-2017 Talent Shortage Survey, with approximately 40% of employers having a tough time finding the right candidates.
If in-house training isn’t an option for you and if you don’t want to risk outsourcing your work, the only solution is to look for talent in other places. Whether you’re interviewing candidates based overseas or people with a background in different industries, you need to be very strict in your selection process to ensure your new hire is a right cultural and professional fit for your tech business. Here are several traits to keep an eye out for when interviewing job applicants, as recommended by 12 members of Forbes Technology Council.
1. Self Motivation
Key players need to know their positions well, support the broader team (without being another team's crutch), and are able to appropriately manage up when additional blocking and tackling are needed. - Mark Zigadlo, PhishMe Inc
2. A Positive, Proactive Attitude
I am interested in personal and professional attitudes: Evidence of positive attitude and ability to learn and adapt to new situations, cultures, and environments. I also look for evidence of being a doer and willing to spend time to solve problems and explore opportunities, instead of just talking and complaining about what is missing or what needs to be done.- Jamshid Vayghan, IBM
I’m always looking for ownership in my hires. People who own and know how to own learn to make good decisions, learn to simplify their systems and businesses, learn to solve problems and communicate. People who are less familiar with ownership will ultimately make mistakes due to their poor motivation, no matter how smart or knowledgeable. - Andrew Korytko, Motive Interactive
You can teach technical skills and fill gaps in knowledge, but tenacity is an ingrained character trait, it cannot be taught. There are a lot of lazy geniuses out there. - Casey Ellis, Bugcrowd Inc
Our interview process is based on values, behavioral interviewing and then skills. A company's culture is built around values. It's important that any candidate is asked about their values before proceeding forward with any interview. - Nick Damoulakis, Orases
6. Genuine Curiosity
Intellectual curiosity is key -- whether that means making and breaking things, constantly iterating, or starting anew. I am always on the lookout for technologists that are not afraid to ask questions or question the status quo. The biggest hindrance to disruption and innovation anywhere is a lack of genuine curiosity -- a questioning of how things work, why, how, and always… what comes next? - Adnane Charchour, Exous
The most important thing I look for is flexibility. Rarely is the job they'll be doing today the same job they'll be doing six months or a year from now. My team needs to be able to learn, grow, adapt, and change as things change around them. They need to be able to look at problems and find innovative solutions and be able to do something entirely different tomorrow if that's what's needed. - John Clemons, Maverick Technologies
8. Entrepreneurial Spirit
Curiosity and an entrepreneurial spirit are essential. We can teach new hires the functional skills they need (sales/product knowledge) but the attitude someone brings to the job is more difficult to train. - Paul Turner, LiveRamp, Inc.
9. Proper Social Skills And Team-Playing Aptitudes
Interestingly enough, I tend to not hire the most qualified person for my staff! Hear me out on this one. You can have some truly brilliant candidates with vast amounts of experience; however, they may be lacking proper social skills or not understand how to be a team player. Hiring for attitude, culture and collaboration is the most important trait to have. You can always train a new hire your way! - Nick Espinosa, Security Fanatics | BSSi2 LLC
10. Ability To Simplify Complex Concepts
Simple is hard. Hire engineers that can explain complex technical concepts in simple terms. Code tests and samples focus on technical ability. But development is a team sport. Great engineers factor complexity into simple architectures and designs that can be easily communicated. Clear thinkers and communicators don't just solve their own problems, they make everyone better around them. - Jedidiah Yueh, Delphix
11. Interest In Cross-Functional Collaboration
Tech teams, from engineers to developers, don’t exist in a silo anymore. The technology team is a significant driving force of business, and keeping them in the dark is ultimately counterproductive. Potential team members who show respect or even enthusiasm for cross-functional collaboration tend to see the bigger picture and have a deeper understanding of the company’s vision. They get the offer. - Alex Bessonov, BitClave
12. Tech Skills And Adaptability
A person can be technically competent, but they should also be eager to adapt to a new work environment, learn new technologies, be a great team player and a natural leader in what they do.- Naresh Soni, Tsunami ARVR
This article was originally featured on Forbes. Access it here.