As your small business grows and becomes more successful, you may need to expand your team and start bringing some work in-house. As exciting as this is, hiring a new employee is always a huge investment and you want to make sure you recruit the right person the first time. If screening piles of resumes wasn't already complex enough, what happens when you know absolutely nothing about the role you need to fill? Specifically, how do you hire your first information technology employee when you know absolutely nothing about IT? Here are a few tips:
Understand your needs. You don't need to know all of the technical requirements at this point. For now, identify your own business objectives lay out everything that you know this person will need to handle. It's a good idea at this point to also discuss the requirements with other people on your team who may require this person skills.
Write the job description. Read through job descriptions online and search for ones similar to what you require. This will help you nail down the right title for your new IT resource and learn about jargon, technologies and certifications you may want to include.
Know what attracts IT professionals. Your job description should also speak to your target market to attract the best talent. Like most people, techies are looking for a nice salary, but they also want to know they will have interesting work, new challenges, and work with the latest technologies.
Get the word out there. Major job boards and LinkedIn are great resources for recruiting anybody, but there are niche IT job boards and technical forums filled with with techies looking to be hired. Attending networking events or tech meetups will also get the right people in front of you faster.
Conduct detailed interviews. You go through this process with every new hire, but there are a couple extra steps to take with your new tech professional. In the interview, ask them about similar work they've done that relates to your current situation. Also, test them to ensure they can understand your business and objectives, as well that they can explain things to you clearly, in layman's terms, and not in "geek speak".
Ensure you can support them. Your new hire will want to be able to do their job in the best way possible. Learn what kind of equipment and software will be required to do that and obtain it, or you may be setting them up for failure.
Consider contractors. Independent contractors are often a better solution for technology projects that don't last forever. Review your needs and see if a temporary or contract worker would make better sense.
Get help when you need it. Finally, don't be afraid to ask for help. Especially if you truly don't understand what you need, you don't want to hire somebody only to realize it's the wrong skillset. Help can come from your friends, your network, or a recruitment agency.
IT professionals -- developers, analysts, architects or any other discipline -- are a major asset to organizations; however, they can be tricky to find when you don't know what to look for. These tips, plus the help of a trusted recruiting professional, will surely get you on your way to hiring the best IT resource.