Tech Pros Impatient With Drawn-Out Hiring Processes


Employers who spend too much time looking for the perfect candidate are losing the opportunity to hire strong talent, since many tech professionals are fielding multiple offers or taking advantage of sweetened retention efforts.

“Managers that are hiring IT talent, they’re pickier than ever and they’re hurting themselves,” Jack Cullen, president of IT staffing firm Modis, told Network World. The best people, he said, will go to hiring managers who assert themselves—both with candidates and HR—and sell the opportunities their company has to offer. Organizations that allow the process to drag on can cause prospective workers to lose interest even while they exacerbate the business impact of an unfilled slot on the tech team.

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“You’ve got to sell your opportunity if you feel that this person might be a fit,” Cullen warned employers. “You’ve got to start going for the jugular in the interview process to gain them.”

During the first quarter of 2014, unemployment in IT stood at 2.7 percent, meaning tech pros often have a range of opportunities to choose from.

Some observers say companies shouldn’t keep looking for the perfect candidate—meaning the one who meets all of their hiring criteria—but instead consider a person’s potential to succeed in the job.

Indeed, employers begin at a disadvantage when they compile job descriptions that may not make a lot of sense. For example, a company looking for a Windows engineer who’s also a technical project manager and .NET expert may be in for a rough time, said Victor Gaines, vice president of talent acquisition for financial systems provider Fiserv.

“I’ve seen several situations where during the initial interview it may come across that there is a gap that can’t be managed,” said Ray Lowrey, CIO of McGraw-Hill Education. “But you recognize that the individual is very talented. Look at things a little bit deeper, start laying out a 90-day plan as far as how would you address things and at that point the risk is manageable.”

In other words: Rather than hold out for someone who meets all of a job description’s requirements, companies would be better served by pursuing candidates who meet most of them and demonstrate that they can pick up the rest.

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12 Responses to “Tech Pros Impatient With Drawn-Out Hiring Processes”

  1. Fred Bosick

    “Indeed, employers begin at a disadvantage when they compile job descriptions that may not make a lot of sense. For example, a company looking for a Windows engineer who’s also a technical project manager and .NET expert may be in for a rough time, said Victor Gaines, Vice President of Talent Acquisition for financial systems provider Fiserv.”

    Of course they’re in trouble. That’s 2, possibly 3 jobs right there! IT skills are not ala carte You have to allow for differing interests and likely career trajectories. Just because you know of *one* guy or gal who has all of these doesn’t mean there’s hordes of them who just happen to need a job. And it’s not as if there’s a platoon of H-1Bs ready for deployment, either.

    • As is the case in the design world as well. The job descriptions ask for a single person who can design in print and web, have the skills, experience and talent to back it up, knowledge of multiple softwares for each genre, in addition to coding, computer languages, knowledge of design principles for UX/UI…the list goes on. Someone please enlighten these HR people and hiring managers!

      I have had the pleasure of job hunting for awhile now…the entire process is at best very dysfunctional. No wonder the candidate they end up hiring is not the right fit because they have more than likely lied on their resume. Have you ever wondered how some moronic self-serving manager got hired in the first place? I’ve seen CFOs drain the company financially due to moronic decisions and then had to lay off people.

    • Yep. I remember the old joke, in the 90s, when employers would advertise wanting skills in VB 4.0, C++, and the like with 10 years experience. Then, they’d get irked when potential hires lied on their resumes.

      Hey — you started it!!

  2. Kiran Kumar


    Good article.
    Just want to add my experience recently.

    I am a 12 years experienced CRM consultant.Recently attended for an interview and they were interviewing me like as if you are a 3 or 4 years experienced.They got stuck in the details.At one point of time, they were asking me the very detailed properties of certain objects.So embarrasing.
    Even the folks who interivew are not as expeirnced as I am.

    Comapnies need to distnguish who they are interivewing.


  3. donna whicker

    i agree with James Brownwood, employers seem not to be able to see the forest for the trees. someone who has been successful in IT for 30 years, isn’t likely to be slowed down by the ‘flavor of the year’ technology. The laundry list of requirements are holding them back from finding someone who is ‘good enough’ while HR looks for the perfect one. Devil must be shivering …. definitely.

  4. What a coincidence, I was just thinking about this topic this morning. I made the mistake of not sending out resumes once I got an interview, and waiting a few weeks to see if I got the job before sending out resumes again. That was stupid. Now I have a year of unemployment on my resume and it’s getting harder to get interviews.

    • Software Consultant

      Hi, it is not surprising to hear about your situation in the current job market. I am > 10 years in IT.
      I would recommend you to take some online course(s) relevant to your area of specialization, and
      keep engaged so that you can show off that certificate(s) as your accomplishment, more importantly
      fill the gap in your resume. If you don’t know, you may google it for the many online courses(MOOCs).
      Oh, yeah, Keep applying parallely. Moreover, the online courses make you less worried. Best of luck to readers.

  5. Scott Decker

    Yes, it is the needle in the haystack syndrome. Asking someone to memorize 20 different sorting algorithms and do a 10 hour coding project before going on an interview is also another red flag. The ‘solve the rubrics cube’ interviews are also somewhat time wasting. Problem is people who do well with those types of questions most likely have no practical skills in delivering great design and code.

  6. Nightcrawler

    American tech companies do not hire people who can think, create, and innovate. They are interested only in people who can memorize programming languages and answer idiotic brainteasers like, “How many marbles can fit inside the Empire State Building?”

    Lack of innovation is why the U.S. is falling behind the rest of the world.