I’ve been staying busy these days doing a lot of consulting relating to DevOps, Big Data, and Data Science. Part of the services I’ve been offering is assistance in locating qualified candidates for positions in DevOps environments. One thing that I’ve noticed over the last seven months of consulting is that most companies have no idea how to screen and vet a technical candidate; this is mostly because of the fact that you have human resources personnel trying to locate someone for a highly technical position. Don’t get me wrong, there is a place for human resources personnel, but it’s not in the technical hiring process. No matter how long they’ve been a recruiter, unless they’ve worked in the field, it’s unlikely they will have the chops to vet a technology professional.
As technology professionals, we have an obligation to not only be involved in the hiring process, but we should be leading the charge. I believe that most HR recruiters discount many qualified candidates because they don’t have a specific check box on their resume. If you’re looking for a systems engineer in a DevOps environment, and you have a requirement for Red Hat experience, many technical recruiters will pass on a candidate because they have Gentoo or Debian, but not specifically Red Hat. If there is a requirement for scripting or an interpreted language, an engineer with Linux and Python experience may get passed over for an interview if they don’t have Ruby specifically listed on their resume. My point to all of this is that as a technology professionals, we need to be leading the charge for the hiring of other technology professionals. We need to make sure we are hiring for character and ability; skills can always be taught. I would much rather have an employee with exemplary character and the ability for continuous learning, than an employee who meets the prerequisites on a checklist and lives their lives and does their work with blinders on. If you need help vetting a tech professional and do not feel that you have the staff to make that happen, feel free to give me a call; I’m always happy offer a free consult.