In recruitingblogs.com there was an interesting question raised, Slouch is offering a subscription to the Fordyce Letter to the one who answers his post with the best recruiting lesson ever learned… If you haven’t yet you should go add your two cents worth. You never know it might be yours!!
Anyway, as I wrote my answer, it got me to thinking, in my mind the best recruiting lesson was learning the ability to ask questions. I never felt so intimidated yet so thrilled as when I did my first technical interview. This guy was many times the bigger nerd than I was, several pocket liners and all. I’m sure many of you might remember having a butterfly in your stomach or then again not. Anyway, luckily I’ve learned a thing or two since then, enough to know that knowing what to ask the right questions is one of the hardest and best lessons I am still learning.
Asking questions is particularly difficult for recruiters as it relates to technical skills. We get hung up on keywords because they are the searchable portion of the job descriptions. Usually as recruiters we focus on the tools and technology but these are the easy skills to learn but they are don’t offer nearly enough scope to let us address the candidates experience. There are at least three other kinds of technical skills to consider. Let's see if I can break it down, beyond knowing the tools (i.e. oracle, xml etc…) there are the techniques of application, how many techniques for applying the tools does your candidate know? Then there is who well the person applies the knowledge as in problem solving and finally how well the person understands the industry needs and expectations.
It is not just about asking how long have you been programming in Oracle, but what methodologies have you used? how did you apply them? what kind of solutions did you offer? and how was as far as meeting customers needs? So far we only cover the technical aspect of question but there are still so many others to ask that we can write volumes. If you disagree with me as this being the best recruiting lesson to be learned visit the Slouch at recruitingblogs.com and take a swing at it. You might take my subscription from me. We’ll see.