3 Hiring Mistakes That CIOs Make

CIOs need to avoid making these hiring mistakes
CIOs need to avoid making these hiring mistakes

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When a CIO makes a hiring decision for the IT department, it can have a long lasting impact on the department. Despite the importance of information technology, the people who work in your IT department are even more important. This means that the person in the CIO job wants to take his or her time when considering candidates and not make a foolish blunder. However, all too often we select the wrong person for the wrong job. Looking back at our hiring mistakes, more often than not it turns out that we made one of the three most common mistakes that CIOs make when hiring someone.

Not Preparing For The Interview

Let’s face it – CIOs never have enough time. However, when it comes to evaluating people that we’re thinking about hiring, we need to find the time to do the job properly. All too often, we’ll bring a candidate’s resume along with us to the interview and read it for the first time while we’re sitting with them. This is no way to conduct an interview. As the CIO, you need to do your homework. Read the resume before the interview, follow up with any references and create a list of questions that you’re going to want to get answers to.

Not Getting Referrals

Unless you have the ability to see into the future, you’re not going to be able to determine how well a candidate is going to work out in your IT department if you choose to hire them. It always comes down to making an educated guess. However, you can improve your odds of guessing correctly if you allow your good employees to make recommendations about who you should be interviewing for an open position. Every study that has been done has confirmed that good employees make good recommendations.

Setting Too High Of A Bar

New home buyers always make the same mistake: they create a list of everything that they want in a house and then they go looking for that “perfect house” that has everything on their wish list. CIOs can act the same way when they are trying to fill a position in their department. If they have a list of 10 skills or experiences that they want the candidate to have, then they’re not willing to hire the person who has 8 of them and good social skills. Understand that you’ll never get everything that you want and pick the next closest candidate.

What All Of This Means For You

The real value of any IT department comes from the people who work in it. Every hire that a CIO makes is going to have a long lasting impact on the department and so we want to take our time and make the right decision. However, it can be all too easy to make one of three different common hiring mistakes when it’s time to make this important decision.

Considering how important each hire that the person in the CIO position makes, you would think that they would do their homework on each candidate. However, all too often we don’t take the time to prepare for the interview. Since we have limited time to talk with any candidate, having our existing good employees make recommendations would make our hiring job a lot easier. Finally, you’ll never get everything that you want in a single candidate so CIOs have to prioritize what they are looking for.

The value of making the right hiring decision is that with a little luck you won’t have to revisit making the same decision for quite some time. If you make the wrong decision because you made one of these three mistakes then you’ll be repeating the hiring process far too soon. Take the time to make sure that these are mistakes that you don’t make the next time that you hire for your IT department!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that a CIO should involve someone else when making hiring decisions?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Let’s face it: there are some problems that an IT department faces that despite the importance of information technology are just tough to solve. As the person in the CIO job you’ve got to find solutions to these types of problems, but you also have to manage the time and the cost that it’s going to take to find a solution. Hmm, there’s got to be a better way. How about using a contest to find the answers that you are looking for?