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Recruiting Technology Experts

 PHP, ASP.Net, C#, SQL, XML, HTML, Java, JSON, WPF, UX, UI, Flex... mean anything to you? Does it matter?

Recruiting technology experts can be quite daunting if you're not from an IT background yourself. As the lines between marketing and IT become thinner and thinner, marketers are increasingly finding themselves managing and recruiting ‘techies'. The thought of this strikes fear in the hearts of many marketers. Simply writing a job description can be difficult enough, then there's the added worry that the person you're interviewing may not really have the skills you need and then the thought that keeps you up all night. It's you who is ultimately responsible for identifying those skills in the first place.

The rule that I always work to is that your people and your strategy are simply more important than your technology. It's important that you deliver a solution that is fit for your business and you should never be in a position where you're trying to fit your business around the solution! Getting the right values and cultural fit from your potential recruit is just as important as ensuring that your candidate has the right mix of skills and experience to deliver what you need.

Does it really matter whether your site uses .net or java? Sorry, I'll rephrase that. Does it matter to you whether your site uses .net or java? Maybe it doesn't. Though tread carefully as your IT department might not like you trying to put your PHP site on a .net server! (you may well groan!)

If you don't have an IT team or in-house technical skills recruiting a contractor can be a great way to ensure that you get answers to those questions, for example, a solution architect can help you to define the best way to approach your business needs and making a small upfront investment can really help to cut costs in the long term.

When interviewing, my advice would be to ensure that you don't centre your interview on skills alone. A good technical/ IT recruitment consultant (if they know there stuff) will be able to advise you on the skills you probably need and they can ensure that the candidates put forward actually has those skills. In most cases they'll also be able to help you along with the Job Description. 

A technical test (available online) can also reassure you that your candidate has the skills you need, leaving you to focus on competencies and cultural fit in the interview. Believe me. You might as well learn how to write code yourself than recruit a great developer who lacks the skills to grasp your business model. 

So, fear not. Help is out there and you don't need to be a techy to manage techies.

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  Posted: 13/10/12