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What’s in Your Tool Box?  Hiring for Tech Skills

2020 is teaching us quite a bit about resilience, community, and resourcefulness. As many individuals work remotely, we’ve all had to hone our technology skills and become our own home-based Geek Squad to stay afloat in the working-from-home era. This has highlighted the importance of screening for technology-competence as part of the interview process. When hiring for non-technical positions, how can you tell if a job candidate has enough tech capacity? Here are four steps to guide you:

  1. Observe your interactions. Email reveals a lot about someone’s technology and social skills. Both are key areas for employee performance. Do they have a professional signature? Do they use complete sentences and proper grammar or are their emails a mish-mash of different fonts?

  2. Ask about their experience. It can be easy—but erroneous—to assume that any professional working currently will have extensive experience with Microsoft suite applications or is comfortable with email. Inquire about general platforms (such as Microsoft, Slack, or Google) and any industry-specific programs, such as Power Campus or Constant Contact. It takes only a few minutes in an interview to prevent unwelcome surprises later.

  3. Understand their habits. A valuable interview question is: “what personal processes do you implement to increase efficiency in your work?” Understanding someone’s workflow gives you great insight into how they approach their tasks and implement solutions.

  4. Assess about their adaptability. The vital area you are assessing is not ultimately the ability to perform certain keystrokes, but a willingness to learn new things and improve their methods. Are they flexible as team members or rigidly locked into their process? Are they willing to embrace new tools? Has their career shown a trajectory of innovation and growth?

Once you’ve hired employees with tech savvy, ensure that you provide tools for ongoing growth and support for all your employees to allow them to utilize tech tools to their fullest potential.