It might be challenging to find the perfect candidate for the job, and many various aspects must be taken into account. Here, we examine the effects that experience, cultural fit, and certification may have on hiring decisions for the technology sector.
Professional credentials vary in terms of purpose, educational requirements, rigor and industry, and those who earn certification typically cite multiple benefits. At the top of the list are relevance and staying current, personal accomplishment, career advancement and marketability, and increased earnings.
Today, a wide range of independent organisations and IT vendors, such as Amazon, Cisco, CompTIA, and Microsoft, provide hundreds of IT certifications.
Certifications can cost up to several hundred pounds. Taking the CompTIA A+ certification exams (two are required), for example, costs a total of £233 as of June 2022. The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) costs £588.
Although an exact relationship between certification and job performance is difficult to measure, surveys show that earning a credential increases certificants’ confidence in critical thinking and professional abilities. According to the Global Knowledge and Tech Republic 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report, employees do view certification as a worthwhile career investment. Two-thirds of respondents who were certified within the previous five years reported they felt efforts to obtain a certification were worth the additional commitment. The report also noted that more than half of the respondents said employers support and recognise the value certifications provide.
Numerous research has been done to support the idea that selecting people with professional certificates will be advantageous for hiring managers. A 2021 CompTIA research study aimed at gaining insight into how IT hiring managers evaluate job candidates and the role of certifications in the hiring process, found credentials, such as IT certifications, are factors in decision-making.
This preference for certification is largely based on improved effectiveness, as noted in the Global Knowledge 2021 IT Skills and Salary Report, which states that more than half of IT managers surveyed reported their staff was “more effective” or “significantly more effective” on the job after attaining certification.
Despite the points made above, there are still a number of reasons why IT certifications are not a reliable measure of an employee's performance.
The first of these is that the technology sector develops so quickly that, as a result of the market's shifting dynamics, a certification obtained the year before can become all but outdated the following year. Furthermore, since anybody may start a certification firm and issue certificates, the legitimacy of certifications has frequently been questioned.
The professional certification sector has been working hard in recent years to address concerns like test score validation, cheating, and other challenges that raise the question of whether a certification is, in fact, a reflection of the candidate's abilities at all.
Let's now think about the topic of experience. Without a doubt, while qualifications are helpful, nothing beats actual work experience.
According to a Foote Partners poll, experience far surpasses credentials because non-certified IT employees receive bigger bonuses than their less experienced, more certified peers. A hiring manager might judge a candidate's ability to use skills they have learned in the workplace based on experience.
Highlighting instances from the actual world shows that people can put their technical knowledge to use.
Contrary to what was previously stated, emphasizing experience also has disadvantages. Work experience can help someone get ready to perform certain tasks, but it does not mean they have learned anything.
An IT professional who has merely picked up skills on the job cannot determine whether the procedures learned at a company are "best practice"; they can only perform the task. As a result, people who have learned on the job may not be as valuable as those who have expertise and credentials since they may not be able to see the potential for development, which would lead to greater organizational efficiency.
For example, when programming an application, the code can be written in many different ways. An IT professional who is strictly learning on the job, can’t tell whether the processes learned at one organization is the ‘best practice’ for another. At the end of the day, their work may create a functioning application, but their approach to coding may be difficult to transfer to other companies.
The last aspect to take into account is cultural fit. After all, the hiring manager is going to spend a lot of time with the employee, therefore it's vital how they interact and come across throughout the interview process. Indeed, others contend that the most crucial element is cultural fit because, unlike talents, personalities cannot be changed.
LinkedIn claims that after three months, most employees are comfortable in their new roles. Personal attributes, on the other hand, are far more deeply embedded and cannot be altered; if they could, it would take more than three months to do so.
Sometimes, a candidate's work ethic, honesty, and openness to learning are valued more highly than any technical expertise they may have. For instance, if a solutions provider needed to add someone to their pre-sales team, would they rather hire a person with a great personality who is outgoing and positive to win business or a pre-sales guru with 15 years of experience who is so bored with the field that he struggles to muster a smile when speaking to potential new clients?
Furthermore, because few tasks are completed entirely in isolation, the formation of teams within organisations can have a huge impact. Teamwork is therefore seen as essential for delivering high levels of customer satisfaction.
Despite this, many argue that using a person's personality to evaluate their suitability for a profession is seriously wrong. Hiring managers typically need a few minutes to form a solid impression of a candidate's personality. Hiring based on selecting candidates who are "like-minded" can have a lot of negative effects. "Good fit" in an organisation might become "the same as," which causes recruiting managers to put people on IT teams more for their interpersonal skills than for any technical advantages they might have to offer.
The research seems to indicate that employing people only based on their credentials, backgrounds, or personalities has both advantages and disadvantages. In light of the research done for this post, I think it would be foolish to claim that there is only one "best-fit" hiring strategy.
Depending on a number of variables, a hiring manager may give each of the three dimensions more weight.
1) Keeping the hire's seniority in mind: When evaluating candidates for a junior support position, a hiring manager will give the applicant's personality a lot of weight. They will be looking for someone who is eager to learn, receptive to new ideas, and passionate about technological advancement.
2) The duration of the position: In contrast, the same recruiting manager will give personality much less weight when selecting a temporary senior engineer to implement a certain technology. This time, they will give more weight to the experience the applicant has gained thus far in his or her career.
The fact that many hiring managers in contemporary markets will not even consider candidates for a position if they do not hold specific certifications further complicates the situation. Accordingly, they contend that the two factors mentioned above are completely irrelevant if the candidate does not possess the necessary certification.
At Franklin Fitch all of our consultants are equipped to assist you through the hiring process and assess which role would be best suited for you, check out our opportunities available here, or alternatively speak to one of the consultants here.
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