Tech Manager—Hiring

Last time I laid out a plan to get you some help by asking for more staff. It started with defining what another staff person would be tasked with, keeping track of the hours you spend on those tasks, outlining what you could do if you have more time, track or charge your overtime, define delays that are happening, make a staffing pan, and then following up by making your case and ask for staff. If you do not get a “Yes,” then keep asking.

Let’s think positive and assume that all your asking has finally gotten approval and you can now start the hiring process. Now comes some protracted time spent seeking candidates, vetting applicants and hopefully making an offer, having it accepted and bringing on a new person.

Check with HR first

The first place to start, is with your Human Resources department. Working closely with them only makes the process go smoother. Find out what they suggest and require you to do. They may have forms, processes, guidelines and more. They need to be part of your effort. Depending on how your firm works, they can streamline or derail your efforts. You want them on your side. Get the low down on the process and work with them from start to finish. Don’t let them run the entire effort. You need to manage it. HR is not always as tech savvy as needed to frame the job, or to vet resumes and candidates. They may also be busy with other open positions. You need to lead the effort.

Create/Update the Job Description

Develop a job description using your firm’s format. Make sure you get as specific as needed to define the normal tasks and areas of oversight. Include responsibilities and define authority levels as needed. HR may have some boilerplate verbiage that needs to be included, but you are the only one that can define what the person will be expected to do. Be as clear as you can without getting bogged down in overtechnical descriptions. That may sound funny for a technical position, but you don’t want to narrow down tasks and duties so far that it constrains the candidates from applying. Include the technical expectations for the person and what they are expected to have skills in and expertise with. List out required certifications, education and length of employment in the field. Take a look at an example BIM Manager JD that I developed a while back (it is kind of old) at

Define the Salary

This is another area you need to work alongside HR and maybe Finance with. They may have salary surveys that can help. Check out the AUGI Salary Survey as well. It is a valid and focused third party reflection of the salary levels needed for todays tech jobs. Recently with the economic climate we are in and the tight job market, you need to make sure your firm knows what it takes to bring in good candidates. Push toward the top of the salary limits. You can always offer less if the person does not meet all your desires, but you can’t offer more unless you go back to HR and Finance to get approval.

Posting the Job

HR can help with this. They can get the job posted with online job boards. You may want to mention any of the tech job boards that they might not know about. Make sure you mention AUGI’s Career Center When your post is first placed you may get a lot of response. Keep the posting fresh and consider adding a paid upgrade to get your posting featured and seen. Don’t rely on postings to get the candidates you may want. Spread the word yourself. Reach out to any groups you may know that might have job seekers. Talk it up at meetings and maybe tech social events if it is appropriate. The AUGI Career Center is also a good place to check out Job Description examples.

Reviewing resumes

Now that the Job Description is done, and the job is posted, you finally have applicants and responses coming in. You need to stay on top of it and move fast. The job market today is very tough. Candidates are taking jobs quickly. I even hear that they are accepting offers and then accepting another job before the start date and leaving the first employer behind. I hope that will not happen to you.

I like to see all resumes. Sometimes HR will offer to weed out resumes that do not fit the requirements. While this is a valid offer and many can do a top-notch job, some non-technical staff can decline some resumes that may hold promise. But if you require a degree to fill an opening, or have to have some key talents, then HR can help sift out those that are missing the mark.

When reviewing resumes, keep in mind something that I heard a long time ago and cannot remember who said it or wrote it. “If you think the person might not be a good fit, they aren’t. If you think the person is a good fit, they might be.” Emphasis on, “might.” In other words, finding the right person is tough sometimes. You need to have a good technical fit and cultural fit. The person needs to be able to get the job done and get along with their new co-workers.

What I do is move through resumes pretty fast. If something catches my eye as a possible good fit, I keep the resume. If they hit me as not a good fit, I move them to the “no thanks” pile. Sorry to sound so tough, but if you get a lot of resumes, you really do not have the time to analyze every one of them. After I have gone through the resumes once. I go back and look at the “keeper” pile and see if the ones that I thought were interesting, actually still are. If they are, then the applicant moves to candidate and I start the interview process.

Next time, I will look at interviewing. It is more of an art than a science. Is there a perfect filtering question? Do you work with a panel for interviews? Who makes the final call? There is a lot to think through… See you next month.

Appears in these Categories