How to Build an Exceptional IT Team
By Mike Sherwood, Base36.com
Part one in a series of two articles
With technology changing at lightning speed, it's important to have an exceptional IT team that will not only keep your business up to date, but that will also pioneer new technologies for your organization. So how do you form a tech team that will bring you to the forefront? It's simple. Just follow these eight rules.
1. Find Passionate Technologists
The first step in building your dream team is to find passionate technologists. We're not talking about developers who come to the office and don't complain. We're talking about people who spend their whole day coding, just to go home and work on a side project - a blog, an app, an open source project.
You want these people on your side, because they'll go above and beyond when it comes to the technical side of your organization. They'll work hard to keep you up to date on the latest techniques and will take pride in helping your company to succeed. It's easy to spot these passionate individuals during the interview process. All you need to do is ask interviewees about outside projects. If they're passionate about what they do, you'll be able to tell by how they talk about it. Grab the passionate ones.
2. Hire People Who Are a Good Technical Fit for the Team
At Base36, we like to say that A-players breed A-teams and B-players breed B‑teams. By this, we're simply referring to the fact that technologists are attracted to similarly talented technologists. Developers don't work for the money alone; they also work for the mental challenge. If they're not being surrounded by similarly talented people who will push them to think, you're going to have a hard time getting an A-player on your team. And without one, your chance of attracting an A‑player is low. Make a conscious decision to put the efforts and resources into obtaining the right A-players.
3. Hire People Who Are a Good Personality Fit for the Team
In our years in the IT staffing and technical consulting field, we've found that there are two types of sought-after candidates. The first are the brilliant individuals capable of moving mountains. The second kind? Capable people that communicate well and are a joy to work with. It may be tempting to go with the first type of candidate, and many do, but often regret not hiring the second type when team personalities start clashing.
As a result, you need to find a balance between hiring people who are a good technical fit for the team, with hiring people who are also a good personality fit. Remember that people should enjoy working with the individuals around them. Even if Candidate A is the brightest developer you've seen in years, if they have a rotten personality, you should go with a different developer. That's the only way that you'll be able to keep your other qualified technologists.
4. Hire Quality People Who Add Something New to the Team
How is a quality person any different than the best technical and personal fit for your team? Easy. A quality person is someone who not only fits the team, but completes the team. It's someone who brings a skill to the table that no one else has. Only by looking for diversity in skills will your team be able to grow, face the upcoming challenges and succeed.
Check out February's Recruiting Review for the next installment in this series, and learn the other four ways to build an exceptional IT team.
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Mike Sherwood is the founder and managing director of Base36. With over 15 years of technical consulting experience to its name, Base36 has become a leader in matching the best technical talent with Northern New England's most innovative companies. A commitment to their time-tested interview process has allowed them to place hundreds of consultants with over a 90 percent success rate. The Base36 staff is technical and highly regarded, with many clients hiring consultants based upon their screening feedback alone. For assistance finding the top technical talent for your company, give Base36 a call at 207-221-0276 or email Mike at mike_sherwood (at) base36.com.