One way to find great IT specialists is to look for junior hires who you can train on the job. Some companies use training as a major recruitment strategy, with extensive, structured plans for recent grads or more inexperienced tech workers. While some IT positions require prior specialization (degrees in software engineering, for example), others could be selected based on potential or natural aptitude.
Other companies take on trainees with more of an “as and when” approach, or onboard one or two a year as part of an apprenticeship or internship program.
So long as you have the resources to provide adequate training, this can be a great way to attract the talent of tomorrow. Training on the job provides employees with progression and satisfaction, and demonstrates your commitment to long-term skills development as an employer.
The skills we’ve listed below are useful for every IT professional, regardless of seniority—but they are particularly important when you are hiring trainees who might not have prior experience.
4. Logical thinking and problem-solving
When you’re diagnosing and solving systems-based IT issues, the ability to think logically is a must. Logical thinking and problem-solving is also essential when coding—whether writing code or debugging.
Proven proficiency in math and science-based subjects at school is often a good indicator of this, but avoid using grades as the be-all and end-all. Ask potential hires a few challenges they’ve experienced during the interview to see how they solve problems in a work environment.
5. Demonstrable prior interest
For a trainee position, you don’t need to look for specific prior experience. In fact, you don’t need to look for any familiarity with your current systems at all. Instead, the combination of problem-solving skills and enthusiasm for IT in general should provide a base to learn these skills quickly.
Look for someone who can talk about projects undertaken in their spare time. Coding projects, computer builds, participation in after-school clubs or hackathons, or IT-based volunteering (teaching basic IT skills to the elderly, for example) are all great indicators that someone might make a great hire.
The IT landscape is evolving at a pace never seen before. On-the-horizon technologies like augmented reality, machine learning, cloud technology, voice interfaces, and more are becoming increasingly attractive to organizations.
Today’s junior IT employees are set to see a vast amount of change across their working lives, so it’s important they can move with the times, adapt to new ways of working, and pick up new skills quickly.