5 Hiring Habits of Successful CIOs

The clock sounds; the wakening music trumpets the entry of a great day. Today, you do not hit “snooze.” You hit the ground running. This is the day you meet with the IT professional you
hired one year ago, and you are excited about the performance review you are about to handout. This lady was awesome from the interview to the 6-month evaluation to the corporate Christmas party.
Seemingly, every system was go; even the inevitable hiccups were handled and addressed. Yes, today is a good day.

Wait just a minute before you hand over a stellar review – and the accompanying bonus. There is one thing you should not neglect…YOU hired her.

By adhering to the 5 habits discussed here, the scene just described will start to happen more in your own career. You have heard it over and over: “Our best asset is the passion of our
employees.” Tired of wondering which employees they are talking about? Follow these simple hiring habits, and it will be YOU and your employees the crowd is speaking of.

The buck starts here:

Hiring Habit #1: Understand what it is you need for the new hire to address and its impact on the company before hiring anyone.

Top ranked CIOs clearly understand the “real reason” they need to hire someone.

You wish to add to the net revenue of your organization. This is the only reason to ever make an IT hire. EVER. If you cannot draw a connection between the people you are about to hire and
one-year net revenue increase of your company, stop.

Okay, non-profits, company transitions, I get it: Net revenue is a reflection of an employee doing one of two things:

A. Addressing a company’s need

B. Addressing a company’s problem

That’s it, so whether net revenue is your thing or not, there are only two reasons to legitimately hire anyone. So, before you sign the approval for the requisition, sit down with your
mangers and spend 20 minutes understanding what problem (s) or need (s) it is the new hire will address and what impact will that have on net revenue in one year.

CIOs – the ones on the cover of magazines – clearly understand the impact on the bottom line of each person within their organization. These are the ones who do not build empires to
themselves but aid in the building of profits for their shareholders.

Freebie: Smart CFOs understand that smart CIOs understand that they are in business to return a profit to their shareholders, and smart CFOs always think twice before cutting a
smart CIOs budget.

There is safety in the multitude of council:

Hiring Habit #2: Ask your peers how your new hire will best help them – before you hire the person.

Value the input of others. Wise CIOs understand that their department’s success depends on the input and cooperation of others. They know that technology only exists to serve the needs of
humans. They get input from other departments about the character, skills, traits, behavior and attitude that the new Oracle Financial Fixed Asset Analyst should possess. Now be careful. This is
not hire by committee; rather it is showing appreciation and valuing the opinion of your peers. This gives you buy in from others, earns you respect and shows your appreciation of their turf.
Offer them a listening ear into your hiring needs.

Can you see yourself getting closer to giving that dream evaluation? The magazine cover isn’t far behind.

Read my lips no new …

Hiring Habit #3: Be specific in your range of technical requirements and skill sets – the key word being range.

Successful people recognize success. They understand that many colors make up a rainbow and that many technical attributes contribute to success. Be specific in your range of requirements. The
key word is “range.” Do not pin yourself down with a requirement of 7 years of experience or Fortune 500 experience or an IT degree. Instead, leave yourself some options and open the
door a little so you can see the possibilities. Technical requirements and skill sets are a guide to get a few of the right people in front of you. Talk to your recruiter about some of this and
talk to your peers. Do you really need an IT degree or will a BS degree work? If you start seeing candidates that are not appropriate, fire your recruiter, leave the big game hunters alone and
work with a boutique recruiting agency – one that will actually pre-screen based on the real needs you shared with them and not send you a bunch of resumes that fit a list of
acronyms. 

Preparation is not lost time:

Hiring Habit #4: Grease the skids; prepare to bring the new hire on board successfully.

Pre-arrange meetings of your peers with your new star. You are now sowing the seeds of success for your employee and for yourself as well.

Be prepared to bring the new hire on board successfully. Is this preparation part of the hiring process? You bet it is? How? Because you prepare for bring the person on board prior to hiring.
Remember when you did your homework and talked to your peers? During that conversation, mention that you would like to personally introduce the new hire to them. Ask them to be flexible enough in
their schedules the first week the new hire starts to spend 20 minutes discussing their department. You can schedule more crunch time later, but it is essential that in the first week, your new
hire spend an initial 20 minutes with YOUR peers or their department head. You clear the way first by setting this expectation. So when you hire the person, your peers are expecting a brief
introduction. After all, they kept asking you: Have you found the guy yet?

I didn’t know what I didn’t know:

Hiring Habit #5: Successful CIOs spend time discussing the real needs of the organization and the expectations of the new hire with their recruiter.

The power of communication is well understood by those at the top. Your awesome homework, clarification of requirements, and stage setting for success is all but wasted if the only thing you do
is send a job order to your recruiter, whether they are internal human resource recruiters or a boutique recruiting firm aligned with the talent you wish to hire. Successful CIOs – the ones
who have to schedule time for cover shots – also schedule time to discuss not only the written requirements, but the unwritten ones as well. This is how you insure that you will see the
brightest of the bunch and will not walk out of an interview wondering how in the world this guy ever got in front of you. Have you ever muttered, “I am just not seeing the right
people?” If you have, ask yourself this: Did I ever take the time to tell my recruiter what the “right people” look like? Yes, I know. Brain scientist stuff, isn’t it? If
you did all of your homework, spent at least 2 half-hour sessions with your recruiter, a 15-minute follow-up after each interview and your second round of interviews is no better then your first,
FIRE YOUR RECRUITER. If they are internal, then hire an external boutique recruiting firm that is skilled in today’s sourcing techniques. If you are sending a written list of requirements
to HR (also known as Job Orders) and not discussing your needs with them or your recruiter, you should resign.

One year later – the lady you hired has just given you a firm handshake. The smile on her face is contagious. Once again she thanks you and you thank her for an excellent year. You could
really get accustomed to handing out evaluations like this.

Stick around!  By employing these 5 hiring habits of successful CIOs, you will.

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About Peter Cabaniss

Peter is a founding member of The International Association of SAP Recruiters. He came to the recruiting arena via Corporate America. During his career Peter worked for Nortel Networks where he was honored with the President’s Award for his key role in securing a $300 million contract with Sprint PCS. Peter was aggressively promoted during his tenure with Nortel, achieving the title of Sales Director before joining AT&T. While at AT&T, he performed in the role of Sr. Manager of New Business Development. 

Pursuing his entrepreneurial drive, Peter obtained SBA funding to purchase a national fast-food franchise (Wing Zone), which he operated in Richardson, Texas. Using this same drive Peter, is venturing into an entrepreneurial relationship with Personnel Services Unlimited Inc. (PSU) where he will be developing the business processes to launch a new division aimed at the recruiting of technology professionals nationwide.

While pursuing his new career path, Peter is being personally coached by Shally Steckerl of Job Machine,  as well as Doug Beabout and Mark Berger of Art of Recruiting Masters.

Peter may be contacted at peter.cabaniss@gmail.com or 704-284-0651.

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