Electronic Products & Technology

Nearly all tech leaders in Canada have made a bad hire

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics Engineering Supply Chain tech hiring tech hiring

Skills-based and Interpersonal issues cumulatively account for more than half of hiring mistakes 44 per cent of technology leaders say technical skills are the hardest thing to assess in an interview

Whether they’re recruiting for a “purple squirrel,” “unicorn” or “rock star,” tech hiring managers say there is often a disconnect between the skills they need and the skills of the people they hire. In new research from Robert Half Technology, 93 per cent of tech hiring decision makers admitted to making a bad hire, and 38 per cent acknowledged it was due to a corporate culture issue, meaning the new hire wasn’t a good fit for the company or work environment.

Poor tech hires take a toll. (CNW Group/Robert Half Technology)

Skills-based issues (30 per cent) and interpersonal problems (25 per cent) have also contributed to hiring mistakes, together accounting for over half of bad hires, according to tech leaders.

While culture fit is the main issue with poor hires, the challenges may start early in the hiring process, as 44 per cent of tech managers said adequate technical skills are the most difficult thing to evaluate during a job interview. Corporate culture followed, at 36 per cent, and 20 per cent of survey respondents said soft skills are hardest to gauge.

“The negative effects of a poor hiring decision can be felt across all areas of the business,” said Deborah Bottineau, a district director for Robert Half Technology. “Not only do they cost organizations time and money, inadequate hires also impact overall productivity and morale, especially if the rest of the team is picking up the slack.”


“Strong candidates are easier to identify when you have a clear understanding of your organization’s values and needs,” continued Bottineau. “A thorough, flexible and decisive recruitment strategy that assesses technology skills alongside team and company culture fit will help ensure new hires remain engaged and successful.”

Robert Half Technology provides five tips to help hiring managers avoid costly mistakes when recruiting tech talent:

  • Be clear with what you want. Recruiting the right talent starts with a solid job description. When drafting one for an existing position, re-assess the responsibilities to ensure the current requirements still match the role. If it’s a new position, include the full scope of duties so there’s no confusion once an employee starts.
  • Test tech skills. Have strong candidates take a technical assessment to test them on key skills required for the role.
  • Get your team involved. When conducting interviews, have peers, direct reports and other colleagues meet with the candidate early in the interview process. This will give you insights into the potential new hire’s interpersonal skills and whether he or she will be a good fit with the team and your corporate culture.
  • Be flexible. In this tight candidate market, it’s challenging to find applicants who meet 100 per cent of the requirements. Determine which skills and experience are must-haves versus nice-to-haves and be willing to train promising candidates who may fall short on skills or experience but would otherwise be a great fit.
  • Take a trial run. Consider bringing on a contract employee when you’re hiring for a critical role. This will take some stress off your team while allowing you to evaluate the candidate’s fit for a full-time position.



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