Staffing: How to Hire So You Don't Have to Fire

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Mandalay Resort’s Austin hired a director she knew from a consulting company she had worked with while at Harrah’s Entertainment and who continued to do work for her once she joined Mandalay. When Austin had an opening for a director, she contacted this person to tell him about the job. Because she had previously worked with him, she knew he had the right attitude for the job. He was an application architecture and development whiz; he had the desire and ability to teach others; he empathized with business users; and he was committed to learning and leading change.

When she learned this person was interested, Austin approached the principal of the consultancy and told him. Austin wound up with a top-notch director and hired a known quantity. And she maintained her relationship with this company because she conducted herself in a forthright manner. "By pre-identifying potential employees over a period of time, you don’t make hiring errors," agrees Sullivan.

In addition, relationship recruiting can help CIOs get around the problems associated with being unable to get objective references. When Gevity HR’s Zimmerman is looking to hire, say, an Oracle database administrator or a business analyst, and a candidate’s rŽsumŽ indicates he has worked in Oracle shops, he and his staff will call the executives they know at Oracle as part of the reference-checking process to see if their contacts know the candidate. Zimmerman says that leveraging his contacts in the IT industry is a dependable way to get "good back-door information." (For more information, see "Mastering the Art of Relationship Recruiting" at www.cio.com/printlinks.)

Winning the Game

Hiring is one of the most important aspects of a CIO’s job. The value a CIO and IT bring to a company’s bottom line is directly related to the quality of the individuals supporting the CIO and their chemistry. Taking the time to recruit the right people with the right skills and attitudes will vastly improve your hiring odds. Says Hofmann, "We’re all going to be working together, so it’s important that we have a very synergistic team."

Copyright © 2004 IDG Communications, Inc.

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