by Chris Potts

OK, you’re not a ‘beard in the basement’. So who are you?

Aug 12, 20082 mins
IT Leadership

Prospective IT employees want a company’s culture to value them as business innovators, not ‘beards in the basement’.  Given the preconceptions many cultures have about IT people, you’ll need to be clear about your strategy. 

A short article in this week’s Computing is headed ‘Culture key to filling IT posts’, citing the results of a recruitment company’s research.  It concludes that a company’s culture has become a key differentiator in recruiting IT professionals.  They want to be seen as people who make innovations happen, and three-quarters said they value strong working relationships with colleagues.

So far, so good.  We – your prospective colleagues – understand that you don’t want us to value you as a technician (what the article refers to as a ‘beard in the basement’), but as a business innovator and collaborator.  

But we do need to understand what your ‘day job’ will be, that isn’t about being a technician – and see that you don’t place high value on ‘technicalities’.  Otherwise your aspirations and actions will be out of sync from the outset, and you will struggle to challenge any preconceptions the culture has about ‘people like you’.

How a culture treats you is in your hands.  So be clear on your strategy for making sure you’ll be valued as a business innovator and not a technician.  Starting with the person who is interviewing you….