Why hire junior IT staff?

Why hire junior IT staff?

Should you employ technologists with very limited experience? And if you do, how much should you be paying them. GFC after-effects are still circling the economic environment, with many businesses revisiting the new hire targets and halting the recruitment activity. Business’s cutting staff number seems to be the trend these days. This is particularly true for the IT department with 2013 already off to a slow start.

In times like these, managers are reluctant at hiring new technologists, who might not have a great amount of experience, yet are expensive. This leaves them with a pool of mid level to senior IT professionals – who come with the assurance of a tonne of experience and ability to get in and get the job done.

If I haven’t hinted enough already, isn’t it worthwhile looking at entry level junior IT technologists? Yes they have little or no experience, but have lower salary demands, low enough to be justified in line with the limited IT budgets. CIO’s find it challenging to hire junior staff and justify that hire as it is difficult to identify an appropriate candidate by just looking at their CV. Some CIO’s say that “taking a risk on hiring a new staff member is not an easy thing to do. With tight budgets and deadlines, you need to find someone who is ready to go from day one, is experienced, and fits well with the company.” So why should a CIO’s take the risk of hiring a junior IT staff member?

Well, investing in entry level staff does have it’s benefits. They usually start off on a low salary so they will rarely move to another role to earn more money, this helps with staff retention. Entry level staff are motivated by the opportunity around learning new skills, gaining more experience, stability and increase in responsibilities rather than monetary gains.
Ideally, the interview will let you spot the budding professionals, who have the drive, passion, ability and the motivation to learn and excel in the role. They are likely to bring in a fresh perspective and new ideas to the organisation.

How much should you pay an entry level staff

CIO’s need to make sure they have the best possible talent pool of junior staff to choose from, particularly as appointing a junior candidate is harder than more senior staff due to their lack of experience and overall competency levels.

Entry level staff are seeking their first position after graduating, and so have many different ideas about the work expectations. At times, what they picture they will be doing, and what they are actually meant to do is miles apart. However, the aim of the activity of finding fresh talent is to identify candidates who have to ability to adapt to the environment and learn the art.

Many CIO’s believe that by providing market rates or higher to entry level staff removes the financial constraints that may stop some candidates from applying for entry level roles.

According to professional recruiters, individuals’ personal circumstances and motivations will dictate how much salary matters for their first role.

A junior technologist with minimal financial obligations will focus more on the long-term opportunity of a role, the person they would be working for and their own career aspirations when choosing whether or not to apply and interview for a role.

On the other hand, junior technologists with financial obligations will need to ensure they are earning the market rate for any role they apply for.

What I found interesting was that many hiring managers are now open to hire interns rather than junior technologists on a full time payroll. One main reason was in line with what the CIO’s are saying that hiring a junior technologist is risky as you can’t really determine an individual’s skills by his resume. Bringing them on as interns allows us to observe them in a real environment, relate the paper skills to the hands on skills and see whether they are able to translate the theoretical knowledge learnt in university to application on that knowledge.

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Mansoor Walli