In small and medium-sized companies, interviews for the positions of senior technical team members are wrapped up at the director, senior director, or VP levels.

There are two primary reasons for a department head to interview a subject matter expert- one, Senior Directors and VPs are deft in assessing qualities and behaviors beyond core technical skills. Leaders look for overall personality traits and hand-pick the problem-solvers from the rest of the candidates with basic proficiency. The second reason is the absence of a management layer. The technical team directly reports on to the directors and hence it becomes the responsibility of the directors to interview and onboard the techies and the SMEs.

As senior directors and VPs comprise the leadership layer and are involved in managing the company’s P&L, they are continually occupied and not easily accessible. An annual meeting with shareholders, the decision on clients, and statutory policies, etc may keep a director too overwhelmed. Moreover, the sizeable hourly pay at the top level, makes it imperative for a director to own and be broadly aware of all aspects of technical and process conformance.  Hiring a team member therefore, takes lower precedence and becomes a daunting task for the leader to pay the critical attention that it deserves.  Nevertheless, in small and new setups, it is crucial to onboard strong hands-on team members as they will be closer to execution.

No company would potentially want a wrong hire as according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the price of a bad hire is at least 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. For a small company, a five-figure investment in the bad hire is a threat to the business

Owing to the bandwidth and budget control strategies, mid-sized IT organizations have been progressively outsourcing director-level interviews to external evaluators. The evaluators match the qualifications and experience levels of personnel at the director or VP level. They possess extensive and in-depth knowledge of the industry and are armed with the far-reaching practice of the desired expertise.  The discussions may involve a range of topics from technical expertise to management skills and leadership capabilities of the candidate. The seasoned evaluators pick their best select by scrutinizing the accomplishments of the candidates’ past career and by studying the instances where they were challenged and had risen to the occasion.

Directors find the external evaluations of technical candidates advantageous in two broad ways

  • Directors make more confident hiring decisions with external interviews being predictable and structured. They are well equipped with data points to present to the CEO and board members on their stand in the market in terms of technical expertise.
  • External evaluations are impactful for the heads of organizations in delivering a responsive candidate experience while still keeping the hiring bars high.

External evaluation for hire offers a prudent solution for small companies as they struggle with initial challenges of inexperience, business size, and the lack of resources and yet building a highly productive team is the topmost priority. Specialized evaluators are, hence, trusted with procuring technically upbeat team that results in a giant leap for small firms.

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