Much like the housing market in Seattle and many metro markets today, finding ServiceNow talent is a seller’s market. The demand for experienced team members with technical depth and breadth in ServiceNow has never been hotter. So, how do you figure out which candidate to hire? Here are 8 things to consider.
1. Look for balance
Unless your team is already staffed with business analysts with deep business process expertise in IT Service Management, Customer Service Management, Project/Portfolio Management, Governance, etc., you will want candidates to possess enough business process expertise (relevant to the applications on the ServiceNow platform they will focus on) to ensure you don’t back yourself into a corner.
A good Developer on the ServiceNow platform will be able to accomplish almost anything technically, but we want our Developers to be versed in good coding practices and good business practices. You will want candidates who can optimize business processes to capitalize on ServiceNow’s platform strengths.
2. Spend time on the soft stuff
This new hire will be a representative of your team and your brand. Are they professional, courteous and on-time? Do they listen? Or, are they disruptive? Do they seem genuinely interested in the role and the work they’d be doing? How would your toughest customer or business partner respond to them? Do they seem like someone who would fit in with the rest of the team and enjoy working with them? Could they represent your organization socially at a team happy hour?
3. Interviews are a bit like a blind date
Blind dates are opportunities to meet someone relatively unknown to you to determine if you ever want to see them again. The candidate is interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them. They are learning about your company, team and culture from YOU just as much as you are learning about them. Put YOUR best foot forward during the interview and really listen. Ask for examples. Provide information about the company and the types of work you do. You want your new hire to be happy and excited about joining your organization not just “taking a new job.”
4. Check the personal brand
Everyone has a personal brand. As technology professionals, we either continue to strengthen our brand over time or tarnish it. Search LinkedIn groups and communities to see if the person is active in the field and how they interact with others on social forums. Are they courteous? Helpful? Does their advice or feedback help solve problems for others? Do they have ties to the ServiceNow community?
5. It’s more than 1s and 0s
6. Don’t settle
You may find the candidate who can code in their sleep and offers a great deal of technical insight, but they will HAVE to fit within the team and be able to operate within your business partner portfolio. This person will become a trusted advisor to others, an ambassador and leader or key contributor on projects. If they don’t score high on the soft skills – including working well on a team, coachability and cultural fit – you need to keep looking.
7. Set realistic expectations
Don’t try to find a “master of all.” The ServiceNow platform is already extremely broad and growing broader with each new release. It is unlikely you’ll find even the most senior resources with expertise in all areas of the platform. Knowing your existing team’s strengths and weaknesses can help ensure you find a candidate who will complement your specific team’s skill set.
If you are only going to have one ServiceNow System Administrator/Developer, you will want to find a broad skill set, but that individual will also need to be highly proficient at handling tasks critical to day-to-day operations. Regardless of what the final staffing model needs to be, have criteria and a plan for when you will engage a consulting and/or managed services partner. For example, adding a net-new application to the scope of your ServiceNow environment will commonly trigger a partner engagement and an ever-increasing backlog might trigger a managed services engagement.
8. Continuous improvement (through professional development)
If you go into each hire with an understanding of professional development needs, you can plan and budget accordingly. For example, if you know you will be adding Performance Analytics to your environment next quarter and don’t have the skill set in-house, but otherwise the candidate is a great fit, consider getting that individual trained (and perhaps certified). Your candidate will appreciate your investment in him/her and your organization will gain a valuable skill set.