ZDnet's Deb Perelman asks if it's a good idea to ask IT job candidates to prove they've got the technical chops to do the job they're after. You bet your server farm it is.
Perelman says, "...increasingly, IT professionals are asked to take some sort of test when they go for a job interview, to prove they know the technology that’s on their resume. This is the subject of a long–and heated–discussion on Slashdot this week, wherein an IT job candidate says that even with more than one university degree, a couple of IT certifications, over ten years work experience in the industry with two to four years with each employer, working with a wide range of technologies, he’s not sure he finds it “reasonable” to take a test on a job interview."
While the comments on the original Slashdot article are a mixed bag, as of this writing all the commenters on Perelman's blog post fully support testing tech workers before turning them loose at work. Reasons range from those who say there are "too many liars in the market" to those to welcome the opportunity to showcase their talents in ways a simple resume doesn't.
I can't think of a valid reason to not request a skills test for job candidates. While IT managers and employees have always been an important part of companies with technical infrastructure, their roles are critical today. Ten years ago, businesses needed people to keep in-house computers running smoothly and troubleshoot issues with the PBX. Now, even the smallest companies rely on VoIP, cloud computing, and networks so you want employees with skills that match your needs
Of course, that's not meant to suggest that IT workers of days gone by had it easy -- remember punch card data processing? I simply mean that when Microsoft Office crashes, it's a real inconvenience. When an entire network goes down, it's a disaster.The time to make sure your new hire can manage mission critical infrastructure is before they come on board, not when Something Goes Wrong.