An often asked question at conferences is if HR managers should be trained in IT. Most IT companies, e-commerce initiatives, and tech start-ups often ask this question because they usually hire coders or IT specialists. IT makes sense then, that HR personnel involved have some degree of knowledge about IT. Interestingly, a number of companies surveyed have reported that they have programs that help HR personnel to understand the nuances of IT, especially when it comes to certain specialized topics. Thus, it may be a good idea to train HR managers in IT, especially if you can afford it. However, there are a number of other options too.

Why not hire an external interviewer?

Many companies that were surveyed have been reported that they hired an outsider IT specialist to be one of the interviewers. This helped companies to avoid training costs. Moreover, it is not possible to train HR managers in all aspects of IT. It makes sense to hire IT consultants on a temporary basis, sometimes even for just a few hours, when the interviews take place. This will help companies to understand an applicant’s skills and if he or she is really suited for the job.

Most importantly, it is essential to hire interviewers who are well versed with nuances of the IT domain for which an applicant is being hired. IT is a vast domain and all specialists do not know everything about this field. It is crucial to hire those who are experts in their fields so that they can interview the applicants thoroughly. This rises the question of training the hired interviewer about your company’s processes. This is not a difficult thing to do. An external interviewer can be briefed about the requirements and why a certain candidate needs to be hired.

This helps the interviewer to ask specific questions and assess the applicants’ skills based on performance tests and group discussions. Indeed, training in-house HR managers in IT is an ideal situation but it is certainly not realistic. It is not possible to train all HR managers in all aspects of information technology. A realistic opinion is to hire external interviewers who will assist in-house HR managers during recruitment.

What does it matter if HR managers need to learn IT for other reasons?

There are a number of reasons why companies want to train HR managers in IT and recruitment of IT specialists for specific tasks is not the only one. Sometimes, it is easier to manage IT professionals if their HR managers also knew what they were doing. However, this is an ideal case scenario and is not possible in real world situations.

It is practically impossible to train all HR professionals in every IT field that your company works in. A balance needs to strike and that probably is to help HR managers understand the basics of information technology so that they are at least able to understand when an employee specialized in one of the IT sub domains has certain problems and has no one to ask for help.

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