language that the employer uses or in pseudo-code. An applicant for a position as network administrator or manager can be asked to solve a real networking problem, much as some vendor certification programs require candidates for certification to do. Because an individual 's formal knowledge becomes useful to the employer only when that individual can apply the knowledge to a business problem, a work sample or simulation is likely to be a better predictor of future job performance than other, decontextualized assessment methods.
Work sample and simulation methods can also be used to identify individuals who will perform well in a team setting. Since much of IT work is a team effort, team skills are essential. One method that has been used to assess persuasiveness, self-confidence, oral communication, and interpersonal skills is the leaderless group discussion. In addition, new methods of assessing teamwork skills could be developed specifically for IT work.
Employees who participate in hiring in any way must avoid hiring practices proscribed by law. It is well-understood that hiring managers should be educated in this manner, but it seems less well-understood that the rules on proscribed behavior apply to members of project teams who interview applicants, as well as the managers that make the final decisions. Furthermore, more structured methods of assessing and selecting job candidates are in general less susceptible to sustainable charges of discrimination.
To the extent it is possible to use them, blinded assessments can help to reduce unconscious bias. Just as candidates for symphony orchestra jobs often audition behind screens (so that judges can hear but not see them play), programmers—for example—can submit coding samples without ever having been seen. And they can sometimes answer questions without needing to interact face to face. Under some circumstances, blinding is not possible (e.g., when evaluating teamwork exercises that are part of an interview, or when extended dialogue is necessary to probe more deeply into an applicant's work sample). Nevertheless, the use of blinding when appropriate can be helpful for institutions wishing to reduce their vulnerability to charges of discrimination.
Because many IT workers rate nonpecuniary factors as highly as—or more highly than—wages or compensation in their decisions to accept or stay with a given job with a given employer, employers have a great deal