Vol. 19, #22 - June 2, 2014 - Issue #982
Evaluating IT hires
- Editor's Corner
- From the Mailbag
- Evaluating IT hires
- Tip of the Week: Deleting temporary files
- Recommended for Learning
- Microsoft Virtual Academy
- Quote of the Week
- Admin Toolbox
- Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
- Events Calendar
- Asia Pacific
- Webcast Calendar
- MSExchange.org Webinar: PST Files – The Hidden Threat to Your Next Project
- Register for Webcasts
- Tech Briefing
- Windows Server
- Windows client
- System Center
- Windows Azure
- Windows Server News
- What's the use of cloud with no cloud-ready apps?
- User profile management helps control desktop customization
- Configuration management and deployments made simple
- Using the Rufus USB tool to build bootable USB flash drives
- WServerNews FAVE Links
- Wakeboarding on the Open Sea
- Wingsuit Flying Over Manhattan
- Darcy Oake's Jaw-Dropping Dove Illusions
- Hercules the Lion Roars in His Sleep
- WServerNews - Product of the Week
- SolarWinds free Real-Time NetFlow Analyzer - Don't Let Bandwidth Hogs Slow Down Your Network
- SAVE THIS NEWSLETTER so you can refer back to it later for helpful tips, tools and resources!
- FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER to a colleague who you think might find it useful!
- SEND YOUR FEEDBACK to [email protected] if you have any comments or suggestions!
From the Mailbag
Evaluating IT hires
A few months ago I was struck by a Business Insider article titled "India Is Facing An Epidemic Of Fake CVs From Desperate Job Seekers":
After reading the article I wondered how widespread the problem of "resume padding" (which can range from "tweaking" to outright fraud) might be these days in the global IT industry. Then I wondered how companies looking for new IT hires were dealing with the situation.
Fraud is as old as the hills of course and it's certainly not new in the IT sector. When times get tough economically and people are struggling to find a job, it's inevitable that they will try to find ways to spin their qualifications and experience in ways that may catch the attention of prospective employers. But paying a fee to a fake IT company in order to have their "HR manager" verify your "employment history" with them when someone is trying to verify your experience is a bit much, isn't it? It's simply outright fraud.
But how do you catch a candidate that tries this kind of magic when they apply for an IT position with your company?
The paper chase
Back in the late 90s when I was a Microsoft Certified Trainer, everybody and their dog was trying to get their MCSE certification believing it was a sure ticket to a high five-figure job. Those of you who remember those times will also remember that back then the letters "MCSE" stood for "Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer" which had a real nice ring to it--until the engineering profession clamped down and Microsoft had to change it to Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert.
Of course, it was darn hard to go from being a complete computer noob to having a nice shiny MCSE pin on your lapel. But where there's a will, there's a way, and the free market stepped in to solve that problem by creating "MCSE mills" that created and sold exam prep books and software, some of which included real questions from actual Microsoft certification exams. This meant that a noob could simply buy (or "borrow") books/software, memorize the answers to the questions, and pass the exams. The result was a flood of "paper MCSEs" who had no real-world experience with setting up LANs, managing file servers, configuring remote access, and so on. Companies would then hire these paper MCSEs and they would either sink or swim, depending on how determined they were to survive in the IT profession.
Why would they even consider hiring such people? Because things were booming. The dot-com bubble was rapidly inflating, and everyone and their dog (sorry for repeating that metaphor, can anyone suggest an alternative?) wanted to cash in by creating an Internet startup which meant you needed computers which meant you needed "IT guys" and there was a shortage of these so they were in great demand.
Show me your stuff
Evaluating new IT hires on the basis of credentials and experience always involves some element of trust. Were the candidate's credentials acquired honestly or fraudulently? Did the candidate cheat on the exams? Are the references the candidate provided at arm's length or is their collusion?
The hardest thing is to discern whether the candidate can actually walk the walk or merely talk the talk. One way of determining this is to ask the candidate to demonstrate his or her skills in a controlled environment. For example, a friend of mine was interviewed for an IT position with a major tech company. After what seemed to be a normal interview, the candidate was conducted to a room where there was a bunch of computer equipment that included bare-metal servers, various storage devices, some Ethernet switches, network cards, cabling, and software. Most of the equipment worked but some of it had problems. The candidate was then asked to put together a working two-node server cluster and was told he had one hour to complete his task. Sweating, my friend got down to business and started working on the assigned task. He completed it with time to spare and was hired on the spot.
I think testing the skills of potential IT hires like this has value because it not only tests an individual's technical competency but also his or her confidence and ability to handle stress. What to you readers think about this kind of approach to evaluating potential IT hires? What have you done in the past to ensure your company hires the right person for an IT position? What hiring method has worked for you, and what hasn't worked? Share your experiences with us by emailing us at [email protected]
Tip of the Week: Deleting temporary files
GOT TIPS you'd like to share with other readers? Email us at [email protected]
Hiring for Attitude: A Revolutionary Approach to Recruiting and Selecting People with Both Tremendous Skills and Superb Attitude
The Essential Guide for Hiring & Getting Hired
Hiring the Best: Manager's Guide to Effective Interviewing and Recruiting, Fifth Edition
Hiring and Keeping the Best People
Hiring Smart!: How to Predict Winners and Losers in the Incredibly Expensive People-Reading Game
Hiring Talent: Decoding Levels of Work in the Behavioral Interview
Microsoft Virtual Academy
Some announcements from the Microsoft Virtual Academy:
On-demand from MVA: "Building Blocks" for DevelopersMicrosoft Virtual Academy (MVA) provides free online IT training & learning of Windows, Microsoft Technologies through courses designed by industry experts. You can view a list of courses by topic or by product on their home page:
Quote of the Week"If you can't solve a problem, it's because you're playing by the rules." --Paul Arden
From his book "It's Not How Good You Are, It's How Good You Want To Be" which is available from:
Until next week,
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Admin Tools We Think You Shouldn't Be Without
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AmericasMicrosoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC 2014) in July, 2014 in Washington, D.C.
Microsoft SQL Server PASS Summit 2014 on November 4-7, 2014 in Seattle, Washington
TechEd Europe on October 27-31, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain
TechEd New Zealand on September 9-12, 2014 in Auckland, New Zealand
Add your event
PLANNING A CONFERENCE OR OTHER EVENT you'd like to tell our 95,000 subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
MSExchange.org Webinar: PST Files – The Hidden Threat to Your Next Project
Join Microsoft Exchange MVP Steve Goodman and Peter Mullens, Product Marketing Manager for C2C on Thursday, June 12, 2014, at 2pm EDT, 7pm BST for an informative discussion on the challenges managing data and PSTs before, during and after an upgrade or migration.
During this interactive webinar you'll learn:
- What are the risks and issues associated with e-Discovery, Compliance and PSTs when performing and Exchange or Office 365 migration?
- Why is it important to deal with your data as you are upgrading your message server?
- Where can you find PSTs and what are the the technical issues with Microsoft's existing PST solution?
- What do you need to know before enabling mobile and supporting multiple devices?
- What are the key considerations and critical steps you must take before starting the process of upgrading or migrating your messaging system?
- And, get your top migration and data management questions answered!
Register for Webcasts
Add your Webcast
PLANNING A WEBCAST you'd like to tell our subscribers about? Contact [email protected]
Cleanup Windows.old after upgrading to Windows Server 2012 R2 (The Windows Server FCI Blog)
Windows clientWindows 8.1 Deployment: From the ground up (CanITPro)
Migrate from Windows XP to Windows 8.1 with ConfigMgr 2012 R2 (ConfigMgr System Center)
Workplace Join for Windows 7 (TechNet Library)
System CenterUsing Data DeDuplication with ConfigMgr 2012 R2 (Deployment Research)
Default Boot Images was not updated after a ConfigMgr 2012 R2 upgrade (ConfigMgr System Center)
Building a Private Cloud With System Center 2012 (Part 8) (WindowsNetworking.com)
Create Your Own Base Virtual Image in Windows Azure (ms4u)
What's the use of cloud with no cloud-ready apps?
The cloud continues to dominate in 2014, but what is the point of using cloud if you don't have any cloud-ready applications to drive business value? Despite massive benefits, cost and time consumption are preventing many organizations from making the switch. Find out why you can't afford to stay away from cloud-ready apps any longer in this comprehensive exclusive.
User profile management helps control desktop customizationWhen it comes to managing VDI deployments, default user profile settings make controlling virtual desktop customization easier for a multitude of reasons, especially for security purposes. Find out more about the different types of user profiles and what tools you need to make managing them easier.
Configuration management and deployments made simpleNo matter what your IT background is, understanding the concept of declarative configuration management and gaining experience with Desired State Configuration (DSC) technology is challenging. Lock down configuration drift with an automation deployment strategy and learn what you need to get started with DSC using this exclusive, free resource.
Using the Rufus USB tool to build bootable USB flash drivesThe Reliable USB Formatting Utility (Rufus) is a faster and easier alternative to the Windows 7 USB/DVD Download tool that enables users to run diagnostic tools and work on computers without an OS already installed. Find out everything you need to know about Rufus in this in-depth resource, and decide if this new problem-solving tool is right for your company.
This Week's Links We Like. Tips, Hints And Fun Stuff
GOT FUN VIDEOS or other fun links to suggest you'd like to recommend? Email us at [email protected]
We'll start with this amazing video submitted by one of our readers:
Wakeboarding on the Open Sea
They went Wakeboarding on the Open Sea. And suddenly they saw THAT:
Pretty cool! Now for some videos from Flixxy...
Wingsuit Flying Over Manhattan
Five wingsuit flyers flew over Manhattan at a top speed of 118 mph, using new wingsuit technology and covering a distance of two miles in less than two minutes.
Darcy Oake's Jaw-Dropping Dove Illusions
Hercules the Lion Roars in His Sleep
The king of the jungle is scary even when he sleeps. I wonder what he is dreaming of?
WServerNews - Editors