Hire Cloud-Thinking Professionals

Who would you like to have with you on a deserted island? What animal do you relate to? What do you see yourself doing in five years?

If you are lucky, you haven’t been on the receiving side of these questions at a job interview lately. But, if you are an employer, you are faced with the age-old problem of picking the right employee and finding the questions that will best define the person you may soon hire.

Today’s employees have one job requirement that is standard through almost every position that can be offered -“ the need to be computer literate, technical in many ways and open to learn and use new software almost on instinct.

Whether you are an attorney, a bookkeeper, an administrator or a marketer, you will be expected to use software today that you haven’t seen before and tomorrow you will be expected to use software and tools that have not yet been invented. You will need to visit vendor websites, manage hundreds of passwords, be proficient and open to new methods which flip-flop and change continually.

So, how do you interview people and judge their abilities when what they will do and use is unknown? The tools you will expect them to master will change constantly, and, as the employer, you don’t even have a mastery for the skill set that you are judging?

Cloud computing is still in its infancy. Yet, if you want to judge computer literacy and you want to gauge how easily a new employee will adapt to ongoing business technical changes, quiz away about the person’s current cloud computing life. If the person isn’t already navigating through life in the cloud, you have a good idea that this person isn’t the forward-thinking candidate you need for a technically-complex position. Think “return on investment” and “reducing overhead” and you will look at each potential employee and know what to expect.

Here’s a short list that can help you quickly judge whether a new hire might or might not be the technically able person that you need:

  • What is your business/personal online banking experience? Do you use PayPal, electronic transfers and online bill paying methods?

  • What is your online shopping experience? Do you buy (or sell) online?

  • How do you handle your own taxes, bookkeeping?

  • Are you familiar with SaaS (software as a service) and what experience do you have with subscription services? Are you using outlook, online back-ups, social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)?

  • Are you a blogger? A reader of online news publications?

  • Do you manage your own investments online?

  • Are you familiar with and a user of remote desktop systems? What mobile technology are you familiar with?

  • Do you use apps on your smartphone or tablet for banking, ordering, finding directions?

  • What experience do you have with nurture marketing, list management and mass email systems?

  • How many Google tools are you familiar with -“Google ads, analytics?

  • What do you know about Search Engine Optimization?

  • How do you manage the volume of emails that come your way in a workday?

  • How automated are you with contacts, emails, multiple phone numbers?

No, every person won’t be robotic with their life, online and automated all day. But, if your employee will need to be constantly learning and using modern tools, these questions will help define your candidate in the future tech arena.

Patricia Sigmon is founder and president of LPS Consulting, a 30-year-old technology firm that specializes in creating technology solutions for small to midsize businesses, with profit generation and return on investment as the focus. Sigmon also provides profit-generation advice in her boutique, profit-centric firm, David Advisory Group. She can be reached at www.lpsconsulting.com.