Verify Recruitment has published results of its Q1 2017 Hiring Process Survey. The survey – conducted during January 2017, asked over 30 of Ireland’s leading technology employers about their opinions and sentiments with regards to interviewing and hiring. This research aims to share an insight into what matters most to companies when they are selecting a suitable candidate for the roles on offer in Ireland today.

Technology employers Brite:Bill, Qualtrics, AA Ireland, and Retail inMotion were among the leading Dublin-based companies who took part in the research. Employment opportunities in the technology sector in Ireland have continued to rise in 2017 to date, evidenced by recent new job announcements from growing companies such as Insidesales, Tech Mahindra, and Singlepoint.

Overall, the results of the Verify 2017 Hiring Process Survey found that while some interviewing standards remain consistent from sector to sector (such as the importance of arriving on time to an interview), employers in the technology sector have contrasting expectations of formality, compared to traditional interview standards and expectations.

The key results found that while technology employers are not concerned about a potential employee’s choice of dress or lack of formal appearance at interview, they are however very concerned about whether the candidate will fit in with their company culture. With regards to whether a formal outfit is required for a candidate to be taken seriously at interview, only 7% of technology employers expected interviewees to be dressed in suits, ties, blazers and blouses. 93% of employers did not agree that candidates need to present themselves in formal wear to be taken seriously by their company.

65% of the technology employers were of the opinion that ’business casual’ is the most appropriate way to dress when interviewing for a position in their company. Business casual was agreed to be coloured shirts, casual dresses, casual skirts and slacks.

In contrast to more traditional formal interview expectations, 25% of respondents stated that they would find casual wear acceptable for an interview. Casual wear was described as sweatshirts and jeans. These findings are reflective of an ongoing casual dress code which is trending in workplaces across the technology sector globally.

While a casual appearance is becoming common-place in technology interviews, expectations with regards to personality and culture compatibility however remain very high. In the case of a candidate who has the technical skills and qualifications required for a role, 60% of technology employers said cultural fit was still very likely to determine the outcome of the interviewing process for the candidate regardless of their qualifications and skills.

In relation to the factors of company culture that determine whether the candidate’s personality is suitable, 65% of technology employers stated that ‘an autonomous self-managed employee who shows initiative’ is the most important indicator of a cultural fit in their company. Alternatively, 25% feel that a candidate who exhibits drive and ambition would be an important indicator of a cultural fit for their company.

When asked what factors could lead to reject a candidate based on first impressions, despite a more casual attire expectation overall, a third of respondents would be inclined to reject a candidate with very poor personal appearance. A lack of questions from the candidate about the company would cause a further third of respondents to reject a candidate.

Cathal Grogan, Managing Director of Verify Recruitment said: “The importance of asking questions is something that is very often overlooked when preparing for an interview– but very rarely goes unnoticed by hiring managers. When a candidate doesn’t want to know more about the company – it sometimes displays a lack of interest in the opportunity to their prospective team. Asking specific questions can demonstrate a genuine interest in the company and the role.”

The survey also revealed the average process of securing a role at a leading technology company. 70% of the employers surveyed said it would take 3 interviews or more for a potential employee to secure a role in their company, while no employer believed that only one interview would be required.

76% of participants said the Hiring Manager made the final decision on whether a candidate would receive an employment offer, however every participant stressed the importance of technology hires being a team decision. An equal vote and collaborative team effort has been identified as the overall approach taken by technology companies when evaluating a potential employee.