Last Monday in Philadelphia, eighteen CIOs and other executives sat down to talk about ServiceNow’s power to transform their companies. One issue that got the entire table nodding: Once ServiceNow gets a foothold into your company, it drives such positive results, that other departments quickly jump on the bandwagon. Further, as that internal transformation happens, the appetite for quality talent to execute every new initiative also consistently grows.
This industry has watched ServiceNow become a growth rocket over the past several years with predictions of 33% year over year growth for 2017. That growth rate is even more impressive when you consider ServiceNow has already reached a billion dollars in revenue.
While all this growth is very exciting, it also makes it hard to keep up. ServiceNow is a very specific, high-demand skill-set. There simply aren’t a lot of idle hands sitting around waiting for your phone call. Like the CIO’s at our Executive Roundtable wondered, we hear repeatedly from Acorio clients (and our own talent team) the challenge of sourcing the right people to execute all these processes and campaigns.
As a Gold Services Partner, 100% focused on ServiceNow, failure to maintain a cadre of highly-skilled ServiceNow consultants isn’t an option – it’s all we do! To effectively scale our company, we knew we had to develop progressive strategies to deal with this talent market shortage.
Here’s an inside peek at what we do and our recommendations to other organizations:
How to Find the Right ServiceNow Talent
The first step in finding standout ServiceNow talent is to know who and what you are looking for. ServiceNow is a growing product, so you want to attract motivated, energetic individuals who are eager to learn what the next release will bring.
Be on the lookout for some key indications of people poised to help make your ServiceNow transformation goals a reality:
- A passion for the platform. The best ServiceNow experts are devoted evangelists of the product
- ServiceNow Certifications and Accreditations. With an average of 25 – 50 hours of study per accreditation, a candidate with multiple certifications and accreditations means they have invested time and energy studying their craft, and can bring that level of expertise to your company on Day One.
Beyond core Incident – Problem and Change modules, look for candidates that have expanded their platform experience into other offerings, including ITOM, Customer Service Management or GRC. These are the people who will help ServiceNow expand in your firm.
- Involvement in the ServiceNow Community. Look for individuals who regularly attend ServiceNow SNUGs (User Groups), as well at those who are active in the ServiceNow Community website, their Slack channels, Twitter, etc. Here, you’re looking for a thirst for learning, and someone who keeps up with the ever-evolving platform.
- A personal ServiceNow Developer Instance. ServiceNow offers free developer instances to anyone interested in getting one. You want to find people who have taken the time to create their own, as the best development talent is always tinkering!
Ideally, you will find a candidate who possesses all of these characteristics. If not, use your judgement to weigh their investment. The key here is to find engaged talent who will grow with the organization and bring new ideas to the table.
Screening ServiceNow Talent
Now that you’ve found your possible talent pool, it’s important to make sure they will fit in your organization. Base technical proficiency is just the starting point to decide if someone will work for your company culture. ServiceNow will likely touch multiple departments in your company, so you want to make sure you find someone who can take theoretical concepts or goals, and develop an execution plan that will work for your company.
At Acorio, we spend a considerable amount of time assessing candidate “fit.” Some elements of our multi-stage vetting process that you might want to steal include:
- Develop a competency model. The key in finding the right talent is measuring the right things. We have a nine-stage competency model that assesses both hard and soft skills, from technical skills to proactive thinking, courage, and flexibility.
- Get team input. Our entire company interviews, and most new employees have met at least six to eight people throughout the interview process. To make this a cohesive proves, the team has all been trained on our employer value proposition and knows our core competency matrix inside and out.
Post-interview, we ask employees to evaluate talent using a carefully-crafted scorecard that reflects all of the skills, traits and behaviors we are looking for in folks we hire.
- Watch the talent in action. Nothing showcases skillsets better than a show-and-tell session. At Acorio, new developers are giving a skills test to see how they think, and engagement managers are asked to present to a team. The goal for us isn’t to find the right answer, but to understand how someone will work with your group, and see how effectively they think on their feet.
Armed with concrete details on what you are looking for, and soliciting the opinions of your team will provide concrete examples to see if your new ServiceNow prospective candidate can help your firm accomplish your goals.
Growing Your Own ServiceNow Talent
Of course, all our excellent vetting processes assume you have a pool of experienced people you are able to interview. Given our original premise of the talent shortage, you can imagine that’s rarely the case.
Faced with the need to grow your own inside ServiceNow skills, you can depend on your more experienced talent to help coach and transfer their knowledge to the next generation of internal talent.
- Build a ServiceNow Academy. One example of Acorio’s heavy invests in growing talent is our Acorio Academy, a 12-week intensive boot camp that hires less experienced, up-and-coming Developers and shapes them into thoroughly-trained, ServiceNow All-Stars.The Academy program not only grows our own in-house talent, but gives our seasoned senior team members the opportunity to mentor they so desperately desire.
- Embed learning and development into your culture. As we mentioned above, ServiceNow’s exponential growth means the platform is continually evolving and updating. Skills can become stale without continual updating. To combat entropy, the Acorio team is exposed to three ongoing learning and development programs:
- Onboarding. The three-day Acorio Onboarding Workshop exposes new employees to business practices across the enterprise, and is taught by peers and management. By the end, new employees have been immersed in our operations, cultures, and values, and have made personal connections that help them execute their day-to-day roles.
- Learning. During the Acorio talent Learning phase, new employees complete a pre-defined curriculum tailored to their specific role. This can last anywhere from three weeks to three months, and is conducted by management.
- Development. Acorio’s Employee Development is highly customized to the employee and comes in the form of roundtable discussions with senior management (Manager’s Monthly Roundtable), custom development plans, and other initiatives.
- Provide Certification and Accreditation Training. We mentioned above that ServiceNow certifications and accreditations are a great way to assess potential talent. Offering ServiceNow coursework is also a strong opportunity for you to grow bench strength. Acorio’s training program offers time for developers to conduct their training during work hours and helps mentor and preparing employees to be certification ready. In fact, we focus so much on internal training that we have become an official ServiceNow training partner, helping to train our customers as well as employees.
The crux of growing ServiceNow talent is to keep skills sharp, and energize your already-motivated talent to grow their career, while bringing new skills and talents to your company.
Find an Extra Set of ServiceNow Skills
For both large and smaller organizations, developing competency-based hiring and a comprehensive learning and development program may be more than your organization can absorb.
If that’s the case, don’t lose heart. There are a number of companies (Acorio included) that can offer you an extra set of skilled hands on a consistent basis. For example, Acorio offers our Virtual Assistance Program, AVA, which offers a flexible bucket of monthly hours that you can use on a host of different projects.
In these kind of Virtual ServiceNow Administration and Support programs, you get a single contact, or “quarterback” who will open up a rolodex of talent you can tap for any number of ServiceNow support or project needs. (All of whom have gone through our rigorous training programs above!)
Win the ServiceNow Talent War!
The ServiceNow talent market is white hot, which means you will need strategies for attracting, training and developing the best. Hopefully you feel armed with new ideas and tips to employ when looking for your next ServiceNow star. Good luck, and please let us know if you have any questions.