September 15, 2017 – Tim Winterich -

Evaluating Technology Talent In the Parking Industry

There is a lot going on at the intersection of parking, technology and recruiting these days. All of these sectors are undergoing rapid and fundamental change as innovations push the boundaries of "business as usual" to new horizons. Let me touch on some general points that might help you navigate your way around these crossings.

Broadly speaking, the IT landscape in parking can be divvied up into 3 areas:

-Established parking companies that, over the years, have adopted more automation and technical solutions to run their business, generate more revenue, and enhance the parking experience for customers.

-Established software companies that have been building parking apps and solutions which integrate with the existing technical infrastructure described above.

-And the world of startups, disruptors and visionaries who are creating solutions for a new world of self-driving cars, automated parking garages, and other revolutions in the parking, automotive and transportation sectors.

As our cars turn into computers on wheels and our roads transform into networks of connected cars, some see the death of parking as we know it today, and others see incredible growth opportunities for the industry.

This rapidly changing landscape is producing a shifting list of winners and losers, but the one constant is the growing demand for IT workers and their technical skills. To survive and thrive in this game, companies will have to create a deep bench of skilled technical employees through hiring and on-going internal training.

At the same time, the IT skills needed to make parking work across this landscape are constantly changing. New skills are in demand and new roles are being created as more innovations in technology gain a foothold in the industry.

How do you find the right personnel?

One Harvard Business Review study concluded that 80% of employee turnover is due to bad hiring decisions, and that 45% of these bad hires were traced to inadequate screening.

As a technology recruiter for positions in the parking industry, I can share that you will be able to better evaluate the technical prowess of candidates if you understand the technology skills required for that position.  Of course you don't need to be an expert in all of the programming languages, databases, SaaS platforms, and other parking technologies but the more you know the better.

Beyond the hard technical skills of the job, it's essential to understand the behavioral and soft skills of IT candidates. And this is where experience working with technical roles really comes in handy. Whether it’s overseeing a team to write code to meet a deadline, working with clients on a complex implementation, or troubleshooting critically time-sensitive issues, you have lived through the real pressures that technology can often times throw your way.

For instance, it can be difficult for an IT professional to be diplomatic with five people in her cube who are "helping" to troubleshoot an outage while the client is on the phone telling her how much money they are losing. Or perhaps you have lived through a software implementation that could only be done in the off-hours, so you and your team end up pulling all nighters as they jam through the implementation plan to meet the morning deadline.

Scenarios like this bring up good topics for candidates to explain how they stay calm and focused as storms swirl all around them. They also bring up other subjects for you to discuss in interviews regarding teamwork, initiative, leadership and communication skills.

So don't be afraid to google-fu your way to a better understanding of technical concepts or acronyms in preparation for interviews with IT candidates. And rely on your past experience working with technology in parking to help you probe further into a candidate's working style.

A well-rounded approach to interviewing IT job seekers will improve your retention rate and help steer your company through some of the parking technology challenges ahead.

Contact me to talk further about recruiting IT positions in parking.  If you would like to learn more about leading recruiting practices in parking, download our Hiring Guide here:

Hiring Top Talent Guide