We are hiring for a small development department within a medium sized company for which software is not the main line of business. As such, we are attempting to recruit what we have labeled a Senior Programmer. The goal is to find someone that can design, implement and maintain entire new and existing systems from the database through to the front-end.
Regardless of a candidates claim to experience (read: massively spun CVs), or the results of the technical test, what I really care about is their ability to learn and the speed at which they will pick up technologies or concepts they are not familiar with to fill any gaps they might have in their knowledge.
How can I go about getting an idea as to a candidates ability to (or speed of) learning?