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Tips for Hiring the Best IT Staff at MSPs

As a managed service provider, you want to hire the best IT staff possible to represent your business. This is often easier said than done. There are a few factors that can lend themselves to poor hiring choices. You’re probably thinking of budget constraints. Many MSPs operate on a small business budget. Finding quality technical talent while completing with large companies who throw thousands of dollars at recruiting can be difficult to overcome. Here are some options to consider when kicking off the search for new hires.

Experienced vs Novice Hires

Say you do find the someone with the right skillset and they meet your salary standards. It’s easy to hire these candidates right away. However, it’s important to be aware of the quips that can follow. As experienced IT professionals, their work habits may not mesh well with the operations at your business. It will be difficult to mold them into your ideal employee.

Hiring based off of skills alone can result in a high turnover rate and wasted money to meet high salary demands. So what can you do? The answer is to find someone who falls in the middle that has a more novice skillset, but a personality that meshes well with your company culture.

Recruiting 101

To find candidates that fall in the middle, referrals are your best bet. Start by asking your current employees to put their feelers out. They represent your culture, goals, and mission, so chances are that people in their networks will be a better fit for your company than someone found through a career site.

Networking is also vital for successful recruitment. Attending industry events, career fairs, or tech Meetups is a great way to meet new people that are passionate about the same things as you.

You may be hesitant about hiring a novice candidate based on their technical capabilities, but they can become huge assets to your business with proper training.

Making the Most of the Interview

You can learn a lot about candidates during the interview process. Ask basic questions to gauge their eagerness to learn, problem solving skills, and interests.

Some sample questions include:

  • What do you enjoy doing the most?
  • When you don’t know the answer to something, what is the first thing you do?
  • What interests you in particular about this company?

A candidate’s answers to the questions above will reveal a lot about what drives them and how they handle themselves in problem solving situations. Willingness to learn coupled with a solid understanding of job expectations can be a recipe for success should you choose to hire them.

It’s important to note that novice hires will require more training than the seasoned candidate we mentioned above. However, there’s something to be said for investing in their future. Putting time into their career development will pay off, literally. Over time, they will encompass all the characteristics of your ideal employee. The values ingrained in their training will be reflected in their everyday work, and your revenue will grow as a result of superb service.

Interested in learning more about what to look for in potential IT hires? Want more sample interview questions? Check out the eBook, IT Staffing Made MSPeasy, for answers to these and many more questions.


eric-torresEric Torres is channel development manager at Datto Inc. Read more Datto blogs here.

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2 Comments

Comments

    Luke Smith:

    You made some really good points about the importance of the interview and how you can use it to learn a lot about your candidates as people, as well as just their skills. I feel like the IT department has a stereotype of being hard to work with almost everywhere in the world, so hiring some staff with good people skills could help you bridge that gap. If you need lots of people fast, an IT staffing agency could be another good option to look into.

      Eric Torres:

      Completely agree on the IT Staffing agencies. Typically, those Engineers can help out in a pinch with project related work that may build up. As an added bonus, you may even be able to find a permanent position for that person as well.

      In regards to people skills, it’s so important to find that quality in your candidates! The ability to communicate with your clients is a necessity in an industry that is always evolving.

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