The world is a global village. And the phenomenon that makes this possible, that connects people and businesses today, is IT. No business can survive without incorporating some level of IT in its operational structure. Companies that wish to remain relevant in the 21st century must keep abreast of the latest sales and marketing strategies, mostly powered and influenced by IT. Hence, the presence of competent IT personnel in an organization becomes imperative.
Let’s assume you’ve started your company and you’re looking to enlist the expertise of an IT guru to boost growth, improve efficiency, and ultimately increase sales and profit. What do you do? Well, there are no hard and fast rules for this. Every business has a modus Operandi that differs from the rest, which, in turn, determines its choice of staff. However, as with varying shoe sizes, you should take care to only select IT personnel that fit. Below are a few points that may inform your decision when bringing an IT specialist on board.
Determine Your Current IT Needs
Your intentions for your business will mostly dictate your IT needs. For example, your business goal may be to do something complex, such as improve and optimize your website’s interface or to create a mobile app that customers can use with ease on the go. Addressing this sort of problem will require an employee grounded in the art of web and mobile app development. Conversely, you may be looking to achieve something as simple as file compilation, archiving, backups, and server maintenance and might only need an IT staff with basic programming knowledge. In other words, what your business needs to grow is what will shape your decision. Sometimes, pinpointing your company’s exact needs might be difficult; you know there’s a problem, but you don’t know how to go about it. Actually, several reputable firms in the US offer free consultations and provide relevant IT solutions. Firms in New York City and environs can always get NY IT support here.
Determine Where to Find Candidates
After identifying your company’s needs, you’ll need to start looking for qualified candidates. Of course, looking in the right place gets half the job done already. A networking hub like LinkedIn may be a great place to start. Alternatively, you could seek the services of a recruitment firm to ease the stress of selection. Although, relatively expensive, you can rest assured that only competent personnel would be brought on board.
Define Requirements Your Candidate Have to Match
Before you begin recruiting, you should have some basic expectations of your ideal employee’s qualities. Some of the top qualifications to keep an eye out for may include a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Management Information System, or a diploma in IT from a good technical college. More importantly, employers know that, most times, experience and competence trumps certifications. Good on paper doesn’t necessarily mean good on a computer. So while you’re picking candidates based on good resumes, also prepare some practical tests for potential employees to go through. For instance, to appraise an applicant’s competence, you may request that they configure a computer workstation, install all necessary software with attendant security software, and connect a router. You may want to select those who display sound initiative by asking questions and making suggestions instead of those who simply carry out the tasks handed out to them.
Interestingly, in addition to the qualities mentioned above, it’s crucial and beneficial to employ someone with soft skills, especially if they’d be working in a team. Individuals with strong problem-solving, communication, and interpersonal skills can inspire those around them, creating a positive work atmosphere that boosts efficiency and engenders productivity.
Outline Interview Questions
Asking candidates specific questions can provide valuable insight into their mentality and glimpses of their thought-processes. Such questions can help reveal certain things about them that practical tests can’t. These questions could go like this:
How would you handle internal tech requests?
How much experience do you have with data backup and recovery?
What is the best way you think we can improve and strengthen our company’s security?
How do you think we can be ahead of the game in this industry?
In-House Staff vs A Managed Service Provider
Subject to a constant heated debate over the years is the topic of hiring in-house staff or opting for an MPS. Regardless of your choice, both have their pros and cons, and as such, a sound understanding of the differences between the two will help guarantee a better decision. You can look at two important factors that affect both.
There’s a high demand for seasoned and experienced full-time IT professionals in the labor market. Obviously, an increase in demand prompts present-day companies to come up with juicy salaries and attractive bonuses for potential IT experts.
Averagely, a Network Support Technician can earn anything between $43,000 and $50,000 annually, or about $20-$30/hr. These might be staggering amounts for a fledgling or medium-size enterprise because such companies might be looking to hire two or more employees within the same salary range. Add that to the cost of paid holidays, fringe benefits, sick days, and pension and you begin to get a clear picture of the financial ramifications.
Conversely, an MSP cost less compared to those of a full time IT staff. Hourly rates for an MSP range from $11 to $13, and agents only get paid based on input and commissions. With this sort of remuneration agreement, SMEs can request IT services only when needed and can use surplus finances to scale their businesses.
Degree of Integration
Many companies believe that having an in-house staff allows for more detailed control and supervision of daily operations. Their belief might not be further from the truth. In the presence of a conducive organizational culture, fully employed staff eventually see the company they are recruited into as their own. In time, they develop a profound understanding of the company’s structure and internal politics. Consequently, this knowledge, which comes with familiarity and tranquility of repetition, gives workers the ability to act independently when needed. This is especially true for businesses with complex systems that require workers’ full attention under little supervision. Needless to say, the danger in outsourcing expert IT services is an apparent lack of worker’s cohesion. Hence, the company’s inability to function optimally in your absence.
The flipside for companies that recruit full-time staff is that, in some way, they’re restricted by the level of skills employees have to offer. With an MSP, you are presented the opportunity to enlist IT experts’ services with a wide range of skills.
In conclusion, selecting the right IT staff to hire depends primarily on what your business needs, your future expectations, and your budget. Finding the right balance can make all the difference between success and failure.