While technology and digital transformation do make businesses more efficient; they require ongoing attention. There is no “set it and forget it”. When there is a lack of attention and expertise, opportunities can turn into threats and strengths can become weaknesses. Unfortunately, hiring great IT professionals can be challenging.
Sifting through hundreds of resumes and conducting interviews is straightforward.
However, understanding the required skillset and confirming a candidate truly has the expertise can be challenging.
To make matters worse, there is a shortage of experienced candidates out there and large tech companies, such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, scoop up talent with attractive compensation and unique benefits. It’s difficult for small to medium-size businesses to compete.
What can you do to fill the gap? Read on to learn more.
Figure out what you need and find someone with the right experience
The first step is to figure out the applicable IT skillset that your organization needs. The “IT generalist” is a thing of the past due to the vast number of new technologies emerging every day. IT professionals are quickly becoming specialized. Therefore, it’s extremely important to confirm the requirements and select an appropriate industry-defined role for the position. This will help you understand the necessary certifications, schooling, and experience required.
What type of systems does your company use- or want to use? Do you require a basic helpdesk technician, a platform specialist (e.g. Office 365), a security expert, a networking expert, a cloud expert, etc.? It’s important to find someone that is not only familiar with your specific systems, but also experienced with them.
Consider the risk in hiring a single person- unless your budget allows for multiple IT professionals, relying on a single person is a liability.
If you aren’t sure what you need, consider working with a Managed Services Provider (MSP).
Experienced IT professionals are in high demand. Ensure the hiring process moves quickly by having your interview process defined and ready to go. Do research on compensation for your geographical area and be prepared to sell your company by offering modern perks, benefits, bonus incentives, and a reasonable compensation package.
For senior positions or those that manage critical systems, test the candidate by bringing in a 3rd party IT professional who can verify their expertise. Certifications are a great start, but real-world experience in a corporate environment is extremely important for senior positions. Everyone needs a mentor and practical experience right out of school.
Seek Co-Managed or Full IT Support
Once you have IT personnel in place, you can likely manage the day-to-day needs of your business. Is that enough? Do you have everything covered?
You may have other needs, such as platform experts, business analysts that specialize in technology, cyber-security experts, or business continuity and data recovery experts. You may also require software that helps monitor, maintain, and automate your systems to address human error and strain.
It’s possible to supplement your existing IT team by partnering with an MSP. MSPs are great resources that can help:
- Identify and address specific gaps
- Provide expertise for more specific platforms
- Provide strategic oversight and direction (vCIO)
- Perform regular audits and compliance checks
- Provide access to enterprise tools and software
- Assist with budgeting and a 3-5 year project roadmap
- Reduce liability associated to a single IT professional or small team
If you haven’t had any luck hiring IT personnel, you may want to consider fully outsourcing to a Managed Service Provider.