5 mistakes to avoid when employing an IT person

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Are you looking at hiring an IT person for your organisation anytime soon? Whether you’re looking at bringing in a new employee to work alongside your existing IT department or you’re about to hire (or re-hire) a sole IT technician, this is one business decision that should never be taken lightly.

If you are comfortable placing your entire IT and security infrastructure in the hands of an internal team or sole technician, instead of say, going down the managed services route – as a business owner – you are well advised to avoid these common hiring mistakes and build a team of IT pros that fire on all cylinders.

A hiring manager must do everything within their grasp to minimise the risk to the business throughout the entire hiring process. Instead of placing sole responsibility and liability onto the hands of an outsourced IT provider – a business that chooses to place their IT needs on an internal team or individual technician – consequently have a far greater risk of things going pear-shaped, should an incorrect hiring decision take place.

Here are 5 common mistakes IT and hiring managers make, along with some advice on how to take a more successful approach to hiring the complex minds of computer geeks.

1. Not taking into consideration company culture
Hiring an IT person purely on the back of their qualifications and availability can sometimes be risky. Someone may have all the qualifications and seem like the perfect candidate on paper, but if he/she doesn’t fit into your corporate culture then you may very well be having to go through the whole hiring process again before too long.

An IT department is often a delicate eco-system which can be put out of place relativity easily, making it imperative for your new team member to fit straight into the department or team environment. Go beyond qualifications and availability and look towards personality, disposition and appearance. Are they well presented? Do they seem level-headed and organised? You will need your new acquisition to be just the right fit for your business in order to boost output and help reach business goals.

Ensure that your new acquisition brings with them a positive effect so that that results increase and missed opportunities and/or deadlines are minimised or eradicated completely.

2. Not getting programmer candidates to demonstrate their coding prowess
It’s essential to ask questions that elicit a picture of their understanding of programming. It’s critical that you ask them to do some design and to write some code. This will give you a relevant insight into how the prospect will react and problem-solve in the world of Information Technology.

3. Not motivating everyone in your organisation to refer candidates
It really can make a difference if your organisation has a structured referral policy, whereby employees (and not just clients) can refer candidates. Every study we’ve seen supports the notion that ‘good people recommend other good people’. On top of this, you also get a built-in reference, usually with contact information for other former colleagues who will vouch for the candidate as well.

Put your job postings out there to your peer network and reward employees for referring good new hires. An active employee referral program can be a real positive (and a great source for new employees) for any organisation.

4. Not hiring an IT person who is meticulously organised
Whether it’s a team of computer people at your organisation or an individual, it goes without saying that this person must be meticulously organised. Scheduling, coordinating and dispatching are critical elements to the job role, as is the ability to liaise with clients, vendors, partners and internal staff.

For the technical side of IT to be given room to execute, an up-to-date IT calendar must be kept. Software support, licencing expiration’s, purchasing and receiving of IT equipment – everything a a computer person undertakes will involve intense organisation.

5. Not hiring a computer person with impeccable communication skills
As well as being organised, all computer people must have solid (if not exceptional) communication skills. IT technicians are not merely responsible for the technical side of things but are always required to communicate efficiently, both internally and externally.

A good IT technician will give reasoning behind a particular decision or path and help to explain complex tasks or systems to managers and other non-IT employees. On top of this, your computer person will be required to communicate in a friendly and efficient manner, to a host of external stakeholders, including clients, suppliers, vendors etc.

Of course, the technical aspect of their skill-set is important, but equally so is their personality and their ability to communicate in an effective and positive fashion.

Some of the above problems can be nullified, of course, by making the decision to outsource some (or all) of your IT requirements to a third-party. For a chat about the benefits of outsourcing your IT, contact Centrix today!