This year, global information technology spending will reach an estimated $3.8 trillion. Come next year, spending will further go up to almost $3.9 trillion.
Almost $4 trillion on IT alone!
If you think about it though, it's not that surprising. After all, everyone, from consumers to businesses, relies on information technology. From online banking to social media, IT is a key driver in all of these activities.
That's why the demand for IT professionals is also on the rise. In the U.S. alone, IT jobs will grow at a rate of 12% from 2018 to 2028.
That said, if your company needs to hire IT staff, it's best to get on it ASAP. With the great demand for IT experts, many other employers are competing for top talents. Meaning, you may lose top talents to other companies who hire them before you.
The question is, how exactly should you hire these infotech professionals? What should you look for in your new hires?
This guide will uncover the answers to all these questions and more, so be sure to keep reading!
Determine Your Business’ Specific IT Requirements First
Do you need an expert in application development or a network security specialist? Perhaps you only need to ramp up your security with a cyber-security engineer. Or maybe your company requires a complete IT team, from the break-fix support to IT managers.
In any case, the first step in in hiring IT staff is to determine what exactly you need them for. That's because each IT personnel have specific specializations and qualifications. Some focus on development, while others specialize in information security and compliance.
At the very least, your company should have a help-desk. The help-desk's role is to provide the first line of tech support for your company's computer users. They exist to resolve problems with computers, devices, network, and internet connections.
You also need cyber-security specialists to protect your company from cyber threats. And yes, even small businesses need this protection. In 2018 alone, more than half of SMBs fell victim to cyber-crimes.
Decide on the Terms of Contract
Once you know the specific type of IT expert you need, decide on their employment terms. Would you be more comfortable with a temp-to-hire contract or do you need a direct-hire right away? Are you only looking for a temporary or project-basis IT specialist or you'd rather hire one for keeps?
This is a crucial part of the hiring process, as it will affect your company's overhead expenses in the long run.
For instance, consider that the average salary of a full-time IT technician in the US is around $75,000 a year. A network engineer also makes about $73,000 a year.
So, factor in your company's operations to establish which aspects need full-time staffing. Depending on your organization's IT requirements, you may only need part-time staff. Some processes, like hardware and software procurement, maybe on a project-basis term.
As for hardware and software management, it's best to hire full-time IT employees. They'll secure and maintain your company's network and devices, after all. With them on board, IT issues can get resolved and mitigated as soon as they occur.
Create a List of Job-Specific Questions to Ask Candidates
Since IT experts have different specializations, ask them job-specific questions during the interview. You should add these questions to your standard IT interview questions.
Let's say the job interview is for a cyber-security expert. In this case, ask each candidate what cyber-security concerns plague your specific industry. Then, ask them what they think your company should do to address the potential threats.
Of course, you also need to do some research on your own to find out the best possible answers to these questions. To give you an idea though, one big threat is rogue IT, which is the use of unauthorized devices or apps. Phishing attacks are also a huge threat, with them increasing by 297% from 2017 to 2018.
Either way, asking these questions will let you gauge a candidate's level of expertise. Especially for the IT role that they're applying for.
Read the Entire Resume
Resumes won't tell you everything about a person, but they can give you a peek into their personality. Even something as simple as how it's written can already tell you if a candidate is serious about the job. For instance, would you hire someone who didn't even take the time to fix spelling and grammar errors?
Also, the resume would tell you right away if a candidate even has an IT background. Whether it's a certificate, diploma, or degree, what's important is that it's aligned with the job.
… And Prioritize Candidates with a Stand out Resume
Be on your toes for resumes that stand out, such as those that quantify accomplishments.
For instance, a candidate may have helped prevent a previous client from losing $10,000 due to a cyber attack. It may have been their quick response that they were able to mitigate the attack.
Another example is how they saved their past employer money after they found a bug in the system. Thanks to their attentiveness to detail, they were able to spot the bug embedded in a certain code.
Or, they may have been part of a project that reduced IT security incidents in their previous company. It was all thanks to their due diligence and superior monitoring skills that allowed them to do so.
These are only a few examples of accomplishments, but you get the gist. These are the kind of people you'd want in your IT team.
Pay Attention to Each Candidate's Certifications
There are dozens of IT certifications, and the more of them a candidate has, the better. This is an indication of how serious they are about information technology and in what they do. The more certifications they have, the more useful IT skills they possess.
Of course, these IT experts also expect higher salaries for their awesome skills.
That said, consider which areas of your company these skills would be useful in. For example, CompTIA Security + certificate holders are experts in IT network and security. Those with a CompTIA Network + certificate are experts in wired and wireless devices.
If your company relies heavily on Microsoft products, prioritize Microsoft certifications. These include the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist and MS IT Professional certifications.
Test Their Communication Skills
Hire IT people who can easily translate technical jargon into layman's terms. This is especially important if they'll be part of your tech support or IT help-desk. These people will cater to the needs of the other members of your company, some of whom may not be tech-savvy.
One way to gauge this skill is through a short "skit" during the interview. For example, you can act as a distressed employee who can't access the company network. Then, ask each candidate to respond by providing an actual resolution.
Observe the manner in which they explain things. Do they sound empathetic or robotic? Did they provide an easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide or did they use too many tech terms?
While they should know these jargons, being able to explain it to others in an easier way is just as important. Otherwise, the intent to help and fix the issue would get lost in translation. This can then lead to non-resolution of IT concerns, or worse, result in much bigger problems.
Hire IT Specialists Who Also Have Great People Skills
IT professionals spend most of their time behind their screens, but they still work at the office. This means that they will regularly encounter and interact with their coworkers.
This is why you need people in your IT department to also have great people skills. They should be articulate, patient, and have a genuine interest in what others have to say. They should be proactive problem solvers and have the ability to motivate others.
Your IT staff should be especially proactive, as they should always be on the lookout for issues. They should be ready to respond to incidents at all times, with the main goal of mitigating IT risks. They should also be willing to share their unique knowledge, as this will help reduce IT problems.
You can gauge a candidate's proactiveness by asking them what they would do for the company. A proactive person may give an answer about taking initiative and preventive steps. Another good answer involves making conscious decisions as part of a long-term plan.
Proactive people are great problem-solvers, but they'd rather prevent them from happening. They're prepared to react to current events, but they also think about the long-term. These are the people you'd want in your IT department.
Get Started on Creating Your Dream IT Team Now
There you have it, your ultimate guide to hiring the right people for your IT department. Hire IT professionals who aren't only experienced, but also possess great people skills. People with these qualities and traits would be invaluable to your company.
Ready to hire the people who will make up your dream IT team? Then please don’t hesitate to connect with us now! We can simplify the hiring process by filling those vacancies with great talents.