While it used to be cost-efficient and practical for a small company to hire a freelancer IT pro to perform such services part-time, doing so with a growing company could be addressed by engaging the services of a full-time employee with such expertise. This could enable the company whose systems have become more complex now to cope with the information technology demands that an expanding business encounters.
Dealing with Candidates
After you put out that want ad, expect all sorts of geeks and IT guys to pop up your doorstep. Lugging all kinds of credentials with them and the accompanying jargon and geekspeak gobbledygook about how your current “wimpy” systems might be right now. Help yourself go way past this geekathon by being the company’s designated nerd filter.
As the business owner, you are in the best position to know the kind of IT infra you need to have in existence for your company that’s now beginning to evolve into a bigger one. It would be second nature for you to intuit about what systems need to be upgraded to meet the demands of an expansion company. Most of the usual changes occur in the following:
- More departments means more networks that need to be connected to the existing infra.
- More people mean more workstations that need to be connected to departmental infra.
- More retail concerns means more networks for inventory, accounting, auditing and credit/collection systems.
- More transactions mean the need to create more customer service and backroom networks tied up with the current VoIP service.
An IT pro competent enough to create, level up, configure and manage these systems henceforth would be in your best interests to hire. This is the ideal hiring scenario you’d like to have but human resource isn’t a perfect world and there are a lot of variables that get into the hiring equation like credentials, actual experience, personal work ethics, and workplace compatibility. So much so that for you to be able to see through all these variables so that you get to hire the right IT guy.
What to Look out for
Now that you know what you really need, the next thing you should know about is what to look out for in an IT pro. To be able to do so, you could equip yourself with the knowledge about the key things to look for, ask about, and find out about when test-driving IT professionals. Here are a few really helpful pointers:
- Ability to create from scratch. The real test of IT ability isn’t to be found convincingly in job interviews. Talk is cheap. For example, an exercise that asks an IT guy to install and configure software from scratch as if it’s one supposed to kick into activation for the whole company, could help you assess ability. IT pros need to have that ability to think long-term and see the bigger picture. One also needs to intuit about supportability, licensing and foreseeable company system needs.
- Talk about specifics. Look for hands-on experience more than credentials. IT pros who have worked on servers, switches, routers, firewalls and virtualization tech are much better equipped to handle various kinds of IT systems from the ground up. An infra person with a perfect understanding of the support side of IT makes for a better one to have around.
- Go beyond tech. IT pros that have the ability to explain tech things to CEOs to allow the latter to make informed decisions are the best ones to hire. IT work also involves customer service and relationship building.