Running your own small business is a major challenge. In order to make sure your business’s technology runs smoothly and gets you where you want to go, you may consider hiring an IT Professional. Below are some tips on what you should be looking for in an IT pro for your small business.
Do You Need a Full-Time IT Pro, Part-Time IT Pro, or Neither?
As far as IT is concerned, small businesses range in employee size, technology assets, and IT needs. Just because IT is taking up a lot of your time doesn’t mean it would take up a lot of an IT professional’s time. Invite an IT Support firm in to do an analysis of your IT needs and see how much time they would dedicate each week to accomplishing the needs of your company. If they believe they can get the job done in 20 hours a week, then you may be better served looking at IT Support vendors or working to hire an IT pro on part-time, instead of full-time.
Write an IT Pro Job Description
If you’re going to hire on a part-time or full-time IT professional, then creating a job description can be relatively simple if you know the IT resources the IT professional will be working with. Here is an idea of some items to consider – Are you using a cloud computing service, or do you have a server on site? You may even have both. Any choice is a fine choice as long as you have an IT professional who knows the ins and outs of your system. For instance, if your business decided to strictly back up everything on the cloud, and not require a router server in the office at all, then you would need an IT professional that is experienced with cloud computing and knows desktop support very well. You’ll want to list out a “must have knowledge of” or “required skills” on the job description that itemizes the technology resources of your company, and that the IT professional will be working with.
What’s the Best Fit for Your Team?
It takes a special person to sit in front of a computer screen and work with machines all day long. One subject that cannot get talked about enough when hiring IT professionals is how their personality and demeanor fit within the team. Rick Hawley, Business IT Support Services Manager at Lighthouse Technology Services says,
“The people have to have the skills, and then make sure they have a personality. They have to be able to work well in the work place with others.”
Team chemistry within the business is crucial to all operations running smoothly. The same standards need to apply to IT team members. Too often, the IT professional on staff is excused from normal behavior standards because their skill-set is looked at as ‘too valuable’ to upset. There are IT professionals out there who are great at what you need, and fit great into your team’s personality. Do not settle for a culture clash because the first few IT pros you interviewed were all bumps on a log. Keep digging. Good people are hard to find in any role.
Ask: What am I Not Asking That I Should?
When you get to the interview, ask this question. Interviewing an IT professional can be hard. Sometimes we don’t know what we don’t know, and half the reason we’re hiring an IT professional may be because we don’t know IT. So have the IT professional tell you what you should be asking that you haven’t. If they educate you on how you can achieve better performance, then you may have a consultant you can trust. If they communicate complex ideas in a simple way, then you may have a great team member for your group.
Lighthouse Technology Services provides IT Support for Buffalo area based businesses who need a veteran IT Professional on staff in a part-time capacity.
The Lighthouse Technology Services IT Jobs Blog