Information Technology (IT) plays a major role in today’s businesses. There is plenty of talent out there, but make sure you devote the necessary time and perform the due diligence required before you hand over the keys to your network.
Who, What, Where, When?
Inadequate background and reference checks can hurt you. Studies show some percentage of resumes contain false information. Too many people overvalue presentation skills and their intuition when judging candidates. Just because someone can talk technology and razzle-dazzle you in the interview does not mean he or she is necessarily qualified.
Keep in mind that your IT person has access to all of your company’s data. If you have confidential information or proprietary formulas, it is imperative you have someone who is trustworthy.
How About Real Experience?
Do not be overly influenced by tech certifications. They are only good if backed by real-world experience. Memorizing answers to questions for a test does not demonstrate true problem-solving skills. The ability to think outside the box is crucial in today’s business world. A temporary or trial period to test out the candidate can prove invaluable.
Here Today, Where Tomorrow?
Whether the position is for someone in-house or an outside consultant, you want a partner in your business’ growth. Computer troubleshooting is only one piece of the overall puzzle. The ability to think long term by grasping business concepts and bridging the gap between technology and business is a necessary skill. Implementing the right technology at the right cost with maximum results is the optimum solution. The newest and greatest is not always the best option.
Do You TCP/IP?
Do you understand multi-letter acronyms? Does the IT understand AR aging? Oftentimes, business people and IT people speak two different languages. You want someone “bilingual” – someone who can speak “geek” and your language. Distilling the essential aspect of a complex situation can give a business owner the necessary information to make the right decision.
The Ones and Zeros
Unlike those in other positions, the IT person is likely to interface with everyone in the organization, so the ability to fit into the culture may be important. Have a few people in various departments take a few minutes to chat with the candidate and see if there’s a connection. The overvaluing of tech skills may ignore critical traits like leadership, teamwork, self-management, assertiveness and cultural fit.