Finding and hiring technology employees for your IT department can be difficult here in Delmarva especially if you’re really not sure exactly what your IT requirements are. Sam Card, CEO at Cards Technology, offers his insight into hiring technology staff members.
Q: What are some common challenges businesses face when looking to hire in-house IT professionals in Delmarva?
Sam Card: The most common challenges I see are that IT job roles aren’t defined by technical skills because many business managers really don’t understand their IT needs. As long as the computers are working, they’re happy. Unfortunately, this lack of knowledge about the role often means there aren’t clear-cut performance metrics, a training path or a career plan for the IT professional. So, a good IT candidate would rather have a growth-oriented job where they can advance in their career.
On top of that, the unemployment rate for IT professionals was only 1.9 percent in 2018, so there aren’t many candidates available.
Q. What advice do you have for Delmarva businesses seeking to hire technology employees?
Sam Card: Don’t hire ad hoc IT staff members just to solve an immediate need. Lay out a plan that will not only keep your computers running but also will align IT with your business goals. This may mean hiring an IT leader with financial, operations and general business skills in addition to technology expertise. If you have a good idea of what expertise and functions you actually need in IT, then you won’t hire someone who is under- or overqualified. Over hiring can be as much of a problem as not hiring someone with enough experience.
As I mentioned earlier, it’s important to outline the specific technical skills wanted as well as spelling out what the opportunity has to offer to the job candidate. Include specific requirements like, will you depend on them to write IT strategy or will someone else do that? Will this person be responsible for cost management or are they simply there to keep the email running? These are all decisions you have to make when hiring an IT professional. The more you know about your IT infrastructure and its functions, the better equipped you are to define job roles for your technology staff.
And, of course, best business practices call for you to provide well-documented training for job-specific responsibilities as well as operational processes. If employees are only learning socially on the job, their chances for success are much lower.