IN TODAY’S VERY COMPETITIVE labor market, Trust IT is intentionally reducing the talent pool by 75% right out of the gate.
Why? We only want to hire Level 1, 2, and 3 technicians who are strong C’s (C= Conscientiousness on the DiSC profile). While tech skills are important, we’ve learned that cultural fit is even more important for the success of our employees, our customers, and our company.
Trust IT is a process-driven MSP, so in addition to conscientiousness, we look for techs who pay attention to detail, are self-driven, willing to help their team, and have a servant’s heart. We’ve carefully honed our hiring methods to not only find these individuals, but to retain them.
After spending my early career in IT, then running process-driven manufacturing companies, I launched Trust IT in 2011. My first several hires were misfires. On paper, they had experience and IT skills, but they didn’t have many of the other intangibles we hire for today.
Attributes for Success
We learned that accuracy and thoroughness are two core attributes our team members need. We have four main SOPs that we build out for each client. If an SOP has 15 steps, we expect each tech to complete those steps or document why not. Everyone is responsible for improving the SOPs and keeping them up to date.
Our team members also need a high level of customer service, so they must care about doing quality work, are patient, and get joy out of resolving issues.
Finally, our techs need a spirit of camaraderie. If they see a team member struggling with a challenging service ticket, we want them to be thinking, What can I do to help them be successful? Can I point them to a good SOP in IT Glue? Could I spend 10 minutes and walk them through why we do things a certain way?
Testing for Success
Our recipe for identifying the right-fit candidates includes several tests: the HireSelect personality assessment from Criteria Corp., the DiSC profile, and an IT skills essay test. They all reveal different things. For instance, if they don’t take the personality assessment after they send us their resume, that lets us know they’re not serious about their application.
With the essay test, they must put their troubleshooting thought process down on paper, which is more important to us than whether they know how to fix the issue. It also reveals their documentation skills. If they give us five words back, that’s a good indication of the level of effort they’re likely to put into writing SOPs.
You can’t just send assessments to a candidate after they apply without investing time and engaging with them, however. I typically schedule a 10-minute Zoom interview with promising candidates, so they have a chance to assess Trust IT and vice versa. I gauge how they interact, how they present themselves on camera, if they are on time, etc.
If they’re a quality individual, there’s often a very short window to hire them, so we balance that with our process. For someone we identify as a true all-star, we try to mirror the process of bringing on a potential client by investing more time in getting to know them up front, say over lunch or a visit to meet the team.
Keeping the Funnel Full
A great hiring process is just one part of the equation. We also try to keep the candidate funnel full. When we’ve identified a quality candidate, we go through the hiring process with them even if we don’t have an open spot. If it’s a good fit for both of us, we call them when a position opens up. If they are still interested, it expedites the hiring process.
Working with business coach Manuel Palachuk, we set a goal that I would remove myself from tech work and focus on growing the business. With the ability to now identify and hire quality techs, I’ve been able to turn over the technical responsibilities and trust in my staff to develop the skills they need to provide quality support to our clients.