Another way channel pros can attract talent is to emphasize that they’re serious about embracing the latest technology. “What makes an MSP so attractive? Well, you’re going to be a technologist for a technology company versus a technologist for a bank,” Bier says. A bank may not be on the cutting edge of tech, but an MSP that wants to remain competitive will be, providing employees with opportunities for ongoing learning.
Hand in hand with finding good people is keeping them once they’ve signed on. Bier says that even small IT firms should provide some kind of career path for their hires. “Maybe that looks like moving from help desk Level 1 to Level 2, to escalation, to systems admin, to network engineer,” he offers. In guiding employees through the ranks, channel pros prevent their people from stagnating in the same position.
Barber believes that providing a fun work environment (Nerf gun wars, anyone?) contributes to employee retention as well. But ultimately, it comes down to respect. “I’ve worked in Corporate America, and there’s a tendency for companies to try to get one over on their employees––they make you work late for less money and that kind of stuff,” he says. “I’m huge on just treating people fairly. Treat people like you would want to be treated––it’s [the] Golden Rule, really––and they’ll stick around.”
CAROLYN HEINZE is a freelance writer/editor.