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Staffing Your IT Department

Cards Technology

Hiring and retaining IT professionals has gotten more and more difficult as technology becomes a mainstay in all types of business. Technology unemployment dropped to 1.9 percent in 2018, making it even more difficult to be a competitive employer to IT staff members. Here, Cards Technology founder and CEO Sam Card discusses IT hiring challenges and options.

Q: What are some common challenges businesses face when looking to hire in-house IT professionals in Delmarva?

Sam Card: It’s really a buyers’ market for IT professionals today because they can pick and choose which jobs they want. Because unemployment among IT people is so low, they seek out jobs that put them on a good track for their career while providing satisfaction and opportunity.

Often, businesses looking to hire in-house IT employees don’t have a clear picture of what they need to hire for. Because of this, job roles aren’t defined by technical skills which makes it almost impossible to provide performance metrics, a training path or a career plan for tech employees.

Job descriptions lack detail when the hiring manager only knows that the computers need to work and nothing else about the aspects of the job. This actually can lead to over-hiring in IT. When you over-hire, you’re paying for skills and expertise you don’t need for your IT systems, and the employee may get discouraged quickly because of lack of challenges or boredom.

Q. What are your recommendations for business owners who want to hire in-house IT staff?

Sam Card: The first thing you need to do is define the requirements for the job. Here are some considerations for that:

  • What technical skills are needed?
  • Will they be responsible for developing IT strategy?
  • Do you want them to manage the budget and monitor expenses?
  • Are business skills needed to support operations?

As a high-performing business, you want to be sure job roles are well laid out and new hires are properly trained. A formal training process is preferred to casual, social training from coworkers.

Q. My business is small, and I don’t want to hire in-house IT staff. Is a managed IT provider a good option for me?

Sam Card: Outsourcing IT can have great cost efficiencies regardless of staff count and revenue. Most importantly, if technology is important to your business, you can’t withstand disruptions to your operations just because you can’t find an IT person to hire. A managed IT provider maintains a staff of IT professionals with the best qualifications and vast experience to keep disruptions to your business practically nonexistent.