February 9, 2016 by Paulo Gomes

The IT Guy in the Wild: Three Essential Traits To Look for in Your Next IT Hire

The IT Guy in the Wild: Three Essential Traits To Look for in Your Next IT Hire

The best candidates have all three traits and are who you should hire

Shhh – did you see him? There, behind the servers! If you’re really quiet, you just might catch a glimpse of the elusive IT guy, or Technologicus geekii, in his natural habitat.

Of course, we‘ve been studying IT guys in the wild for decades (let’s say we’re digital natives), trying to figure out who they are, how they work, and how best to match them up with the companies who need them. By now, we have a pretty good grasp of what makes for a successful IT team member. We’ve been able to help companies across Canada find the perfect candidates for their open IT positions—and we’d like to help you too. When you’re searching for an IT gal to add to your team, there are three traits you should always look for to ensure you’re hiring the right person. There are a lot more factors when we match candidates with companies, but if the person doesn’t have these traits, you’re just wasting your time.

1. Cultural Fit
Your company culture is a huge deciding factor in the way new hires fit in – and your new IT guy is no exception. In the wild, IT folks tend to travel with others who have similar work preferences and personality types, so it’s best to emulate that environment as closely as possible in your business. Are you a fun-loving, rowdy bunch who wear jeans every day and hang out together at a bar each week on Beer Tuesdays? Or are you a quieter, more formal group? Making sure someone was the right fit used to be considered a fluffy, unimportant part of hiring. Yeah, the person might be a jerk, but a genius jerk…so it’s worth it. Guess what—it isn’t worth it. A toxic person on your team brings the entire team down. Productivity suffers. Nerves fray. Tensions mount. And people quit. If you don’t have a good fit from the start, you never will and the costs will be huge.

2. Personal Character
IT guys in the wild display many different personal character traits, but the most successful ones are those that demonstrate drive, curiosity, and flexibility. Drive ensures that they are always looking to better themselves and their workplace, curiosity means that they will continue to pursue avenues of learning as new technologies emerge, and flexibility allows them to adapt to the changing needs of your business and the evolving world of IT. How did the best of the best in IT get there? Hard, freakin’ work. Always learning. Always experimenting. Sometimes breaking things. Character and fit mesh tightly together and don’t think if someone is quiet and reserved that they aren’t driven self-starters. You have to look at how your IT team is now and bring a person in who doesn’t just mesh, but augments the team in whole new ways.

3. The Right Skills
Yes, skills are last. You can teach and learn skills (if you have the background and character), you can’t as easily teach someone not to be a jerk. The ideal IT guy has a lot more than just IT-related skills under his belt. The most successful IT gals in the wild have the education and the experience, yes – but she also has other vital skills at her disposal, like amazing communication chops and mad critical thinking skills. Interestingly, we’ve found that both IT guys with a formal IT education and self-taught IT guys can be equally successful – but there’s no substitute for experience. The best of the best see what skills are and learn them. Great IT folks build on solid foundations and depth and pick up what’s needed along the way.

When you find someone who meets all these criteria for your business, don’t hesitate, make the offer before someone else does. Making that perfect match is much harder than it sounds! And if you are having trouble finding just the right fit, call Microserve today. We’ll hand-pick the best matches for your unique needs from our pool of thousands of qualified, screened IT candidates, and work with you until you’ve found the right one.

Paulo Gomes
About Paulo Gomes
Paulo Gomes is the Business Development Manager for Western Canada responsible for identifying and developing new client prospects, managing existing client relationships, and ensuring successful delivery of Microserve staffing services and solutions to clients. Paulo has decades of IT and recruiting experience with a talent for finding people who are the right fit for your company.

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