When it comes time to hire or promote personnel, what qualities should today’s IT manager be looking for? It seems like all the resumes read the same: degree in computer science from blah blah college, X years on the IT help desk, so and such. What skills are going to take your IT department into the future? What skills mark the worker that can do more than the basic minimum job requirements? Here’s your list.
1. Phone Skills
Though modern help desk software offers tons of options to calling the help desk, much of the work still is (and probably always will remain) by phone. Whether it’s users calling for help, managers calling to check in, or outside customers or vendors calling to get onto the system, phone work is an important part of the help desk.
2. Security Skills
Security is no longer an add-on to the IT infrastructure. It’s now an integral part of every system, software package, and operational procedure on the help desk. Look for candidates that have strong cyber security skills, including the ability to define and identify advanced persistent attacks, knowledge on how to stop an attack in progress, and skills to help collect forensic evidence following a threat.
3. Hardware Skills
Can your workers trouble shoot a PC? Can they detect glitches in the servers, or service a mainframe? Increasingly, computer science programs are focusing on the software side of IT, leaving out important skills for maintaining, upgrading, and repairing the hardware. If you find a candidate that has strong hardware skills, grab them as fast as you can.
4. Cloud Computing Skills
The cloud is becoming a mainstream part of IT operations. About 70 percent of all businesses have adopted some form of cloud storage or application, with even more planning to do so in the near future. Look for candidates that have thorough knowledge and understanding of cloud infrastructures and are able to work cloud services into onsite operations seamlessly.
5. Project Management Skills
Acquiring new equipment, working towards cloud adoption, and other undertakings by the IT department mean managing ongoing projects with deadlines along the way. Workers with the ability to commit to and manage an ongoing project of varying scopes is a valuable asset on the help desk. Even better is finding an candidate capable of using advanced project management software to get the job done.
6. Database Management Skills
Data is also making its mark on the help desk, and a number of companies have either undertaken big data projects or plan to look into it soon. Whether you’re in an environment crunching big data for marketing analysis or just maintaining the standard SQL database, a help desk worker with database management and/or database administration skills is immeasurably helpful.
Of course, there are soft skills to look for too. Don’t overlook the candidate who is lacking some of the tech skills but demonstrates a strong work ethic, great attitude, and ability and willingness to learn.