Any company now must have technology to stay competitive. It is virtually impossible to conduct business without at least some technology such as computers, fax machines, copiers, and maybe even a dedicated server. This means things will slow down, break down, or just need maintenance. You will need an IT support company to help keep it running smoothly.
Three things to consider before hiring someone are:
- 1. Know what your company needs. Don’t contract for more than you need, but don’t underestimate your needs either.
- Be proactive. You need to keep your technology updated frequently. There is the saying that as soon as you get your computer out of the box, it is out of date. This is not altogether untrue. Make sure the person you choose is proactive as well.
- Consider price. Though it is not the only thing to consider, you do want to get the most for your money. Replacing technology can be expensive, so make sure your IT person is not suggesting it needlessly. Also, the lowest cost person is not necessarily the best bargain. Make sure they know what they are doing by checking certifications and references.
Considerations for Recruiting the Right IT Person
- Make use of the internet. It should not be the only criteria you use in hiring someone, but check their social media accounts and what others are saying about them. You can even search for a list of people in your area to consider recruiting.
- Interview all potential persons, even those who will work only as a consultant. You can get a feel of how well they will work with you, and how competent they are about what they do.
- Check all referrals. Don’t assume because they have listed a referral that the person will recommend them. Check them out. It only takes a few minutes, and may save hours of time and hundreds of dollars.
- Discuss your vision and mission with the potential recruit. Make sure they can identify with your vision and mission, and ask them about theirs. If you can’t sync with each other, there will be some discord and your company will suffer for it.
- Don’t hire yourself. Yes, you can and should be involved, and do what you can, but your time is more constructively spent in other areas. That is why you are considering outsourcing your IT chores. Even if you hire on a consultant basis, don’t spend lots of time trying to fix something if you aren’t really competent with it. Let the person you hire do it for you.
Questions to Answer
- Is the IT support company the right size for you? Do you need only one person, or multiple ones? Can this company supply what you need?
- Is the IT support company in touch with your visions? Do they understand what you want, and can they provide that? Do they thing about future growth of your company?
- Is the IT support company technically broad? Can they do more than just install new software? What can they do to keep your technology up and running?
Once you have chosen the person you feel is best for your company, it is important to get everything in writing in the form of a contract. Spell out everything, such as how to request payment for parts needed, how available they must be if you share them with another, whether they will be a subcontractor or an employee, and what method is to be used in determining charges if they are not a full time employee. Keep certificates on file, and have an agreement about how much continuing education is required and who will pay for it.