It is no overstatement that when your IT systems are down, your company is out of order. Modern businesses rely on their technology nearly as much as oxygen. The quality of your tech, combined with the speed and efficiency of your IT system, makes genuine differences in how much work gets done. Bad IT can lose you clients, and it can cost you a lot of extra money chasing down problems. When you hire an IT consultant or agency, you owe it to yourself and your team to find the best candidates for the job. But if you don’t fully understand the service, it can be challenging to search for a provider. Here are a few things that you should consider when hiring an IT consultant.
- Full-Time or on-Call Consultancy: If you are looking for an IT consultant, you need to know the job description and the candidate’s expected status with your company. When you are looking for someone full-time, you will have different requirements than if you are seeking someone who occasionally provides you service. It will also affect whether the pay is by contract or salary, and how much oversight you can reasonably expect. If you need more information about hiring Managed IT services, you could have a consultant analyze your needs or the proposed project and give you some recommendations. It makes a difference if you are hiring for an overall IT support person or a specialist for a high-priority task. You don’t want to take the risk of hiring for the wrong qualities.
- Interview: For a position as essential as IT support, you cannot rely solely on a CV or resume, and you must have a detailed consultation and follow up on referrals and credentials. IT is a position of trust, and it involves access to valuable information, and potentially the smooth operation of your entire company. In the interview, you should ask questions about problem-solving and what methodology they use. Are they fond of black hat techniques, or are they a stickler for doing things above board. Do they promote practices that are in keeping with IT standards? You should also find out about their privacy and security policies. It would be best if you also asked about source ownership. Be specific about your needs. Are you looking for someone to do coding and development, or are you more interested in maintenance and physical systems management?
- Training: Educating staff on more effective procedures and protocols can be an essential element. If the consultancy is on a per-project basis, staff members will need the training to continue the work later on. Before you hire, you should indicate that staff training is part of the position.
- Contract: The more detailed the contract, the better off you will be. Cover all the expectations, including productivity, hours, payment schedule or salary, and confidentiality agreements. Also, make sure to be clear about how costs and spending is to be managed.
Information is currency, and you will want your IT people to be as trustworthy as those that handle your finances. You cannot afford to take chances. Your best bet is to take your time, ask good questions, and talk with respected agencies with a proven record that shows they have the experience and analytical skills to do the job right.