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Best Practices for Hiring IT: VARs

Best Practices for Hiring IT: VARs

Hiring IT officers to handle networking devices, technology, and troubleshooting solutions continues to be a large undertaking. Successful candidates must be highly competent, reliable, quick to respond, and skillful in a wide array of technical fields. Other important characteristics also factor into how well a new IT employee will fit into the corporate culture. Whether you are a corporate office or a value-added reseller (VAR), choosing just the right IT professionals to add to the team is on average not an enviable task.

Value-added resellers bring a new dimension to the game plan, typically offering deals on hardware, software, and other equipment, along with the technical know-how to install and support the office’s employees effectively going forward. This solid set of job requirements and qualifications can make it more difficult to find just the right employees for the job. It may also make training more rigorous and certainly expands the knowledge-base new hires must absorb in order to be effective in their roles.

Applying some best practices in your VAR business’ IT staffing process can help you to look at candidates with a new perspective, possibly uncovering the talent from right under your nose. Recruiting new talent to the VAR team will ultimately allow your company to take on new jobs and more clients, increasing your revenue and hitting other important goals for success. Consider these best practices for hiring new VAR IT staff.

Level Set the Job Qualifications

As you search for perfect IT candidates, keep in mind that your ideal ratio of talent, experience, skills, and other qualifications may not match up perfectly with any given candidate. It helps to have a clear idea of what is absolutely necessary, and what skills can be added as part of the new hire’s development plan. The VAR business is uniquely positioned to allow for employees to branch out their specialties and grow their skill sets. It’s always a good idea to clearly define the job requirements to ensure the applicants are on the same page as far as what is expected of them if they are awarded the role.

Strongly Consider Referrals

When a colleague, business partner, or other acquaintance recommends and refers a potential employee, take the referral very seriously. Most people will not attach their name to a recommendation if they are not truly comfortable vouching for the person. Employees may recall some of the best workers from their previous jobs, and if those candidates are in between work, now could be the perfect time to try to network and explore some options.

Don’t Be Blinded by Gender

Sometimes certain industries become flooded with workers of one gender or the other. It’s not necessarily a matter of avoidance, but more likely that one gender develops a stronger dominance in that particular industry. For information technology, the sway goes predominantly male. Still, this unequal distribution leaves a lot of great potential candidates out in the cold if hiring leaders lose sight of effective candidates, even unintentionally.

According to a recent report entitled Women in the Labor Force: A Databook by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women made up just 26.1% of the computer and mathematical occupations. Representation at trade shows and conferences confirms that the information tech industry is quite skewed toward men. The issue may not be so much that women are passed by, but that more men are readily filling the positions. Leaders can improve the imbalance by seeking out more female IT employees and bringing them into roles in a balanced team environment. Recruiting more women into IT positions can often bring the added value of soft skills like problem-solving abilities and good communication.

Sell the Value

As it turns out, the recruitment process isn’t just about IT job candidates selling themselves to VARs. Value-added reseller companies must also sell the value of working in the organization to win over the best candidates, especially if they are looking into other opportunities. VARs can often win over top candidates by pointing out the benefits and potential for growth and acquirement of new skills. It can also be effective to let candidates know you value innovation and look to your employees for vision in expanding the company’s horizons.

Optimize the Interview Process

In many industries, the interview process can take on two or even three interview sessions with different leaders and teams in the company. Rather than overwhelming potential employees and dragging out the whole process, consider finding ways to optimize the interview process. You can keep a strong focus on first impressions and how well each individual candidate matches the aforementioned level set job requirements and qualifications.

Put Your Best Offer Forward

Leave the haggling and negotiating for another company. If you have found a standout IT candidate that would be a great addition to your VAR IT team, act now and make the offer enticing. Don’t hold back on offering the whole package–compensation, benefits, work-life balance, opportunity for advancement, and so forth. You don’t want to risk losing the best candidate to a competitor.

Seal the Deal

Once you’ve reached an agreement with a new hire, keep the communication lines open and ensure that your new employee is properly welcomed to the company. Hiring strong IT candidates isn’t the end of the process. In most cases, it proves beneficial to spend some time and resources in offering effective onboarding procedures for the new IT workers, ensuring they are up to speed with expectations as well as job requirements and corporate culture. VAR employees who feel welcomed and prepared often feel more content and comfortable sticking around.