Heard the one about the incompetent, gambling IT guy who liked a punch-up?

Heard the one about the incompetent, gambling IT guy who liked a punch-up?

Have you ever hired an IT guy or other so-called expert to fix a problem in your business only to discover that they were not the real thing? Their skills or ability to execute fell short of your requirements or expectations? They may have started well and impressed for a while but then failed to keep up or simply become complacent.

We have made recruitment mistakes too. Here is a list of them:

• Claimed to have technical assessments completed but lied, did the course work not the exams perhaps
• Had all the certifications but could not apply the knowledge to solving real world problems
• Regularly made bad assumptions and went down rabbit holes that led nowhere
• Had a gambling problem and ordered computers that went to odd addresses from where they were sold for cash
• Threatened staff with a punch up in the car park
• Preferred a chin wag with clients rather than do the work required to fix computers

Over 13 years in business employing people we have seen all sorts of “IT experts” and HR issues. In each case we have learned lessons and improved processes and recruiting practices. We now invest in careful selection, detailed interviewing followed by profiling and testing for skills and characteristics followed by more interviewing.

We then put new starters through rigorous induction training on how we do things around here with a manual that has learning tasks and meetings spread across a six-month period.

Even after all of that we use the only final filters that make sense. We trust our technical team to tell us if they are not quite right and we listen very closely to the comments of our clients. In most cases our technical team send up the warning first as they will not tolerate a pretender in their ranks as it makes their jobs harder filling in the gaps or fixing the mistakes. So the old adage of hire slowly and fire fast stacks up for us.

The questions I have for you are:

• If you are not an IT company, how do you manage a small team of IT people inside your organisation?
• Who vets them and who manages their activity and performance?
• How do you know if they are doing the right thing by your business?
• Who selects their ongoing training?

Perhaps it is time your company had an external audit of IT services performance to ensure your IT team is implementing the right solutions for data management, communications, business management and security. Right now technology utilised in business is changing with dramatic outcomes for the businesses that change. Being left behind could be an expensive mistake.

David Markus is the founder of Combo – the IT services company that is known for Business IT that makes sense. How can we help?

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