Business Tech Playbook

#17 – How to Interview for IT Help

5 months ago
Transcript
Speaker A:

This is the business tech playbook. Your source for it, help for your business. It has been so long. Like, I know you guys get these podcasts every two weeks, but for us, we knocked out a bunch and then had vacations, had new customer onboardings, got sick, you know, name it. And now we're back to the microphone, finally catching up. So, BJ, it's been forever. I miss you.

Speaker B:

I know, right? We were just literally talking, and I don't think we've actually recorded a podcast for, like, four weeks, which is about four weeks too long between traveling to conferences. And I'm pretty sure you hacked up a lung. Maybe both of them. I'm surprised you're back and talking.

Speaker A:

All I'm saying is my voice is back now, and I'm ready for karaoke before Thanksgiving.

Speaker B:

Karaoke? The Christmas party coming up. So this is being recorded.

Speaker A:

Wait, what?

Speaker B:

A little bit before what?

Speaker A:

This is when you tell me there's Karaoke at the company Christmas party.

Speaker B:

Oh, no, I'm just saying you're doing karaoke at the company Christmas party. I'm not saying we're doing karaoke at the Christmas party. All right. I feel like you're the person who stands on the table.

Speaker A:

And I'll bring my email gloves and hair, and we'll do some Helena just for you.

Speaker B:

Oh, man. Let's do it. Hotel California. Let's go, baby.

Speaker A:

I'm your host, Rob Zolson.

Speaker B:

And I'm William Pote with Etop Technology. And we're here bringing you the business tech playbook. And we have a really incredible topic for you today.

Speaker A:

So we're sitting around having a conversation, like, what should we talk about next? Number one, if you're listening and you got something that you want to go over and you think would be a good episode choice, email us. Right. [email protected]. Let us know what you want. But the idea that we came up with is BJ and I have both been in interviewing scenarios where we've had to interview different employees. And we see a lot of people that are in the position when they own a small medium business that they just don't know what to just. They need to hire an IT guy or hire a managed service provider like us. And it's some of the same process. You interview the guy for a job position or you interview that MSP to take over that job position. So it's the same hot seat. And BJ and I have been in quite a few different scenarios where people just don't know what to say they don't know what to ask. They're not the expert in the field, and yet they're trying to hire someone that they believe is qualified for it. So we're here to give you a podcast to give you some pointers on what you should be asking in those interview questions, what you should be vetting out people in this arbitrary 230 minutes, two hour sessions that you'd have for interviewing a person that isn't known expertise topic that you're vetted in.

Speaker B:

And that's exactly. I'm a pretty technical person. I know my way around very well, and I still struggle hiring people sometimes. I know what I'm looking for. So I couldn't even imagine an employer or HR person that has no idea about technology, looking for an actual technical person or dealing with a technical transition. And the reality is, we literally were just talking about this right before. The biggest reason we don't win a client isn't because they chose somebody else. It's because they just don't know how to make the decision, which is the entire point of this podcast. And so our goal is to come up with some kind of key tips, some good ways to think through. How do we ask these questions? How do we find out if this person's not just a good culture fit, but can they actually do their job?

Speaker A:

So, number one, start with, if you're looking for someone, whether it be someone you want to hire for a position or external company, you should be doing the same process. You should not be. Well, if it's a company, I guess I'll just trust in their expertise. You should be vetting them out. You get references just like you would get on a normal resume for other individual. In fact, because they're a business, you should be getting much more details on those references than you would be. As for a normal employed candidate. So step one, I would say ask for references.

Speaker B:

I think there's a couple of things. So, for an employee, if you have the option or you know somebody who's technical, have them assist you with creating the job description and have them assist you. We've even done interviews for clients that needed to hire somebody because they literally just didn't know anything about the technology. Like, they know how to interview and kind of get a gut feeling about the person, but they don't know how to ask the questions around. I heard somebody call it the speeds and feeds, but the numbers of it. If you have a managed service provider, pay them a couple of $100 for an hour to just help you build that job. Description and sit with you. That's actually a very good way to do it. Personally, when we're hiring, one of my favorite things to do is have the prospective candidate actually do a lab work through half a dozen kind of vague questions in our lab environment. And I found that just by watching how somebody uses a computer, I can get a really good feeling of whether they're going to be a good fit for us. And I know that's kind of an not objective thing, but at the same time, it's proven to be very successful for us.

Speaker A:

I got more questions on this lab. I was not participated in this lab because I'm a remote employee. But am I expecting a lab test this Christmas when I come to California?

Speaker B:

Well, you're definitely going to get a lab test, but I'm not that kind. You're going to be going to quest. Going to quest.

Speaker A:

Some people actually use instance to put the test. What's the word? Prove?

Speaker B:

The pudding proof is in the pudding.

Speaker A:

Proof is in the pudding. There you go. That's what I'm looking for. The proof is in the pudding. And what they do is they can actually hire a third party company and they can put it a test exam. I've been through a company where they hire all different types of employees, all the way from sea level to someone that's just digging a hole with a shovel, and they put everybody through just generalized company tests. They pay a third party company, they make sure that they can at least do basic math, stuff like that. You can also do that with an IT person. So if you get someone that doesn't have certifications, doesn't have experience, but they say that they're capable, well, then you can find a third party test, but rather than hire someone that's an unknown and trusting a third party, test those references again. If you have a lab and you have that ability, great. But if you have someone that says, hey, this guy has done this for me many times, that should be a valid enough proof, even if it's. What's the word I'm looking for? Even if it's not a company that you can call, you can at least know a validation of that person using details like LinkedIn. And even LinkedIn has. What are those? Where people validate that they.

Speaker B:

Recommendations.

Speaker A:

Yes. Recommendations is a great way to look into someone's profile.

Speaker B:

Well, I know that the second we start looking, I spend a lot of time diving into kind of that social side of life. I definitely dive deep into LinkedIn, Facebook, if I can find people, we definitely do reference checks on everyone. We do run most everyone through our lab. We've actually been changing it to more of a capture the flag style of thing. Our last hire, we actually did it in our space. They call it like a CTF or capture the flag where it's go look for this thing, and then when you find it, you basically put it back into our CTF system and that capture the flag. Basically, we can see how long it took them, we can see what information they captured. Did they find the right thing? It helps us kind of see can they work their way through a problem? And at the end of the day, the biggest thing we all need to take away from any interview, whether it's with a person or a company, is can they actually solve your problems. So when you interview their references, ask them questions like, how did they respond in an incident when there was an emergency, how did they handle it? And then just listen. Because if they responded and kind of got chaotic and it took them a long time to kind of get recouped and it solved the problem, that might not be the right person for you. But if they were like, no, they solved the problem. They were calm. And again, we recognize that people don't always tell the truth, but start asking questions other than like, are they a good person? Because they're going to say, yes, this is a person's reference. But if you start asking questions like, how are their communication skills? What does an email look like? How are you interacting with them? How did they respond?

Speaker A:

So some of the interview questions that I'm looking for is I'm looking for a persona of troubleshooters and persistence. So when I've been in interviews, I was asked this before and in an interview job that I landed and they asked, it was a very unique question. Generally you get like, oh, what's your best attribute? What's your greatest weakness? It's like what I like to call softball questions. What you want is the real meat and potatoes. So I got asked and it took me back for a minute. They said, what is the one job project, instance thing you were working on where you kept working on it without ceasing other than bathroom breaks, how long was it and what was that task of yours? I'm like, wow, what a question. And luckily I was lucky enough to sit back and go, well, I worked pretty near 50 hours without sleep. This one Project, trying to emulate a game onto a mobile device years before it was thought of. And I got a cease and desist letter from a company for doing it. Nintendo got me the job, you know what I'm saying? It got me the job. But that question, if someone says, well I think I put 4 hours into something, maybe they just haven't had the Experience. And that tells you something right there. If they did say something, it really shows the tenacity of the person that they're willing to put forth the effort and energy to get to the resolution and resolve it. So that is a knack that bar none. I think a technician should haVe.

Speaker B:

One of the questions I really liked, one of our team asks this question is describe something complex to me around one of your favorite hobies or things to do. And it's a if they have no complex hobies or it doesn't necessarily have to be a hobby, but explain something complex to me and then just listen to how their brain works through the issue.

Speaker A:

The analogies, the analogies, the explain like I'm five, it's the open ended question.

Speaker B:

It's the how do they think a nontechnical person, hiring a technical person is going to have to suss out how that person thinks and whether they can solve problems without knowing if the technology is accurate. Basically, we personally like asking show us your latest PowerShell script, because people are very proud. So Powershell is a type of programming language for, it's a scripting language in Windows. And so you can use it for automation, you can use it for installing programs. There's a lot of things you can use it for. And so we specifically are asking people that we hire nowadays, tell me about your last PowerShell script that you made that saved some time. And especially as we look at process automation, we're looking for people that have that mind that's geared towards saving time and automating things.

Speaker A:

Definitely the mindset behavior I'm trying to remember, there was this famous quote from a company called Mackenzie. They massive consultant company for all of the Fortune 500 companies and whatnot. They do tons of project management and they ask intentionally open ended question to the interviewee. It's not for if you get it wrong or right, it's 100% to show their model of thinking and how they would tackle a question. You can tell someone to go get you coffee. And when they stop and say, well, what flavors two pumps? Is it just on Tuesdays and they can't move forward? Or if you just said get me coffee. And they come up with a creative thing, they go to Starbucks, they get their favorite coffee. Do they open a closet and pull out some Folgers? It just shows what their initial thoughts are. Their first go to reaction, essentially to answer the question, they know they have to have an answer. And if they ask follow up questions that might show what type of person you're trying to hire, good or bad.

Speaker B:

Honestly, I almost always prefer when somebody has more questions for me than I do for them. I really enjoy interviewing people that ask me questions because it shows that they've thought about it a little bit and they want to know what kind of work environment they're getting into. Anytime I've not been asked questions, it's always been kind of a, whoops, maybe.

Speaker A:

We shouldn't have hired that championship Rubik's Cube competition. That tells me that that guy definitely has put in the time effort and has a passion about something and maybe can be least a little bit self sufficient when it comes to his own personal drive.

Speaker B:

Something I've come to learn as I've been an employer and hired very technical people, is that it is something that has to be a bit of a passion outside of the job. Like the people that we've hired that are just far and above the best typically are willing to put in the work out of hours because it's something that they enjoy doing and learning because it changes so much that the eight hour day oftentimes just isn't enough to keep up with it. So are they. Ask them about their home lab. Ask them what kind of offwork tech projects are they working on. Again, your goal when you're asking questions is to just surface their passions and what they're working on outside that has value for you.

Speaker A:

And now put the IT person in perspective that you're interviewing. When he's sitting down, he already is. Most likely, if you got an IT person, they're not going to be like Rob's in the microphone. He's not going to be super extroverted. He's not going to be out there and give you a lot of information. He's already putting under a heat lamp. He's nervous, he's socially awkward, and you're trying to get information out of him. So asking him about his home life is not going to quite do it. Give them the opportunity, like ask follow up questions. So what's something fun you've done recently? And if they're going to tell you some vanilla question, try again in another form, because then they'll tell you about that super cool USB rubber ducky built to do a prank on their friend that I talked about in a prior podcast.

Speaker B:

You keep your geese off my network. Speaking of which, if I'd known about Rob's and his proclivity for like. Also as you work through. Sorry, that was a really long pause. But something as you work through looking at hiring somebody, I'd really take a look at what their organization style is like, how do they organize handling multiple things at once? Because with it, there's never, only ever one thing going on. Ask them how they would prioritize multiple things and just walk through it, and then probably ask the question two or three different ways, so that way you can see if what they're saying is congruent across the multiple times that you ask them.

Speaker A:

So I sit down and ask people that same derivative. I go, you have 8 hours in a day, you have 13 hours worth of work, and you have nobody to assist you. How do you prioritize your day? You're not giving them a lot of information of what those tasks are. You're getting the thought process of what it is that they would prioritize first. And when they tell you, hey, is anybody down? That would be my first priority. 02:00 a.m.. I. Slowing down or preventing anybody from getting anything else done, and they go down the list. Then you get their thought process of how they're going to be emergent to you. With zero training, you're not telling them what the priority already is. You just get their natural instinct on that priority. Training, that's pretty crucial with someone in it, especially when you have someone new that hasn't lived in the business environment, and they don't understand that that one person in that one department takes down ten people. They don't understand the impact of an individual, and they already have the natural tendency to find out that's a golden person to hire.

Speaker B:

Well, and so much about it is just incident management, and it's dealing with, potentially at any given time, ten to 15 different things coming in. We've worked personally very hard to minimize our overall impact on people, but in any given day, we're still dealing with 20 to 30 or 40 tickets a day. And so we're constantly just reviewing, prioritizing, and understanding what's the most important and then sorting it, and then working things in that order. And so it's just a constant reprioritization, understanding, like, what are we doing? How are we doing it? Can we do it better? And anyone that you hire is going to need that same thought process.

Speaker A:

Ask what they would do in the scenario, hey, you get three requests. Where do those requests come from? Are you ready to answer the phone? Are you going to be documenting this? Have those conversations and ask them what they've done in the past, they'll tell you right away. It's like, well, I'm ready to answer the phone. I take care of issues. I drop on the drop of the hat that tells you that person has been in an environment where it's not a dispatch model, where they're going to be what I'd like to call a firefighter. They're ready just to take the phone call, deal with it, jump on it. And generally those people get the issue done, are focused on uptime, but don't have a tendency, generally from bad habits, from other companies, of being proactive. So they're just there to put out fires. They're not there to stop new ones from coming up and red flag. Some people in some companies believe that if they can continue having those fires happen, it's job security, and then they believe that they're going to get a better it budget, they're going to get bonuses. That's really not a place that you want to be hiring into.

Speaker B:

No, that's a really good point, because if people aren't willing to say no, to me, this is very culture dependent at the company, too. Some companies are very. We had a previous client that they literally could not make one decision unless there was a fire. It was not a fun company to work with, not because they weren't good people, they were great people, but literally every single thing had to be an emergency to get done. And so they were dealing with a half a million square foot warehouse and garments. Literally, that entire operation was just like one fire to the next. Nobody stopped and went, maybe we should look at the bigger problem. And it's like they never got budget until something was completely on fire. Personally, that's not a really work shouldn't be constantly chaos. And so you want to have somebody who's got that personality of going, let's slow this down.

Speaker A:

Will I present things? They say, no, I turn it off on purpose and say, it broke anyway. And now there's a fire, and suddenly I get budget approval. Whoa. Wow. Red flag. Red flag. Yeah. Finding an honest person is pretty important.

Speaker B:

To be fair, his company probably said, run it into the ground, and he knew that if he did run it into the ground, eventually it would be an absolute fire. I mean, I'm not defending too much, but make sure that there's budget to keep things working. Don't just say, sorry, you don't get any budget, but you have to keep everything working with a 99.99% uptime, have realistic expectations of what people can and cannot do.

Speaker A:

I got to say, that's got to be the biggest learned behavior I've ever seen, is, oh, I only get approval when things are broke. Guess who's grabbing a hammer. Such a nightmare.

Speaker B:

Yeah, right.

Speaker A:

So other questions about security is, how do you feel about security? Is the biggest softball pitch question. Oh, it's the foremost of that. That's all I live for, is security. Well, you should be asking of how he believes password policies should be handled, and then he'll tell you, oh, they need to be six characters, a capital letter, and I wouldn't worry about it. Having him explain to you how he would do a password policy. You think it's something simple, especially in it. You expect us it people to ask, I want a million character password. But when they sit down and tell you what they have for a password, well, set passwords, they get to pick what they want. This is how often I would reset a password. You can talk to any MSP and ask for a real password policy, and that gives you an idea of the guy's experience and how he's handled security in the past. That's at least one easy lob that you can send in his direction, something.

Speaker B:

That you might actually consider. So our first podcast was about the five kind of pillars of cybersecurity and involvement with cyber insurance. Honestly, what are four or five major things that you would do to improve the security of any company you worked at? And if they reply with like, MFA backups, patching and firewall security, these are some things that are going to really dramatically improve your environment.

Speaker A:

Almost any type of new software deployment, hardware deployment. What it is, it's never going to be perfect, but you're going to see his mindset on how he attackled the project. And more importantly, he'll tell you the things that you're looking for here is that they planned it in a maintenance window that contacted the department and they planned a date. You want to see that he's not interruptive to his work, number one. And you want to see that, how communicative he is with the vendor, honestly.

Speaker B:

Yeah, that's a good point. I mean, we do project work constantly, and so much of the, it's funny, a lot of it, people actually bring in an MSP to do that project work for them because we're seeing things on the daily, daily basis, weekly basis, monthly basis. We do domain migrations, and we do tons of these things on a monthly basis. And so we're comfortable with dealing with that change and project managing it but like an in house IT person, they might only do a server upgrade every five years. And so honestly, a valid answer might be I'd look for a consultant to come in and help me manage this upgrade because it's something that I don't do every day. That's actually a really good answer.

Speaker A:

Yeah, having them say that this was above my skill set and we leaned into a vendor to help is not a negative on that interview at all. Normally on paper you think it is because you want that guy to be able to handle everything, but seeing that he's willing to stop, ask questions and do it right is gold.

Speaker B:

So we see these things constantly and we still lean on vendors for help. We have a client who's going through a big ERP upgrade. We are experts at keeping their environment running, but we're having to rely heavily on their ERP vendor to do the actual line of business upgrade because we could probably do it well. Let's be honest, based on how this project is going, we probably could have done it and it would have been smoother, but that's beside the point. But at the end of the day, we lean very heavily on their line of business vendor because they have the ties with the actual software developers. They have very close ties on these things.

Speaker A:

They're doing something because that's all they've known or they found a creative way of doing something else. So try to capture that person's request is what you're looking for in an interview and seeing how they could even adapt process improvement to the rest of the department.

Speaker B:

Well, and that's the other big thing that you're looking for, is ask them how they change the nature of their last job. Like what have they done as a process improvement? What changes have they made or helped implement to help move things forward and make it a better workplace? Because again, you're looking like it. Folks in general, in my mind, really are very driven to improve things. As long as you're not lazy in it, there's always something to do, even if there's not a ticket or a fire directly in front of you. We could be improving documentation, we could be improving an automation script. We could be figuring out how to better on and off board, or better on and offboarding checklists. There's so much we can be doing even if there's literally nothing to do. So ask them how they improved their last place of work.

Speaker A:

I'm proud to say that at etop I've been here now this December 1 year, and in that amount of time, from the initial training to even now, the entire processes that we've done continually evolve, we'll get it. So much so that they could risk change fatigue. But the documentation and the training that we get really show that we're willing to adapt honestly, and I'm proud of it. I know I said that because you hate the term change fatigue, but I'm happy we make those changes. And honestly, if I wasn't a year in and if it wasn't like this, I would not love my job to the point I do. The difference between E Top and E bottom.

Speaker B:

Yeah, right. We're trying to be e top, and it's like we have this constant, we very much live the Kaizen continuous improvement mindset. But man, sometimes it's like, I'm the owner and I love change. Here's how we're going to organize things. Here's how we're going to train things. And internally, I look for people that want to improve our business because if they're not used to change and moving and getting better, they're really going to struggle here.

Speaker A:

So, softball question you can give them is, how do they handle change? If they tell you, if it's not broke, don't fix it. Not the person I'm looking for. If they tell you that that's part of every day. I don't expect to be doing the same thing in six months, is brilliant. Attitude change is not easy for anyone. But there's a difference between change fatigue and positive change fatigue. Where you're sitting back and going, man, that's a lot of effort, and I'm not getting anywhere, that feels real bad. That means you put in all of this change, your operations didn't improve anything. But when you sit back and go, hey, my end users, my customers have all this efficiencies, all of this clarity, all this extra communication, everything is going in the right direction. That change fatigue feels just like a new muscle. It's a completely different experience. And find a creative way to ask that that fits your business model. Just asking, how do you feel about change? Definitely is a softball question, but you'd be surprised on the answers you get.

Speaker B:

Well, exactly. I mean, it's very much an ongoing, there's going to be change in any industry. We found that. Something that we found personally is that people that are good as an internal IT person are not necessarily a good fit for MSPs or a company like ours. So MSP is again just a managed service provider, but we're dealing with 30 different environments or 30 different clients in any given day or any given week. And so you have to be able to task switch crazy fast, and you have to keep the context of what's happening with this customer. What are we doing? So it's a lot of fun, but you have to be very comfortable just having a fast pace. A lot of internal IT people are know, MSPs are grinders. And it's like, well, okay, yeah, we do grind hard. Like, we're constantly working. There's never not something to do. But a lot of it comes down to. But it's also a very good way for us to educate people.

Speaker A:

You'll be in a meeting and be know, I wonder how we can handle that. And Jamie will at the tip of the hat saying, here's a document. I have it set. And by the next, very next day, it'll already be up to date. Because her passion is making that we have great communication and documentation. It's such a fun person to work with.

Speaker B:

She's incredible. Yeah. You even made her her own logo. Yes. Jamie Johns, Jamie John's.

Speaker A:

Because she's freaky fast.

Speaker B:

Freaky fast documentation.

Speaker A:

Yes, freaky fast documentation. So if you're a small shop and you're trying to find that one it guy, communication is a first and foremost, because he might not be there forever. Nothing is completely forever. So it's nice to have documentation for other help in case he leaves. But more importantly, you don't want to live under a silo where know with the responsibility of Brian and it you want to be able to. Brian's out sick for the day. Guess what? We need to work. And I need to give this to a vendor. I need to do it myself. Whatever needs to get donE, you need documentation. So Brian's brain is on paper.

Speaker B:

Well, and that's like. So one of the biggest things we work for internally at Etop is to stay away from tribal knowledge. What is tribal knowledge, you might ask? The way we treat it is something where if Rob's, heaven forbid, wins, well, wins the lottery. Everybody says, I totally switched reasons. Rob's wouldn't show up for work tomorrow.

Speaker A:

Everybody used to use the analogy through for years that got hit by lightning, but that's just too dark. So the case Rob wins the lottery and doesn't need to work anymore.

Speaker B:

Well, and that's exactly it. So if Rob's wins the lottery, I never can get a hold of him ever again. How are we going to handle issues that only Rob's knew about? Do we have a culture of documentation? Is there a place for them to store it. We use a documentation tool where we have a global knowledge base. We have all of our clients, all of our clients documentation. We have their knowledge base tied to their article set up, like what kind of mentality they have. And again, so much of this is what you're trying to figure in 230 minutes or 260 minutes conversations. And it's literally just how do we. We're trying to give you enough content so that way, as you're going through and interviewing somebody or a provider. So a lot of these questions should be asked of a provider. Something I've noticed, as I've been doing the sales process a lot, is I'm trying to show our culture and what type of company we are to our prospects, because if we align, we're going to be a good fit. If we don't, I want them to run away as fast as possible. Because if we have a good culture fit, even company to company, it's going to be a way better relationship. So it's not an easy thing to do, honestly. If you want us to help you do interviews on technology, reach out to us, we'll figure out something if you don't have somebody that can help you with it. Now Rob gets to interview.

Speaker A:

Right? So one little tangent in yesteryear, right. I picked up a quick job to appease my wife. ShE told me to pick her the business, and now I'm married to her. So you see how that went. So I sold my business entities many, many years ago when I was young and got the first job just to get her off my back, which was Walmart, of course. Immediately I went through the process, became a manager at Walmart, and then, of course, had delightful interviews. So I just wanted to have a quick giggle at the end of the podcast here. One of my favorite interviews, I'm sitting down with an individual and he looks well enough, clean cut. I'm sitting there doing the interview process, and at Walmart, you're not allowed to have a ton of creative questions. You have to go through the Walmart script. So I'm asking lowball questions that corporate Walmart has to have, and I ask, you know, tell me something, that you're good. So it was something low ball. He just leans in and looks at me and goes next.

Speaker B:

I'm like, wow.

Speaker A:

I'm like, I'm sorry, I don't think I heard you. And he said, pass. I'm like, that's answered any question. They would have forced me to hire him. But because he passed the questions, that's how he didn't get hired at Walmart that day.

Speaker B:

How bad of a potential employee do you have to be to not get hired at Walmart?

Speaker A:

He could have literally, I mean virtually in that situation, he could have told me that he had picked his toes and he might have passed as long as it's not something harmful or hate filled question. He would have been hired, but he just said pass, so ain't happening on my watch.

Speaker B:

That's hilarious. Something else, and this is a little bit off topic, but our last couple of hires have actually been from very nontraditional sources.

Speaker A:

Oh, that's pretty valid of this podcast. So if you're looking for, don't just go to Monster.com or whatever the kids use nowadays.

Speaker B:

Indeed. Ziprecruiter LinkedIn Our last hire was a part time project engineer. He posted on Reddit that he was looking for work and happened to be in Southern California. I called the guy. I had a really good gut feeling about him. But then we ran him through our CTF capture the Flag lab and experiment, and he did all of them in like 1520 minutes. And when one of our engineers is like that guy's, he's got it. And we're like, cool. And now he's an employee. Rob's came from a discord. We have three current employees that came from the same Discord channel, and it gave me a chance to get to know people ahead of time before hiring.

Speaker A:

I'm pretty sure it was MSP geek, but we were actually mutual on like three different servers.

Speaker B:

It's MSPSRs.

Speaker A:

MSPSR us. There you go. Shout out.

Speaker B:

I know you posted. Yeah, right. Yeah. Shout out to MSPs. Rs. Don't go there unless you're an MSP. You're going to find things you didn't want to know.

Speaker A:

The interworkings of nerds. Yes.

Speaker B:

Yeah, right. It's a dark and scary place, but.

Speaker A:

All the community IT professionals that get together to share information, and it's a great networking group. Those are places where you're going to find real professionals, and they have spots in the area where people are saying, hey, looking for a job?

Speaker B:

I did, and that's it. So I was at the conference last week, and one of the things that they said, and obviously this was aimed at MSPs. So companies like us, but they're saying that we need to create talent factories. So it was just a really interesting idea where it's like, and I also talked to somebody a bit before that where it was like technology apprenticeships. You want to get people trained in and give them experience. And obviously this is going to be aimed at more it focused companies or companies with a bigger, more established IT department where they can do that training. But that's the other thing is if you find somebody who's the right fit and willing to really go out on a limb to try to figure it out, that might be a really good hire because they are willing to spend every spare second of their time learning. And I know that internally, one of the big things we're going to work on is we're going to really just create like a talent pipeline where we start hiring people into our lower positions and just really focusing on training. And I don't even know how this is going to turn out yet, but within two years, this has got to be something that we're doing, because I need to be able to hire people that have the right attitude and train them know, right attitude and right aptitude. Do they get it? Do they want it? And can they do it with a little bit of education?

Speaker A:

Again, apply this to, if you're going to hire an individual or apply this to a managed service provider, now, know that when you're asking these questions, you should be asking, not the salesperson of an MSP, that's the foot in the door. You should be asking these people to the manager, the owner of the MSP, because he's the one that steers the ship. If you're trying to get these questions answered and you're asking somebody on the outside or that isn't in control, there's no way to really validate those questions. And any manager or MSP owner unwilling to answer these questions because they don't have the time isn't the person you want to be talking to. Interview process. If you can do an hour twice with a person for an interview, there's no reason that a C level person.

Speaker B:

There'S a lot of ways that we can work together to really maximize your business.

Speaker A:

I came to ETop, hey, what's your background in firewalls? Well, I got A-B-C and D. I'm like, well, we're on F, a different brand called F. I'm like, I've heard of it. I've seen it in the field. I've troubleshot it like twice. Would you be willing to get trained in it? Absolutely. In fact, I figured that's a prerequisite of getting hired. It should be part of the conversation that you'll have with some of your tools. If people are going, well, it's not my favorite, but yeah, I'll do it that's showing the motivation they are to try to learn something new.

Speaker B:

Exactly. Well, I think we say all of this to say there's a lot of ways to figure this out. Actually, one of the other ways is if you don't have the time or the knowledge to figure this out, really take a look at some of the different staffing companies, like VAR staffing. Robert Half some of these companies have really strong technical sides where you can tell them, hey, here's what I'm looking for, and then they can kind of interpret what you have and what you need and then go do some. May, it's not going to be perfect, but they also have some skin in the game to make sure they find you the right person. So that way they get their commission. So that could be another way for you to also find that proper technical talent without, and some of them even have what they would call a bench. Like they have somebody they can put in your environment. You can find out if you like them and if they do a great job, then you can hire them. That kind of thing. So it's another way to hire that deeply technical person without necessarily having the knowledge of how to hire them.

Speaker A:

Well, if you're looking for someone, you can find us etoptechnology.com. We're here to help you.

Speaker B:

We're kind of good.

Speaker A:

I mean, we'll work outside the Redlands area as well, but you just got to call BJ and see if that'll work out.

Speaker B:

Yeah, that's right. So I'll say if you're in the Southern California area, we very much could be the right fit. If you're not in the Southern California, still reach out. We might not be a fit, but we probably know somebody in your area that is good. And if you just want to make fun of us and send know hilarious gag gifts, we accept those too. All right, we're starting to wander, but we appreciate you listening. If you made it all the way.

Speaker A:

To the end here, hire that new person and hire correctly or hire us. Until next podcast.

Speaker B:

See you glitter.

Episode Notes

For more episodes got to http://businesstechplaybook.com

Find more on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/william-pote-75a87233

This podcast is provided by the team at Etop Technology: https://etoptechnology.com/

Special thanks to Giga for the intro/outro sounds: https://soundcloud.com/gigamusicofficial