It’s Not About Getting the Right MSP People; It’s About Getting the People Right for Your Business

MSP BusinessWhen it comes to bringing new employees on board, most hiring managers zero in on skills, education, and experience. However, this is not always the most prudent approach. Hiring managers who assign a high value to a candidate’s adaptability tend to uncover diamonds in the rough that would have otherwise been passed over. Oftentimes, what matters the most is an individual’s willingness to learn and adjust across posterity. These are the people who eventually anchor the MSP business in the long run.

The Challenge of Hiring

Though most people are envious of human resources managers, the truth is these professionals have difficult jobs. Pinpointing the perfect candidate is akin to piecing a puzzle together. Just because a candidate meets the requirements of the position’s checklist does not mean he has every piece to the puzzle. Though one’s work experience, skills, and education certainly matter, his willingness to mold himself to the needs of the organization is of the utmost importance.

Those who have all the necessary qualifications and then some aren’t always the perfect fit for the open position or the organization itself. In many instances, those who look like potential superstars on paper end up being unwilling to change as the position and business evolve. Alternatively, those who are willing to adapt to change tend to have an insatiable hunger to learn.

The challenge lies in selecting the candidates that have the potential to become the “right” employees for the organization’s unique needs and demands. This challenge is compounded even more due to the fact that organizational needs will undoubtedly change as time moves forward.

Place Added Emphasis on Personality and Soft Skills Over Technical Skills

Too many companies focus on picking candidates who have developed their technical skills and amassed significant work experience in a relevant industry/position. Though technical skills are certainly important, technology changes over time. The technical skills of today might not be relevant a half-decade from now. This is precisely why hiring managers are gradually shifting toward hiring for personality, character, and adaptability.

Consider what a technical savant brings to the table versus someone with slightly inferior skills but an eagerness to learn and grow. Those who are chock full of technical knowledge and professional experience tend to rest on their laurels. Many such individuals feel as though they have put in their time and no longer have to adapt to the changing demands of their position and the industry in which the MSP business operates. Alternatively, those who have a will to learn and a desire to increase their value to the organization across posterity will inevitably provide more utility to their employer.

Do not Underestimate the Importance of Retention

Another important aspect to consider when evaluating potential new hires is their desire for new opportunities. Candidates who genuinely enjoy learning and adapting to new challenges are willing to mold themselves to the ever-changing demands of the organization. These are the types of individuals who are more likely to embrace new responsibilities, expand their skill set and remain with the company for years or even decades.

On the other hand, those who pass the “paper test” with a stacked resume often search for new positions that pay well and allow them to coast through the work day. Plenty of these highly qualified candidates will shirk at the idea of growing with the job as its responsibilities morph over time. Such individuals are much more inclined to jump ship for a new position for more money and/or a less challenging workload.

In the end, the Seemingly “Perfect Candidates” Rarely Pan Out

The moral of the story is that hiring managers should not fall in love with candidates who appear to be perfect for the open position. Even if a new hire gets off to a great start, there is no guarantee he will continue to excel and adjust to the demands of the position in the following weeks, months and years. Do not be afraid to hire an inexperienced individual who is willing to learn and listen closely to his superiors and colleagues. Though such a prospect is not ideal from day one, he has the potential to become the right fit for the MSP business.

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Mark McGarvey

Mark McGarvey is president of One Click Solutions Group, a managed services in San Francisco and security provider serving small and mid-sized businesses with 20 to 100 employees in the Bay Area. Mark began his career in msp consulting, before living in San Francisco, in the 90s as a senior support technician for a then-small company in Austin, TX called Dell. After working for a number of organizations in desktop support/management and systems administration, Mark realized a passion for two things: Ensuring computer systems ran smoothly and keeping the people that used these systems happy and productive. This passion helped him get his IT business started in San Francisco!  As a small business owner, Mark empathizes with other business owners that need computer support in San Francisco and understands the things dearest to them: Increasing productivity and efficiency and keeping costs low and ROI high.