Hiring The Ideal IT Manager

hiring IT manager There are few things as stressful as being the hiring manager for a crucial open position.

Hopefully, you find the best candidate, make them an offer they accept, and your organization is better for it.

But the weight of what happens if you get it wrong also weighs on you throughout the whole process.

When this position is for your next IT manager, you feel the pressure to find someone who has the leadership skills to guide the team, the technical skills to solve IT problems, and a demeanor that fits your company’s culture.

As a technology services provider, The KR Group is no stranger to the stress of hiring for open IT positions; our hiring team reviews applications of varying skill levels for several different positions multiple times a year.

And while the process comes with its challenges, our hiring team has learned a few things over the years, and here are three qualities they suggest evaluating before making a candidate a job offer:

  1. Technical vs. managerial skills
  2. Culture fit
  3. Promoting from within vs. new hire

Remember that you know your business best. If one of the following tips seems like it absolutely would not apply, use your discretion.

However, before you write off any suggestions below, think of how adopting a different mindset could benefit your organization.

 

Hiring for Technical vs. Managerial Skills

When I graduated high school, the only perceived option I had to attain a successful career was to go to college and earn a bachelor’s degree.

hiring IT manager About 10 years later, my brothers are graduating from high school, and they haven’t heard the same narrative of the one path to “guaranteed success.”

Instead of making a list of universities to go tour, they’ve weighed options of trade schools, certificates, and attending college.

The perception of the meaning and value of a college degree has changed and evolved throughout recent years, and it’s notable how it’s happened in the IT industry. Now, hiring managers prioritize the experience and certifications candidates possess over the completion of a college degree.

For example, an applicant with a degree in business administration likely won’t compare to someone with 12 years of experience in the IT field, who’s led a team, and has multiple certifications backing it up – even if they don’t have a college degree.

Long story short, go for experience and technical certifications. And if you want extra validation of candidates’ abilities, it never hurts to have a technical aptitude test prepared to see if real-time skills match the words they put down on a resume.

 

Hiring A Culture Fit

 When it comes to hiring your next IT manager, you cannot overlook culture.

Why? hiring IT manager

When something goes really wrong in your IT department, you need a manager who can portray your company’s values while leading the rest of the team through stressful situations.

Engineers have their morale boosted when their leader is technical like them, and they know, when necessary, their manager will be in the trenches with them.

Additionally, the person you hire as an IT manager needs to fit in with the culture of the leadership and engineering teams.

Depending on the size of your organization, you could have several microcultures within Sure, you have an overarching culture for your business, but how the marketing, HR, IT, and customer service departments embody this can vary slightly.

You want someone who can be a mediator between the leadership team and IT department, and if you hire the right person, they’ll be able to do this while building and maintaining a positive culture.

 

Promoting from Within vs. Making a New Hire

From a business perspective, as the hiring manager, you have to look at all angles of what the company can afford to bend on, and this isn’t necessarily tied to monetary value.

hiring IT manager For example, if you have a team of eight IT engineers, but the only one with some leadership quality potential is your top guy, can you afford to replace his job duties with someone external? In most cases, that’s not the best decision from a business operations perspective.

On the other side of the argument, you might worry that if you don’t promote from within, you’ll lose employees.

While this may sometimes be true, promoting from within can only occur when a viable candidate is present. So, you’ll want to look at internal candidates’ skills as objectively as if they were external applicants.

If you’re the hiring manager, you need to be transparent in communicating this is how you’ll be evaluating applications for the open position. If you choose to keep it a secret, turmoil will almost certainly follow.

There are undoubtedly benefits to promoting from within; the team member already knows your business’s processes, culture, and purpose. However, you should view these as indicators of a good culture fit, which you can find in other ways with external candidates.

On the other hand, a new hire could bring knowledge and skills to the IT department that you previously lacked. As long as this person is humble, can listen before acting, and communicates effectively, they’re a fairly safe bet.

 

Finding Your Future IT Manager

While it can be stressful, hiring your organization’s next IT manager doesn’t have to be complicated.

Once you’ve received a pool of several applications, start vetting resumes and interviews using the tips you read in this article.

  • Does the candidate have the technical skills to assist your IT engineers when needed?
  • Does the person you’re considering fit into your culture and can act as a liaison between the leadership and IT team?
  • Have you been crystal clear with your existing IT employees about the process for hiring internal vs. external?

Most importantly, we wish you the best of luck recruiting and hiring your future IT manager.

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