Geek Squad: Building a Great IT Team

The unsung heroes of any business, an IT team ensures that your hardware and software components are all well-maintained and can function at optimal levels. They work in the backdrop, supporting the entire organization’s technological needs and sometimes even rescuing the company from immediate security threats. But what does it really take to build a great IT team? Here’s a few tips for the first-time entrepreneur.

Switch to an Aggressive Recruitment Mode

A business is built by the people behind it. Without the right people, a business cannot really go as far as you’d want it to go. Put your brand in their line of scope rather than waiting for them to come to you. Scout the right IT professionals and give them an offer they cannot refuse. You can also host regular internship programs to get college students and fresh grads into your organization’s doorstep.

Hire Passionate People

You can never go wrong in hiring passionate people. Very talented techies may come in stronger skill-wise, but they often either leave for a better offer from a competing company or just resign because they feel miserable working as an IT expert. Passionate professionals with a sound knowledge and skill base can perform consistently while still improving in their line of work. They dedicate every single day to sharpening their skills and trying to solve industry-related problems.

Establish a Business Culture

As you add on to your IT team, try to establish a culture they can relate to. Be more than just the company that provides a bi-weekly paycheck. Instead, make your business feel like their second home. This can be achieved through the smallest of gestures, such as getting your IT team their own custom designed uniforms or investing in a game room where they can bond during lunch breaks or slow work days. These sort of things go a long way when you’re an employee.

Identify Your Gaps

The technological aspect of a business is too large and multi-layered that it’s not enough to hire one or two people for the job. You’ll need to record everything and then use the data collected to identify the weaknesses or gaps in your IT infrastructure. This allows you to grade the importance of your existing IT team and simultaneously identify missing talent that you need to add to the group.

Ask the Right Questions

Common questions are outdated and fails to really measure the potential of an applicant and what he/she can bring to the table. Your interview questions should be tailored to assess the applicant’s critical thinking skills. For example, rather than ask them what they look for in a team, which is mostly answered with “teamwork“, ask them what teamwork means to them.

Building a great team doesn’t necessarily require you to look for perfection. Instead, you should be focused on building a team that can effectively scramble their efforts and brainpower together to create a perfectly running system. A team that meshes well and can cover each other’s strengths and weaknesses is a priceless asset for any business, especially in the tech industry where new challenges pop up every day.

Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn't on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym.