Key Skills Recruiters Look For In IT Leaders

Executives with expertise in fast-growing technologies are in high-demand, but it takes more than technical skills to lead a team and bring products to market. In this post, 30+ year executive recruiter, Dean Madison, explains the traits and abilities that companies look for when hiring an IT executive.

Soft Skills Tech Execs

The tech economy is booming, unemployment is low, and technology experts with leadership skills are in strong demand. As new technologies like 5G, Internet of Things, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) enter the market, technology companies are eager to find executives who can lead teams effectively as they shape the markets, products, and services of the future.

But raw technical ability isn’t enough. Leading a company or team to success in an industry dependent on technology requires technical expertise, but it also requires soft skills and strategic ability.

It is the role of recruiters and executive search professionals to surface candidates who tick all of these boxes. As an executive recruiter specializing in the cable and broadband industry for over thirty years, I have taken the lead on executive searches for businesses from startups to Fortune 500 companies.

In this article, I’m going to discuss some of the qualities I look for above and beyond technical expertise when advising clients on high-level executive hires.

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10 Ways to Keep Your IT Help Desk Relevant

Help desks are changing as technology evolves and users grow more familiar with choosing and supporting their own systems. Use these insider tips to maximize your help desk's productivity and make sure it remains an essential part of your business.

relevant IT help desk

As technology and business continue to evolve, the IT landscape looks far different than it did 10 or even 5 years ago. The traditional on-site help desk – which handled all device rollouts, support questions, break-fix emergencies and other urgent needs – is changing too. Many organizations cut costs to preserve or promote revenue-generating personnel, and the growing trend to outsource what are deemed low-level processes can hand many a help desk over to an external provider.

Furthermore, new trends and challenges such as remote access, cloud services, mobility and global interconnection can produce additional pressures on the in-house help desk. This is exacerbated by today’s instant gratification society, as well as the mindset by some in the business world that the help desk is an impediment to their productivity – something they need to make an end run around rather than working with to achieve their goals (a mindset quite likely produced by help desks that don’t keep up with the changes or which are hamstrung by inefficient operations).

A relevant help desk capable of meeting the current challenges of technology can more than earn its keep by helping employees to do their jobs to the best of their abilities. There is a misconception that help desks don’t generate revenue (the best case scenario is that they are viewed as a negative revenue preventer – in other words, helping to combat lost productivity and wages by keeping systems running), but that’s not necessarily the case. A successful help desk ensures that staff can work as effectively as possible by keeping them informed of new developments, helping them find shortcuts to work efficiently and formulating best practices for the organization to standardize – for instance, developing a PowerPoint template for employees to use in creating presentations which comes with logos and links to reference sites or file shares. These tactics will in turn help build out the careers & capabilities of help desk technicians.

Outsourced help desk services will be quick to tell you they can cut costs and improve service by offering a 24x7x365 infrastructure that will be more efficient and responsive. This may be quite true, and many issues can be resolved remotely through externally managed systems. However, nothing beats hands-on technicians who can respond to situations face-to-face. A dead laptop, for instance, is a lot easier for a technician to support if they can troubleshoot, diagnose and/or replace it immediately, rather than subjecting employees to phone calls, wait times and shipped systems. With this in mind, perhaps the ideal help desk going forward will be a hybrid of on-site and off-site personnel.

Whether on premises, outsourced or hybrid, these 10 operational methods can help keep your help desk relevant and aligned with business priorities:

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Online IT Schools

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