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How do you hire the right IT staff?

How do you hire the right IT staff?

  • TechSoup has a new article up today that discusses tips for hiring the right IT staff for your organization. How do you go about hiring IT folks? Any tips? Dos and don'ts? Are skills more important than good communication? Or vice versa? Share your thoughts and tips below.

    Becky Wiegand is the Interactive Events Producer at TechSoup.org
    @bajeckabean on Twitter

  • I thought the article had some good solutions for how to get IT help for cash-strapped organizations. I think one of the hardest parts of hiring IT staff for a nonprofit is the salary discrepancy. IT staff in the private sector tend to be pretty well paid and that could certainly be a draw for techies. I thought one of the resources listed in the article made a good point that if your IT people are working longer hours, high stress, etc., you need to have perks (i.e. good benefits, time off, etc.) other than salary to entice people.

    Megan Keane

    Follow me on Twitter: @penguinasana or connect with me on my website.

  • Another staff writer generated topic.

    anyone interested in this topic may find this prior thread useful
    Recruiting - Hiring - Selecting

    Bob

    Free case management software for food pantries/emergency services 501(c)(3) organizations. See: http://webpages.charter.net/bobalston/bob1.htm

  • Staff generated and staff answered. Hmmm.
  • I thought it was a fairly reasonable overview. One of the things I thought was missing was recognition of the need to constantly keep skills up to date - nonprofits seem to spend relatively little on training employees and in the tech sector that's a recipe for a slow but catastrophic disaster.

    I know this is a retention issue more than a hiring one. But you're going to be much more attractive as an employer if you can convince potential employees their skills aren't going to atrophy at your organization (and you'll actually have staff with up-to-date skills on an ongoing basis rather than having to hire in fresh skills and then letting them go stagnant).

    Which means especially when hiring for attitude rather than skills (an approach suggested in the article), you need to make sure you check on how well potential employees can develop their skill set. I don't think there's any way to develop great tech skills if you're only prepared to put time in during work hours.
  • Bob and ENO--

    Yes, we do have staff-generated discussions that are related to articles here on TechSoup so folks have a place to discuss any thoughts/issues/reactions they had to the article. While the issue of retaining IT staff has certainly come up on TechSoup before, it seemed pertinent to start a new and current discussion based on the newly published article and recent information/experience of people. And yes, I am a TechSoup staff member, but I do respond to forum topics (be they about an article or other topics) when I have a comment or suggestion on the subject.

    Helen, I think you bring up another really good point. Another challenge I think for staying current on tech skills is that many nonprofits are on old systems and/or software versions, so I agree that it likely requires putting in some extra outside time to update your skills.

    Megan Keane

    Follow me on Twitter: @penguinasana or connect with me on my website.

  • I think the staff generated topics take into account the vast number of lurkers here.

    Some of us just jump in and enjoy the public discussion. However, I've heard some of the numbers on visits and views versus posts. I have to acknowledge that most people who benefit from these forums do so without ever posting.

    Presumably the TS generated articles and posts take into account web stats that indicate which topics receive the most views, or other ways of deciding what the hot/important issues are.

    As far as hiring the right IT staff, in my experience both skills and communication are important. If I had to choose one over the other, then I think either one would work backed up by the willingness and the ability to gain skills in the other area.

    That doesn't always work, for sure, because it's like being thrown into the swimming pool in order to swim.

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    Sasha Daucus
    www.FundRaiserSoftware.com
    www.FundRaiserBasic.com
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