Wouldn’t it be nice to have insight into tactics that allow MSPs to hire next-level staff before you shake a tech’s hand and welcome them to your team? When managed service providers struggle to attract the best staff, it could be because your MSP has built an image, system and culture that is too corporate.
Your MSP’s hiring results may be suffering from blind spots around your image and reputation. The internal culture of your managed service might be too corporate for the modern, remote tech. We’ll teach you how companies who are successful in hiring THE BEST staff are doing it. You can start fixing “too corporate” MSP hiring mistakes by:
- Breaking the bad image tech companies have
- Caring about employees as people and their work environment instead of just numbers
- Learning the difference between a good interviewing and bad interviewing
- Incorporating success tactics from the best in the MSP game
You might unknowingly be alienating the best candidates for your managed service provider, and it’s a result of doing the opposite of what’s listed above. If you are struggling to attract and keep the best MSP hires, we’re here to share with you practical advice and a fresh point of view to turn the whole game around.
MSPs often make the mistake of NOT calibrating towards techs they actually want
The genius, talented, ”unicorn” tech wizards don’t come knocking on your door everyday! Capturing their attention and interest should be your priority, and you need to get them onboard quickly during the hiring process so that they don’t go with another option.
They are the first ones to get snatched up by your competition because of these in demand qualities they possess:
- Creative problem-solving in unexpected situations and an ability to adapt
- Taking initiative, assuming responsibility and being reliable
- Intelligence and vast contributions across the MSP environment
Understanding candidates helps immensely with the process of attracting, hiring and retaining the best ones. To do that, you must cater to their needs in an environment that supports and adds to their value.
You also need to break the prejudice and the false image that’s projected onto IT businesses.
This is the need to achieve as much material success as possible and appear as professional as possible. This perfect image of a sterile IT business is possibly what is holding your company back.
The best talent choose the IT industry because it fascinates them, and from that passion comes their motivation.
The wealth they want to obtain is different from being solely material. Providing value in creating tangible results is in the forefront of their mind when engaging with managed service providers.
What they value lies in being supported in exploring their natural curiosity, as well as putting their creative abilities to work. That’s solving problems, writing code, superb stacking, etc. They want to understand before taking a job whether or not the culture and relationships within a company are encouraging and healthy. Your MSP must consider these priorities of star candidates, and that will increase your chances of hiring the best staff.
The paved road is not the road they usually take in life and many of the best technicians and engineers do not fit into the image of having 50 degrees and certificates. Nor do they want to be a yes-man. Rather, they want an environment that values their knowledge in which they can be creative while working towards common goals.
Long story short, they don’t fit into the corporate culture box. Instead, they think outside of it.
Corporate MSPs mistake real people for numbers during the hiring process
MSP having too corporate of an approach has its weaknesses and is unappealing to the best technicians because it doesn’t take culture, interpersonal relationships, community, meaning and purpose into consideration.
Here at Support Adventure, we provide outsourced technical staff to managed service providers. Many MSPs we have interviewed want to become our client and hire the culturally compatible staff we provide. But before we follow through on this, we always take steps to find out what kind of environment our techs will work in.
If the company does not incorporate career development for the tech, or a distraction-free workplace, the process of getting the best staff is harder. In cases where there is a lack of structure and well-defined procedures, we do consulting to create an optimal system for a comfortable environment before signing them on.
No matter how hard MSP owners try, it is impossible to suppress a tech’s individuality. Creating a corporate culture with the goal of making the business marketing-friendly is counterproductive.
On the contrary, having values like a supportive environment, well-defined roles, career development, attractive company culture, mentoring and an open policy encourage star candidates to work with you.
Ditching the corporate approach and focusing on people pays off in many ways:
- It attracts great talent
- It retains the best staff
- Productivity increases
- Happy, reliable staff reflects positively on clients
- The company brand will be genuine and appealing to both candidates and clients
The worst case scenario of this is that profits will stay the same. The best case is that you will have talented, happy technicians providing quality of service that grows your service to higher-tier clients.
A big MSP hiring mistake is lackluster communication during interviews
During the interview process, it’s important to be aware of the impression your managed service casts on candidates. Star technicians are often turned off by lifeless, corporate speak.
We are going to list some of the examples that make-up good practices that desirable MSPs do.
A hands on interview approach is the best approach: Candidates can suss out when you’re just reading from a script and not actually engaging with them. The amount of investment you bring to the table is equal to how valuable the candidate can feel being a part of the company.
Don’t emphasize certification because it is not that important. Prioritize experience instead. Techs must possess an ability to handle unexpected situations, passion and progress. We often see people who have prestigious degrees but lack the creativity needed in the unpredictable MSP environment.
Get to know the candidate’s personality. This is more valuable than any corporate personality tests. Ask yourself, would I like to spend time with this person for 8 hours a day or not?
Interrogation-style interviews are the worst! Make the candidates feel welcome, not terrified! Otherwise, they will turn around and never look back.
Build rapport and show that your business has personality. Showing passion for what the company does inspires other people to join in as well. Exchanging ideas, listening to others and providing feedback creates a healthy work environment, and thus a more successful MSP.
Concentrate the interviews. Too many rounds of interviews can be draining and discouraging. Checking candidates’ technical ability, personality and communication skills can be done in one round if organized well and presented in a more casual way.
Follow your gut. Systems and structures in a business, with all their rules and procedures, do not work when assessing a person. You will miss out on great people if you size them up like they’re machines.
Beware of middle management and its issues: This can be counterproductive when hiring the right candidates. Middle management often make safe decisions rather than clever ones.
Premium MSP apply the best hiring approaches
A common MSP hiring mistake of the corporate-types is to treat personal and professional relationships as mutually exclusive. They’re not, and the companies with the best employees understand that. In a work environment, it should be business first. But stakeholders also need to know each other well on a personal level too.
Casual conversation is encouraged so long as there’s clear boundaries. Feel free to joke around and have fun on the job. Establish social events with employees and allow yourself to recognize when you like them as human beings.
It’s good practice to actually enjoy the time and the people you work with. We made an effort at Support Adventure to weed-out the clients we don’t enjoy working with.
That’s why you must learn how someone thinks and deals with problems. This means looking for emotional intelligence and social skills in people. Communication style, both verbal and nonverbal is crucial when building trust. In a healthy work environment, it is important to know you can trust and depend on your coworkers.
Hiring based on feeling and emotions is okay too. If you have a clear picture of your workplace culture and environment, it’s helpful to gauge if a candidate fits in with your communication style. Check for credentials, sure, but don’t ignore your intuition.
And be sure to sell the benefits of your company to candidates. Present to them the reasons why they should accept your offer and not that of another managed service provider! Candidates feel when they’re being looked down-upon.
The best managers know that the bottom line is that the company is made better only by people who like their job. You’ll always know this when candidates express satisfaction in the following:
- Feeling included
- Their value and contributions are acknowledged
- Trusting in the company’s mission and trajectory
- Feeling they’ve been cared about
The hiring consequences MSP face when they’re too corporate
The values and language that amount to corporate nonsense are off-putting to the modern-day, remote technician when they are going through an MSP’s hiring process. Bordering on dehumanizing, the too corporate approach in running things and making decisions ends up making people suppress their true selves.
When communication within an MSP is not open and collaborative, it leads to unclear roles that are defined by corporate jargon. And the standards the company wants to uphold end up not being fully fleshed out in a way that staff can comprehend what tangible results are.
You can resolve this vagueness by having clear values, goals and role descriptions that make up a strong foundation that will propel your company and it’s employees forward.
To sum it up…
You’ve gotta break the prejudice of a rigid, bland and impersonal employer. The IT space is constantly evolving and you need creative people in order for your managed service to succeed.
To do that, you must:
- Calibrate towards clever, solution-oriented people you want to attract.
- Create a supportive environment with open communication.
- Sell the benefits of your MSP to potential employees with a friendly interview.
- Focus on a candidate’s ability, intelligence, social skills and creativity as opposed to just caring about how they look on paper.
- Communicate your values, goals and the role requirements clearly and unambiguously.
- And most importantly, follow your gut!
This is all a change that can be implemented fairly quickly and easily; and it will bring great results that place you ahead of the competition!
Do you want your MSP to become successful at hiring the best staff?
If you do, we are here for you! Many times, we decline working with potential clients on the basis of a bad environment, ambiguous goals and lack of mentorship.
However, all is not lost because we are able to turn the game around for MSPs that are willing to take the step towards greatness and attract the best hires. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, use this link to find out more!