How to pick your next employee

MSI seems to be growing every day. As we bring on new staff, we are working hard to make sure that we maintain our existing corporate culture. It can be difficult to identify whether or not an individual has the necessary traits to be a successful employee. However, it’s important to think of the hiring process as an opportunity rather than a challenge.

The first thing I look for in a new employee is curiosity. To me, this is far more important than intelligence. An employee can always learn about how to support a specific system or perform a process. I think it’s much more important to find an individual that wants to understand WHY we use a specific process or HOW a system works. This is a trait that can’t be taught.

The next thing I look for is the ability to adapt. The Information Technology field changes rapidly. The latest and greatest piece of technology seems to be obsolete soon after it is published. It’s worthwhile to identify an individual that can handle these changes well.

IT professionals typically have to wear many hats. In my short career, I’ve served as an Information Security Officer, Help Desk Manager, Systems Administrator, Penetration Tester, Security Consultant, Infrastructure Manager, Intelligence Engineer and Pre-Sales Engineer. Typically those roles weren’t assigned until after I accepted a position. Due to the frequent shift in responsibilities, an IT professional must be flexible.

You may be wondering how you can spot these traits in an during an interview or by viewing the individual’s resume and LinkedIn profile. To discover a potential employee that is curious, look to see if they list diverse interests. If you’re attempting to identify an employee who has the ability to adapt to changes and remain flexible, look and see if they’ve supported a wide variety of systems and processes during their career.

Finally, it’s important to consider whether or not you enjoy spending time with this person. In some cases, you’ll spend more time with them than your own family. You could discover an employee with all the right traits and skills but will be in a difficult situation if your personalities clash. In short, take some extra time to look past someone’s employment history and discover whether or not they have the skills that can’t be taught.

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