Several folks have asked me recently how we’re able to find good people to work at Dynamic Edge. How we can tell when someone is going to be a good fit. How we decide on who to hire, and who to pass up. I had described the outcome of our hiring process about a year ago, but thought it very fitting to revisit the topic of how to hire, specifically describing how we hire.
First, let’s recap the facts:
Dynamic Edge remains VERY selective when it comes to hiring high quality technicians. As we reported in 2015, we hire under 3% of applicants that apply to work at our company. To put this hiring rate in context, Deloitte (considered one of the toughest consulting firms to land a job) has a hiring rate of just over 3.5%— a number they consider being highly selective.
So, how do we find the best people to work at Dynamic Edge?
The answer is not surprising (if you’ve read some of our other posts, take our ticketing process for example). We follow an optimized hiring process that weeds out folks that (1) don’t have the capacity to perform the tech and (2) don’t fit our core values. Let me go into a little more detail:
Basic Tech—I expect all technicians to have a solid understand of how a network is set up and how to perform troubleshooting on a network. In our interview process, we first screen applicants based on general knowledge—do they seem to be up-to-speed enough on tech to have a basic understanding of how things work? We expect our new IT Support team hires to have a foundational knowledge to build on as they experience new challenges in working with your users. If you owned a restaurant and were hiring a chef, I’m sure you’d expect them to know different techniques (cutting, measuring, presentation) before stepping foot into your kitchen.
Problem Solving—I challenge prospective hires to solve real-world scenarios (some of which our users have presented us). When put in a situation where a user calls in with a problem, I expect new hires to think through how to resolve the issue. There are certainly more than one way to skin this cat. I simply am interested to see how they approach the problem. Do they ask questions? Are they looking for more detail? Are they sorting out and eliminating possible causes of the problem by systematically asking about symptoms (as a doctor would a patient) or are they merely shooting from the hip? Understanding how someone resolves an issue is a critically important part of knowing whether they’ll be able to consistently solve your users’ issues when the rubber meets the road.
Assessing for technical knowledge, experience and ability helps us understand whether a potential hire has the capacity to fulfill technical troubleshooting our business requires of them.
Core Values—Our organization is deeply rooted in our core values. I expect everyone on our team to understand and internalize them as they work at Dynamic Edge. We are a diverse group of IT Support professionals, but we all hold common core values about our work, our users and our society. I expect new hires to understand and embody core values that have helped our organization to grow and create raving fans. We personally meet with every candidate that has shown a capacity for the tech. Note: many IT Managed Services companies end their evaluation at technical ability. If someone is a guru or master at certain areas of tech, they’re a great fit. While we appreciate folks that have a solid understanding and passion for technical work, we equally value people that are interested in helping our users, relate to them, and communicate with them as they resolve issues. That sets us apart—our technicians aren’t just in the game to do tech and do it well, they’re here to help. Our in-person interview is geared at understanding whether potential hires fit the bill of fitting these values.
Telling a joke— We ask all potential hires something to lighten the mood. I’m sure you can appreciate that interviews are quite stressful. To help understand who we’re hiring, we ask them to tell a joke to break the ice. This eases them a little and gives us an understanding of how a candidate might interact with your user base. We are interested in our team making human to human connection with users—not just trying to fix their printing issue or computer headache. Getting a sense of where a candidate’s perception of an appropriate joke tells us a lot about how they might engage with your users.
One additional step to hiring the right people for our organization—those 2.7% of applicants—is to give a goal-based job offer to candidates that are both technically equipped and that understand and embody our culture. We offer new hires salaries, of which a portion is dependent on completion of personal quarterly goals. These goals are self-selected by the team member and help give them a roadmap of personal growth throughout the year (in fact, all team members have goals they set up—we expect everyone on the team to fulfill them). The few candidates that get through our culture and technical evaluations that don’t want to grow pass by our job offer—a clear indication they will not grow into bigger and better positions within our organization.
In recap, we are able to hire the best because we have a process that helps us weed out ‘the rest’. DynEdgers (Dynamic Edge team members) ‘Get it’—meaning they understand the culture and strive to help users, ‘Want it’—they are goal-driven and engaged to learn new tech and ways of approaching technical problems and situations, and they have a ‘Capacity to Do it’—team members know the tech to resolve your issues quickly. We evaluate new hires on these three tenants (in fact, we have score cards that evaluate these 3 critical attributes for every job description in our company).
When I boast about Dynamic Edge having the best IT Support team, I mean we have people that not only have a deep knowledge of tech, but sincerely care about you and your team on a personal level. They get satisfaction knowing they are supporting and helping in the success of your organization.
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