First Time Employer Questions

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by sharkmutiny, Jul 10, 2009.

  1. sharkmutiny

    sharkmutiny Member

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    Hi Gang,

    Have finally been given the go-ahead to hire my first worker bee :thumbup:

    Am a little stumped though as to how to go about the hiring process to find the right candidate - HR Manager is thinking of going thru MEGT? I am thinking someone a bit more qualified - is there a TAFE traineeship program? Has anyone got any experiences of the above two? Are there other programs I should be looking into?

    The role would be Level 1/2 support, but as there is only me being the other interested party, there is scope for exposure to so much more. I look after the communications and security for all our clinics as an example - not just the pc's!

    Am very aware of the "What the Hell happenned to IT" thread and seriously dont want to make the wrong choice!
     
  2. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    Why wouldn't you just advertise on Seek?

    What do you want, someone fresh out of a course, or someone with a few years helpdesk experience?

    Personally for a level 1/2 role, I'd be looking for someone already on helpdesk for a while who wants to go further. I wouldn't care about credentials, experience beats that.

    Also your interview questions should be designed to show that they are able to troubleshoot stuff, and narrow down what a problem might be. A quick learner and someone who can assess a situation is better than someone who remembers which port RDP uses off the top of their head for a level 1/2 role.

    Instinct will play a part in it too, some people will just feel wrong or right when you interview them.
     
  3. DeNs

    DeNs Member

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    Listen to this man! Pick me! *sobs*

    I can't work in helpdesk forever :p

    ---dens
     
  4. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    In saying that, credentials don't hurt :) Do your MCDST or something similar, just 1 exam so you at least get a MCP title to put on your resume, it shows you're willing to learn!

    Comparing 2 resumes identical but one also has done an exam or two, they're going to look better.
     
  5. DeNs

    DeNs Member

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    Will look into it ;) Though if I do any MS stuff I'd probably continue on the Server 2K3 courses I was doing at TAFE. To be honest if I'm to do something right now I'd be looking more at CCNP or something else to further my networking knowledge.

    ---dens
     
  6. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    Firstly, define the jobs primary roles. What are you hiring them for? Just support? How about support of a particular application? Knowledge of general infrastructure?

    Secondly, define what are the other areas you may want them to take on? IT security, parts of your role?

    Advertise the job with requirements from the first role and list the secondary requirements as desirable.

    That is your baseline. You're going to get heaps of applicants that are over qualified / under qualified for your criteria (in this job market) and some that come from the 'I had to apply for 10 jobs I'm never going to get his week to stay on the dole'.

    Sort them into piles based on suitability. If anyone includes a resume that looks totally inappropriate, check their cover letter. No explanation, bin them.
    Be wary of over qualified people as they will often get bored and move on for more money when the job market picks up. I suggest looking for slightly under qualified with a keen interest to learn.

    Then you move onto interviewing. Make it short and sweet. Give them a couple of bland questions to put them at ease then drill them on knowledge. Even if they don't know, how they respond to the question "um, er, um, I dunno?" vs "I'm not familiar with that application but if you chose me for this role I would endeavour to familiarise myself with it through product manuals / knowledge bases blah blah.." will tell you a lot about their style of approaching problems. A practical test is always good. If the job is to fix PC's, give them a PC with a very basic problem, pull the hard drive cable out (or remove it entirely ;)) and ask them what's wrong with it. That helps weed out the "oh the person from the employment agency said to put on that I had 3 years fixing PC's" people.

    Take the time now to find the right person, or it will cost you so much later that you'll probably regret the whole process.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    sharkmutiny

    sharkmutiny Member

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    Thanks for the reply Iceman, basically yes, I would say I am after slightly under qualified person - but someone who is willing to learn (and can prove they are driven by already having been thru a course/close to completion!) - am happy to teach someone as much as possible but am fearful of wasting 6 months to a year doing this and then seeing them bugger off for something better!

    Is funny how preparing to interview people for 1st time seems just as daunting being the interviewer as the interviewee! Luckily I will have the HR Manager with me who does this for a living! Will definitely have some practical tests prepared as believe that is essential.

    Any thoughts on how much pay I should be aiming at? I was thinking 40k but then I was told 35...and then increase it in year when they have earned it... does that sound right?
     
  8. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    I think that pay is a bit low, Level 1 helpdesk jobs pay more than that, and that's in Adelaide. You're going to partially pay for the quality of the applicants you get too. $35k for level 1/2 is terrible!
     
  9. mrpats

    mrpats Member

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    The questions you ask should help show you how the person thinks, how well they will do under pressure and how they work independently.

    Since you will be teaching this person and they will be your shadow for the next 6-9 months while they learn everything, you want someone who is eager to learn.

    Write the questions the down then also write down some expected answers.

    one of the simple questions I've asked level 1/2 staff is:

    There is a Lexmark printer on the floor which is displaying : "error 1234" on the LCD panel and the printer is not printing. What are some of the steps you would take to resolve the issue?

    some of the expected answers from best to worst are:

    Visit the lexmark website and search the error message.
    contact lexmark support by phone/email
    find the manual for the printer.
    ask one of the other team members

    To me this shows that the candidate will use their brains to troubleshoot the issue. Even though in most cases it is always good to ask a fellow teammate for a fix to an issue, by doing a little bit of research into the issue shows some initiative.
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  10. waxling

    waxling Member

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    Um what? I don't even know if this sort of privacy invasion is even legal in Australia. Get bent would be my first response as an applicant.

    How exactly do you manage that? (the making them pay bit)

    Agreed on the police check ... but... no one bothers with this until you are about to make an offer. It would get too expensive othewise. If they fail, you go to applicant b.

    Paranoid much? Not so likely in IT. Again, reference checks are costly (time and money) so no one bothers with this until a selection is made.

    Practical tests are useless for many roles in IT. Good questioning, and being mindful of sensible answers, even if they didn't know the answer would be a better use of everyones time (e.g. for a Unix job references to searching man pages, or searching MSDN for wintel.. or even google clue... www.lmgtfy.com exists because most people are incapable of thinking when sitting in front of a computer)

    You just contradicted youself .... don't accept phone interviews but a phone interview was your best interview ever? Phone interviews are a must if you are hiring interstate or out of the area. They are also a good way of seeing if someone can do the preparation, think on their feet and have some social skill (e.g. an ex helldesker should give excellent phone).
     
  11. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    Go easy on him IACSecurity, he's only a waxling :p (waits for ripping apart reply)
     
  12. Thalfura

    Thalfura Member

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    This is Called a Medical. try getting a job in the mines without one.

    Advertise the position requiring police clearance. it is $40. If the candidate is really keen they will pay for it themselves. They last for 6 months so they have it then for other jobs.

    This is actually a critical thing to do. It allows you to find out what the candidate is like with their work ethic. It doesn't take long to make a quick call.

    Agree and disagree. Practical test is pretty much useless if the job is purely helpdesk. Little hard to dismantle a pc over the phone. However if you are employing someone to not only do helpdesk but to actually get hands on with repairs/rebuilds etc then the practical test can prove very handy.

    Many companies are turning away from phone interveiws because they think the person is great and they end up being a retard. Kinda like phone sales people. they are now turning to video (webcam) interveiws which allow the employer to still see the applicants reactions to certain situations.

    good luck with finding someone suitable for the position. is your 35-40k inc super etc etc. I think it sounds about right without super but i don't work in the IT industry so am unsure of the award. The position from what i can see sounds like it would be ideal for someone just finishing a course or even someone just out of school who has shown that they have the ability to do the job.

    My 2c worth anyway.
     
  13. bugayev

    bugayev Whammy!

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    I think IACSecurity is meaning if they are dealing with clinical or health data then they should have additional security measures in place, which is true.
     
  14. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    Not only should, I believe it's required by law to secure your data to a particular standard. I can't recall the particular legislation but IAC probably can.
     
  15. TheWedgie

    TheWedgie Insert Custom Title Here

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    I had to undergo a medical, physical and psychological test before my current position, and have to undergo another for the Paramedic internship (as it's been more than 6 months since I did it last).

    Also had to pay for my own medical, physical and psych testing before starting the paramedic degree - at a cost of ~$600.
    Just make it a requirement - again, I had to provide a police clearance certificate for both the degree, and my current position. Had to pay for a third one a month or so ago for the Paramedic internship.
     
  16. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    About 5 years ago I had to go through a brief medical and police check for a helpdesk job, which I had to pay for myself (but it is tax deductable at least). Wasn't very exciting...
     
  17. millsy

    millsy Member

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    I'd just like to add in here, don't discount someone because of their age. In IT above many fields, age isn't always an indicator of skill level OR motivation.
    I'm sick of every computer job I've ever looked at asking for more experience or paper yet I've worked at places as a contractor (only way to get paid for what I know) and I sometimes knew more than the employed staff.
     
  18. OP
    OP
    sharkmutiny

    sharkmutiny Member

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    Just to catch up here, I like the idea of a police check (can do no harm!), and the example question dealing with basic printer maintenance (nice!).

    I met with the lady from MEGT yesterday, and although not completely convinced in the program they offer, I was willing to wait and see the calibre of people she would come back with in 2 weeks - she seemed pretty adamant she could (would) meet my requirements.
     
  19. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    I assume they work like any agency - they're always very confident they can find you the right person because they want the money they'll get if they find you someone?
     
  20. OP
    OP
    sharkmutiny

    sharkmutiny Member

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    ummm yeah - I was thinking that! But our HR Manager is confident, and we have used them in the past with success, so am really going with the flow here!
     

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