Now Hiring MSP Workers
It is no secret that the managed services profession has been suffering from a talent shortage for the past few years. This shortage is not going away anytime soon. This year, 2018, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics claimed the technology industry’s unemployment was at 1.9% in April.
Low IT unemployment is a good problem to have as an industry, but it is still a problem. I have written previously about the possible solutions to a managed services human capital shortage. I believe some of these ideas are worthy of immediate attention and debate.
MSP Employment Solutions
At least in the United States, there is a nearly endless supply of individuals leaving the military looking for work in the private sector. Increasingly, these people are getting technical training of some kind. Employees with military experience have problem-solving skills, follow orders, and understand process driven behavior (crucial for working in an MSP environment).
Until our higher educational institutions start producing graduates with skills relevant to the MSP community it may be worth looking at primary and vocational schools as sources for MSP hiring.
Enough MSPs have told me this to make me believe it is true: MSPs would rather train a new technician than re-train them to get rid of bad habits. This makes a lot of sense and underscores the value of MSP candidates with “blank slates.” Yes, a baseline set of skills is necessary to work in managed services. Excellent communication, ability to follow processes, problem-solving, and most important, a service attitude.
If you agree with the argument that MSPs would rather train their staff than have them bring traits from past MSP jobs, then this opens up the field of options for sourcing and hiring.
Take for instance the position of sales. Managed services sales practices have been a problem for a long time in our profession. VAR sales teams have demonstrably proven ineffective at being able to sell managed services. We all know this (it also supports my claim about MSPs wanting to train their team members).
Many MSPs have hired sales professionals from outside the IT sector and seen tremendous results. Recruiting from within a vertical market works remarkably well when the MSP focuses on that vertical market (legal, medical, insurance, education, etc.). Not only does the candidate bring relevant domain knowledge, they often bring contacts, a book of business, and regulatory understanding about that industry.
We are going to have to figure this IT staffing shortage ourselves. There will be no long-term and immediate solution unless we create it. MSPs need to develop effective internal training programs to ensure the candidates, no matter their background or work experience, are appropriately trained according to the unique needs of the MSP.