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13 hiring techniques for your MSP

Posted by Warwick Eade

MSP tips: hiring right

There is nothing more important for your business than hiring well. If you can get quality people into the business, then the game is on. If you hire poorly everything else in your business is compromised.

  • You cannot ‘fix’ a poor hire. You can only build systems around them.
  • Poor hires will steal time and energy away from the business
  • Poor hires will affect the performance of your good hires
  • Poor hires will motivate your good hires to leave.
  • Poor hires are often OK with their poor performance because they know no better
  • Poor hires can fester for years
  • Poor hires will leave technical debt at your MSP that taxes for years after they have left
  • Poor hires attract more poor hires

In short, poor hires are a very bad investment.

'No hire' is always a better investment than a 'poor hire'.

So we need to hire better.

Here’s 13 ways to better hiring.

1. What is a quality hire?

A quality hire is someone who can competently fulfil the role in your business plan for at least a couple of years. A great hire will grow with the plan.

2. What if I can’t find quality hires?

  1. Try harder
  2. Change your business plan to work with the quality you can hire

3. The best hiring technique I know

Always be deselecting. Start every interview looking for a valid reason not to hire this candidate. As soon as you find a valid reason not to hire stop the process and move onto the next candidate.

4. You are not there to fix candidates

You are a problem solver by nature. That’s the DNA of business. You must suppress the desire to ‘fix’ people. If there is a valid reason not to hire, then don’t continue with that candidate.

5. Maybe = No

If you have been through your hiring process and are still unsure – then NO

6. You are doing everybody a favor

The poor hire will be fired eventually. That is no joy for that hire. You and your team will be taxed throughout the process. Your customers will suffer substandard service.

7. Technical fit or culture fit?

You need both. I suggest you start with technical as this is easier and faster to analyze. At my MSP there are sudden death questions that no candidate should get wrong.

8. Don’t read CVs or resumes

Get the candidate to write out the questions you want answered. Use online forms tools like WuFoo or TypeForm. Our preference is a dedicated tool like Hireroom.

9. Run a technical test?

Sounds obvious. Many don’t. For techs we start with an online test. Later on we send them to the AWS free tier to build and troubleshoot servers.

10. Make the candidate show they really want the job

Because if they don’t than you really don’t want them. The online questionnaires and technical tests are a good way to test this. Don't  be afraid to give little tasks. We always say "Use code 2e6o6aI at Bitly" rather than giving out http://bit.ly/2e6o6aI . I have seen some folks with seemingly amazing resumes get stumped by this.

11. Psych tests – don’t do it

Myers Briggs and the 1000 variants are the business version of Astrology. It has been debunked many times.  Of course, if you follow your star sign personally, then MBTI will be for you.

12. Have a “don’t work here” step in the process.

We add a ‘don’t work here’ section into the final interview. We tell the candidate about the parts of the job that everybody doesn't enjoy (based on current employee feedback)

13. Sell the job, sell you

Host a video in the add where you talk about the job. Be honest and direct about the advantages. Never use ‘Rockstar’ or other BS words that are trending with recruiters.

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