Guide to Hiring IT Staff (Part 2) - IT Administrator

By Jonathan Hull

Unemployment rates have seen record highs in recent years, and hiring talent has never been more difficult. Why? As reported by HBR Blog Network, "Nearly 50 percent of CEOs from all sectors and all corners of the globe say that this skill gap has become more difficult to fill."
The technology transformation that we find ourselves in currently, whose enormity is likened to the age of the printing press, has a lot to do with the lack of qualified employees. Technology is advancing at such a rapid pace that people and training can seem sluggish in comparison.
HBR says, "For US companies to become and remain competitive, they will need to find people who are not just trained in, familiar with, or comfortable with these ever-transforming technologies, but also those with the entrepreneurial drive to conceive of practical, productive - and profitable - uses for them."
This series is designed to help you know what type of person to look for so that you can go out and find him or her. The age of resumes is over - using blogs, being seen as a thought leader, posting videos, and being creative around hiring are in.
In Part 1 of this series, we looked at the role of the IT help desk. Here, we'll talk about the IT administrator role. 
Keep in mind that the articles in this series are geared toward firms with an in-house network. Our Xcentric Cloud offering is designed to help CPA firms get out of the day-to-day IT grind as much as possible, including the IT staffing component. However, we recognize that not all firms will adopt the Cloud in the next few years so, at a minimum, they need to understand the proper staffing needed to have a successful go at having an in-house network.
Level 2: IT Administrator
This position takes more ownership for maintaining the company's IG network, servers, and security systems. The administrator is responsible for investigating and diagnosing network issues, monitoring system usage, and making recommendations for improving the company's IT. This person sits in between the IT help desk and the IT director in the way that they still perform day-to-day basic IT tasks, while sharing knowledge to help others and making strategic recommendations. Other tasks may include but are not limited to setting up new users; managing backups, security and passwords; and policing Internet usage. The ratio of IT administrators to employees is roughly 1:50.
Displaying passion for the customer, personal integrity, and a friendly presence will lead to success in this role. A drive toward excellence, desire to improve the system, and ability to work in a highly collaborative environment and consult effectively with employees at all levels is important.
Related article:
About the author:
Jonathan Hull is an account manager at Xcentric, an IT solutions company that provides hosted and managed technology platforms for the accounting profession.

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