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Secrets to Finding a Great IT Consultant – Part Two

In our last blog entry we reviewed the Top Ten Signs You Hired the Wrong IT Consultant.
Now that you know how to tell if you hired the wrong consultant, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty and talk about how you can avoid ‘that guy’ and ensure that you get the best support when hiring an IT company or IT resource.
In the next few posts we’ll discuss certain fundamentals that you should absolutely demand, such as insurance, qualifications, and references. We’ll provide you with the questions you can ask to ensure that they can back up their claims.

Demand Proof of Qualifications and Experience
Too many people who claim to be professional computer consultants really shouldn’t be working on business networks. They simply don’t have the experience, tools or training to get the job done right. So, you must ask to see qualifications and work history.

A junior technician with little to no experience will probably charge half as much as an experienced professional, but he may also take an additional three hours to get the job done. This is what some people would call “stepping over dollars to pick up dimes.” You think you’re saving money because the hourly rate is lower, but the total bill actually ends up being higher. Also, with an inexperienced contractor, there’s a good chance that you may not get the recommendations or repairs you really need, which may mean additional service bills down the road.

An experienced contractor knows that not all networks are the same, and they have seen a variety of different situations. They know that every business has a different mix of hardware, software and configurations and they know how to personalize their service to meet the needs of each client.

So, how do you know if an IT technician is qualified?

Ask them the following questions:

1. How long have you been in business?
Be cautious if a business has only been operating for a year or two. Of course, everyone has to start somewhere, but many startup companies close their doors during those early years – especially those one-man band companies we’ve mentioned before. You may just call their office one day and find out that the number has been disconnected.

2. Have you worked on my type of network or problem before?
You don’t want to pay them to learn on your network or project. Ask to speak to other clients they’ve helped with similar problems.

3. May I see your technicians’ resumes?
It is perfectly okay to request a resume or summary of qualifications for the technicians you are looking to hire. Review it the same way you would review a potential employee’s resume. After all, they will become an extension of your team and will be working with your other staff.

Next up on Logical Talk, we’ll explain what vendor authorization is and why it is important to ensure that you hire a vendor-authorized resource.

 Note: This content is taken from “The Search for Hassle-Free IT” book. Request your FREE copy.