Share this post
This is some text inside of a div block.
Back to all posts
What is the secret sauce to effectively interview and hire the best Help Desk Technicians? We’ve outlined our recruiter-backed tips and tricks in this blog.
March 17, 2023
Top notch Help Desk Technicians are an integral addition to every tech team. They’re a hot commodity and they don’t stay available on the open market for long. These roles are so in demand that they ranked #2 in 2022 on our list of most requested IT jobs in Canada.
What does that mean for hiring managers? It’s important to secure these talented professionals fast with a fast and straightforward approach. A slow hiring process will cost you good candidates who won’t wait around for you to fit them into your schedule. In addition, your interview process needs to be smooth and simple. If you try to make them jump through hoops, they will easily move on to the next company.
So, what is the secret sauce to effectively interview and hire the best Help Desk Technicians? We’ve outlined our recruiter-backed tips and tricks to consider when hiring top-quality Help Desk Technicians.
Based on your IT support and organizational structure, your Help Desk Technicians will be categorized into Tier 1, Tier 2, or Tier 3.
Tier 1: These help desk technicians offer basic resolutions and delivery to solve usage issues and customer requests that involve IT. Typical Tier 1 Support calls can range from password resets, hardware repair, printer and Windows end-user support including Office 365 administration. If there is no easy solution to the problem, issues are escalated to the next level of help desk technician. These candidates may not have extensive IT backgrounds but are trained as problem-solvers who rely on scripts and follow processes.
Tier 2: These help desk technicians have more experience than the previous tier meaning they can offer more extensive technical support. With more in-depth knowledge of the product/service they can resolve more complex issues. Typical Tier 2 support requests could involve “light server” support, Active Directory, Office 365 administration and deployments. Although they have a stronger IT background than Tier 1, they are not able to create the product, or recreate issues from a programming perspective so there is still a knowledge gap of all the detailed ins and outs. Issues they cannot resolve will be escalated to Level 3 support.
Tier 3: These help desk technicians are considered experts and are more senior in their departments. They have the technical abilities to recreate issues if needed to try to uncover the reason and cause. Known to be excellent critical troubleshooters, Tier 3 Support is often involved in IT projects that include cloud migrations, routing and switching and security. Being highly skilled, they are usually the most senior architects and engineers who were big contributors to building the product or services. If new fixes are uncovered, they are documented to be used by Level 1 or Level 2 help desk technicians to resolve these issues in the future.
In order to ensure the skills you are assessing align with the solutions you’re hoping to achieve, the objective that you are hiring for must be clear and must resonate throughout your hiring process including throughout interviews.
Some common external pain points Help Desk Technicians can address are:
You may also be hiring Help Desk Technicians internally for the following reason:
“It’s always wise to keep an eye out for candidates with certifications in place (A+, Network+, CCNA) to make certain they have the high level of confidence and commitment to excel at their IT career.” - Walter Sima, Manager of National Partnerships in IT Services at Altis Recruitment
Tip: Look for candidates who understand just how important a positive experience with Help Desk is to the overall success of the company.
It is no secret that employees who feel they have an impact at work will stay longer with their companies. According to research by McKinsey, employees who live their purpose at work are 6.5 times more likely to report higher resilience, four times more likely to report better health, and six times more likely to want to stay at the company. Knowing the importance of their roles and how performance affects the company overall (by increasing brand loyalty, trust, and customer satisfaction) will ensure the successful candidate feels like they have meaning in their job.
Tip: Candidates with customer service experience will understand how patience, empathy and influence can lead to positive outcomes
Help Desk Technicians require more than just technical abilities to help solve problems. As they are customer-facing, and often need to bring calm to frustrating situations, they need to be able to positively influence customer behaviour and attitudes. It is important to ensure you ask questions about their experiences to understand how they were able to put themselves into the customers’ shoes while problem-solving.
Tip: Top-quality Help Desk Technicians look for long-term solutions to customer problems.
Look for candidates who take a consultative approach and proactively advise customers on what steps they could take to help resolve similar issues if they come up. Looking for this quality at the interview stage will land you talent that goes the extra mile beyond just getting the customer off the support line. Providing added value will help the overall brand and customer experience, which could lead to referrals or positive reviews.
Tip: Be sure to ask situational questions to understand how candidates perceive and respond to feedback. Those who are responsive to feedback will be more committed to personal and professional growth.
Working under pressure, IT teams and their employers means Help Desk Technicians receive regular feedback from various sources. Being able to listen, process, learn and implement solutions based on feedback is an important and necessary skill for this work. Look for examples of when they were able to use feedback to improve their performance moving forward.
Help Desk and Technical Support positions are unique in that they require a strong foundation of technical skills coupled with customer service expertise. Whether supporting internal or external clients, being tech-savvy and having strong interpersonal skills are necessary.
“Always look for those candidates with a positive, “end-user first” approach to their work to guarantee the highest level of customer service for your user. In the interview, assess whether they can provide clear examples of their “critical troubleshooting” skills that prove they have a systematic approach to solving end-user issues.” - Walter Sima, Manager of National Partnerships in IT Services at Altis Recruitment
Remember that every technical environment is different. Some Help Desk professionals take five calls a day but solve problems from start to finish. Others may receive 100 calls a day, but the issue is referred elsewhere for resolution. Asking the right interview questions is the key to ensuring a candidate will thrive at your workplace.
We strive to be a model organization that takes intentional steps to create an inclusive and equitable environment for everyone.