How to Hire and Retain Top IT Professionals and Engineers - Part II

In Part I, we discussed how to hire top IT professionals and engineers. In this Part II series, we will further discuss how to retain the top hires.
Hiring a top talent has its own challenges, but retaining top performing talents would be even more challenging. Here are some points to ponder on employee retention:

Participation

Many companies make the mistake of keeping their staff isolated, for which they often pay dearly. When employees feel left out, it becomes easier for them to entertain the idea of looking for other opportunities. So, whenever possible include them in the decision making processes that could affect the company, specifically their team. In fact, good engineers are usually quite opinionated, and they want to be listened to. So, allowing them to make some calls and express their opinions won’t only make them happy, but also benefit you with valuable insights.

Avoid Micromanagement

Micromanaging your employees could lead to a dysfunctional team. If you have the right people in your team, they understand what should be done to come up with very creative solutions to existing and future problems. As a team leader or a manger, let your team know what the desired result should be (or the problem you want resolved) and allow your engineer to come up with the best solution. Avoid the temptation to tell them how the problem should be resolved. Instead, ask for their input. Such autonomous environment will make employees feel that they are valued, are in charge, and empowered. This way of management will increase your employee satisfaction significantly.

Flexible Work Hours

Job satisfaction and comfort have become the top priorities for employees today, while bonuses and other monetary perks are gradually losing their charm. So, as long as you can ensure that your IT staff gets to work in a comfortable environment and enjoy flexible work hours, you won’t have to worry about retaining them. Engineers working collaboratively with offshore teams might need to work outside of typical 9 to 5 hours. Flexible hours will allow employees to have the perfect work/life balance.

Actively Listening and Giving Praise

Listening to your employees, and showing appreciation for their good work can go a long way. Recent studies have proven that recognition that comes from executive level management can have a powerful impact on their employees.
Other ways of attracting and retaining employees are: investing in training, providing access to new technologies, offering free perks (like weekly lunch, gym, promoting from within the company, and providing competitive compensation package).

How Server Virtualization Benefits ​​Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery

Traditionally, the majority of businesses used only dedicated server hardware. Data centres used to be filled with a number of server-racks and each one of these servers had a different dedicated application and protection scheme. If there was a need for another application, then a new server was ​added to the system and deployed. However, today server virtualization is ​being adopted rapidly​. This is because of:
Application Isolation: Conventionally, data centres alloted​ one dedicated server per application. However, this cause​d​ an extreme waste​ of resources​,​ as most servers ​were​ underutilized and the workload ​was minimum. ​With server virtualization​,​ you get to make the most out of your existing servers.
Increased Uptime: With server ​virtuali​zation​ chances of data breaches, cloud backup failures, etc. ​,​ are minim​zed​. In the process, IT standards compliance mandates are met.
Run New Applications at Low Costs: Hardware and ​Operating ​Systems​ quickly get outdated​,​ as newer versions are launched. ​It is not easy for most businesses to replace their entire IT infrastructure with new one​s. This is where virtualization can be helpful. It can give you access to the most up-to-date hardware and OS at affordable costs.
Server Virtualization for Backups and Disaster Recovery
For any business,​ maximum uptime is extremely important. Thus, when you are running a backup ​job​​,​ you would rather not pause the running applications. ​Your ​systems​ ​might not be advanced enough or ​your server ​might not have sufficient memory to handle multiple complex processes at the same time. ​ With server virtualization, however, you can run a great number of applications simultaneously while running backup ​jobs​ at the same time.

Here are a few ways you can benefit from server virtualization for creating and managing backups:

Faster and Easier Full-Server Backups: ​Some vendors​ use modern VM methods that allow you to create full backups much faster than ​using ​ traditional methods. For instance, by using Block Level Differentials​, ​users​ don’t have to backup the full imagine every single time​, rather only backup the blocks that have changed (whether modified or added data)​.
Hardware Independent Data Replications: Before virtualization was popular,​ data replication was quite expensive and tedious, as it used mirrored SAN hardware or server-by-server reconfiguration. However, with virtualization​ you can perform replication at the hypervisor level, thus making hardware dependence irrelevant.
Better Data Protection: Virtualized servers are in essence physical computers that serve as containers for virtual machines. In other words, they are software modules that appear physical on the surface. ​I​n reality, however,​ they are separated and abstracted from the core hardware layer. So, with ​virtualized servers, you don’t have to deal with complex things​,​ such as boot sectors, system states, etc. and protecting your data ​becomes​ much ​faster and easier.

Conclusion

​Today, most organizations run VMs in their​ computing environment.​​ Running VMs ​is very​ important ​and advantageous, and can optimize your IT environment and customize it on the fly, enjoy robust data recovery and ​cloud ​backup options. It can also​ lower your operational ​(hardware, staffing, infrastructure, power, cooling and licensing) ​expenses significantly. ​
Optimizing your cloud backup and recovery in virtualized environment doesn’t happen overnight, but needs a deep thought and planning, as servers could at times fail when virtualized. Therefore, you will need to assess your hardware status before running VMs, layered with cloud backup and recovery software.
If you are not sure where to start on your VM and cloud backup & recovery needs, contact Data Deposit Box. ​​

How to Hire and Retain Top IT Professionals and Engineers

Hiring good IT engineers is not easy, but it’s even more difficult to retain them by keeping them happy and making them feel valued. Even if you are able to receive several promising resumes at the time of hiring, screening the candidates takes time and strong acumen. The hired engineer should reflect the company’s values and have a personality that helps them going along with the workplace culture of your company.

Here are a few tips on how you can hire the top IT engineers:

Creating a Good Screening Process

When you want the best of the best, you just can’t leave the hiring power with only one person. By making the candidates go through several interviews that focus on different areas of work, personality, and skills, you can filter them out in a highly efficient way. If a candidate passes all these interviews, you can be sure they will become a valuable asset for your company.

Hiring Someone with a Diverse Skill Set

You don’t want someone who is an expert at developing Linux software, or someone who is a master at networking if you already have employees in these areas. Instead, you must look for qualities and talents that can complement your existing staff. You have to look for skills that your organization is currently lacking. Apart from technical skills, you must also look for leadership and creative qualities.
If an IT engineer demonstrates good technical knowledge during the interview, it doesn’t mean that he or she is the best person for the job. They must be able to handle pressure and constructive criticism. Candidates should be interviewed by many stakeholders, including: the manager they report to, human resources, team members, and a couple of other engineers. Remember, not doing a rigorous interview may result in hiring the wrong candidate and may cause a lot of monetary and productivity loss.

Research the Candidate

Everyone these days has some kind of online presence. Google the candidates name, check their professional profiles (like LinkedIn). See what kind of connections they have on LinkedIn within the industry. Check how many people have endorsed them? How many recommendations they have? What are they passionate about? Is there any non-profit organization they are involved in and care about? Have they posted or shared any kind of controversial topics in social media? Have they authored any industry articles? The answers to these, and other similar questions, will give you a good idea on the suitability of the candidate.
While hiring can be challenging, retaining good employees isn’t a piece of cake either. In Part II, we will discuss how you can retain your top-performing IT engineers.