Hiring Tips – Service Desk Employment

Photo: http://ow.ly/EiQ4T

Photo: http://ow.ly/EiQ4T

Hiring Scenario:  you’re looking for employment in the Service Desk industry and you’re wondering what criteria a hiring manager might look for in a candidate. Your A+, N+, BS in Computer Science will likely get you an interview. It shows me you’ve got the aptitude and interest, and that you’re not just looking for a good paycheck. It shows me that you’re technically trainable, that you’ve got the fundamentals, and we just need to teach you what’s unique about our particular environment.

Once the technical aptitude and interest are established, I look for customer service and people skills. This is by far the skill that I want to assess in an interview.

  • Can you carry on a conversation?
  • Tell the story of your career/education?
  • Read social cues?

People with social skills can add value to my department from the first day, even if they can’t solve a single issue. Good people skills and phone etiquette will buy us time while you learn the systems, the Knowledge Base, and the technical environment. I can’t wait 6 months to put you on the phones while you learn all the technical idiosyncrasies of our environment and feel confident you can answer all the questions. I need someone who can convey confidence, provide reassurance to angst-ridden callers, and create a genuine experience to our customers.

Another valuable suggestion is networking – do you belong to industry networking groups such as Smoky Mountain HDI?  The service desk industry has a lot of valuable organizations such as HDI that will help you to further your career, access valuable training tools and meet people in hiring positions.  A driven individual who puts time into growing their knowledge base and industry specific skills, and who also puts time into networking on a local and regional basis is the kind of person that I look for as a service desk hiring manager.

I want motivated people who are interested in IT Service Management.

That may sound obvious, but many people see the Service Desk as their foot in the door to the IT Department. I don’t want to hire someone who expects to be a Network Engineer or Systems Administrator in a year, and I see this a lot. A person with the right skill set, career plan, and a commitment to the industry can make a wonderful contribution and a satisfying career path.

Seeking educational opportunities, attending ITSM conferences, and joining professional organizations such as HDI all demonstrate a genuine interest in the profession.


Rob Norris is the current President of the Smoky Mountain HDI Chapter.  Find Rob’s professional profile on our Smoky Mountain HDI Board of Directors page, and on his LinkedIn page: www.linkedin.com/in/norris1.


Smoky Mountain HDI Chapter is a group of IT Service and Support Professionals living in the Great Smoky Mountains connecting to share ideas, grow technical skills, boost careers, and create a wide array of technical resources and connections while helping one another succeed.

**Interested in joining Smoky Mountain HDI Chapter, or attending one of our free chapter events?  Visit our website for more details!**


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