What To Look For In Help Desk Techs Of All Ranks

Posted on: 3 September 2017

In the Information Technology (IT) world, help desk departments can be both the deep mechanics keeping a business alive and the global face of the company. Unlike some of the completely internal parts of business maintenance and product support, help desk needs to mix customer service sociability with technical expertise. The technical aspects can be hard to understand if you're not part of the industry, so before trusting any random tech who can spout jargon with a smooth voice and a smile, consider a few traits that make great help desk professionals at multiple ranks, experience levels, and titles:

Help Desk Top Leadership

A lot of help desk work can be performed by new hires who could end up in any part of the IT and Computer Science (CS) world, but the department itself holds a lot of responsibility. To make sure that the maintenance, upgrading, and planning parts of business technology remains smooth, the help desk leader needs to know a lot about most of the IT industry.

Even if there's a separate networking department, employees will look to the help desk to figure out why the internet isn't working. Help desk leadership needs to know the business network's layout and be able to talk to the network administrator's leadership while understanding the problem. This allows networking to do their job while employees take their concerns to help desk.

If software designed in-house has problems, help desk leadership has to know more than a few quick fixes. As an interface between programmers and other employees, the help desk leader must be able to make suggestions that are realistic in terms of programming patches.

This level of knowledge usually means having actual experience in different departments. Some businesses have help desk departments that handle all aspects of IT, but make sure that perspective leadership can answer questions about the network, any servers in the business, IT security vulnerabilities, and the future of the company's technology.

Seasoned Experts To Tow The Line

Although help desk is a great place to learn, there needs to be someone who can get the job done if the learners take too long. There needs to be a healthy mix of skilled, experienced professionals and novices, but identifying these professionals can be difficult without the right proof.

Certifications are a good, quick reference point. The CompTIA A+ certification or any of Microsoft's Certified Professional (MCP) is a good start, but since many entry level works choose to get these certs before applying to their first IT job, you should test their skills with a practical exam.

Ask the technician to open a computer and point out different components. Give them a computer with viruses and ask them to remove the virus, or give a computer that needs upgrades and ask about how to make that upgrade happen.

On the network side of things, binding Internet Protocol (IP) addresses is key. What operating systems can they connect to a network, and can they tell what network they're on? Do they know how to connect a printer and troubleshoot it? On a semi-joking point, can you detect a sense of dread or see fear in their eyes at the sight of a printer having performance problems?

With the right mix of seasoned technicians, leaders who have worked in multiple departments, and entry level techs who can be molded to your company's standards, your IT department can thrive on its own. Contact an IT help desk professional to discuss bringing an IT department into your team.