5 Questions to Ask When Hiring Your Next IT Consultant
This is the year your business will concentrate on IT consultancy. Whether you settle on an onsite IT team/individual or prefer to operate remotely with offsite services, you need to invest the same amount of time and effort in selecting the correct IT staff. So, what types of questions should you ask to whittle down your list of candidates?
Question 1: Can You Give Me Some Client References?
Requesting references is one of the most effective ways to determine whether the IT consultant you’re contemplating is a reputable organization. You’re looking for five to ten contacts, but don’t be afraid to accept more if the IT team offers.
These references should essentially be clients, but some of the consultant’s former or current partners are also acceptable. First, ascertain that you have either a phone number or an email for the references. Then, going one by one, contact each of them. Finally, inquire about their interactions with the IT consultant.
Given that the references you’re speaking with were all provided by IT staff, you shouldn’t be shocked to hear overwhelmingly great things about the consultants. However, bear in mind that this is not totally about reviews but instead demonstrating that you consider a legitimate IT consulting firm.
Question 2: Do your business possesses experience working in my industry? If so, then how much?
Each industry has unique technology requirements. Certain businesses are entirely reliant on technology, while others are less so. Additionally, security concerns vary by industry. Your information technology experts must be able to anticipate and manage these dangers, thereby avoiding their occurrence. Even if the security risk is discovered, you’ll want an IT team that can move fast to mitigate the problem before it causes significant damage.
Please don’t wait until you’ve signed a contract and it’s too late to cancel to realize that your IT consultants lack industry knowledge. At a certain point, you are reimbursing squandered services. You’d need to recruit additional IT personnel to cover the gaps. That is twice the amount of money you are spending.
What if the IT consultants have some industry expertise, but not much? That is a difficult choice that only alone can make. If you deal with this IT group, there is a chance that their inexperience will impair their ability to provide the kind of service you anticipate. You may choose to broaden your quest for an IT team with a more solid foundation in your sector.
Question 3: What is the range of services that your company can offer?
When speaking with an IT consultant over the phone or in person, avoid concluding the session until you have a complete idea of the extent of their services. After the meeting ends, you and your organization should decide what to do with the newly acquired knowledge.
When reviewing the IT consultant’s list of services and selecting whether to hire the team, keep in mind that the services you require currently are not the only ones on the list. Additionally, shift your perspective to one of scalability. Could your IT consultants succeed if your team decides to expand or evolve, for example, through virtualization or another technology service? If so, you may like to hire them; nevertheless, if not, it is prudent to reconsider.
Question 4: What is the mode of your communication with the client? And how often do you communicate?
Communication is critical, even more so for offsite IT consulting. Without frequent phone interactions, emails, or video calls with your IT team, it’s difficult for your business to judge the kind of service you’re receiving.
During the experimental process of the IT consultant search, please inquire about the frequency with which they communicate with their clients and their preferred methods of contact. For example, perhaps you receive daily, twice-weekly, or even weekly progress updates through email. On the other hand, maybe you have a midweek telephonic call with the IT professional to discuss the previous seven days.
Question 5: What is the price structure for your services, and what about the contract?
Our final and most critical question when hiring an IT professional is this one. It’s a two-pronged question, in a sense. To begin, you should inquire about their pricing structure. We’ve mentioned this previously on the blog, but IT service pricing varies according to the consultant. Specific IT teams charge a flat cost, which means that you pay the same amount per hour or per day irrespective of whether you obtain additional or fewer services. This price strategy is occasionally referred to as the “all-you-can-eat” strategy.
Certain IT consultants charge on an ad-hoc basis, meaning that you pay for their services only when you require them. This is more likely to occur with remote IT than with onsite IT. Other pricing methods include device- or user-based pricing.
Once you understand the IT consultant’s pricing strategy, make sure to inquire about their contracts as well. Your contract for managed IT services may be arranged for six months, a year, three years, or even five years. Certain contract lengths are changeable, but you will never know unless you ask.
Before closing an agreement with an IT consultant, you should always be sure of the contract term. If you are dissatisfied with their service but are trapped into a three-year contract, this becomes a central sore point for your business.
Hiring an IT consultant is a significant undertaking. When comparing applicants, the questions discussed in this article will help you better understand what each IT professional does and how efficiently and expeditiously they do it.