What Makes A Great IT Consultant?

IT Consultants: Building the Best Team at Executech

In today’s blog, we’re taking a deeper dive into the backbone of IT work: the people. We also talked about what makes a great IT Consultant on our podcast. James Fair – SVP of IT Services and Ben Rees – Training Manager here at Executech went into detail on what they look for and how they train consultants. You can listen to the episode here.

IT consultants—and the field in general—can sometimes get overlooked because they primarily operate behind the scenes. Consultants work behind closed doors, behind their screens, and sometimes they embody the phrase “out of sight, out of mind.” But IT work is a complex and challenging field, and the people behind it are the real foundation of any company’s technical systems. They are what make the technology work. And here at Executech, we focus on our people—training them and honing the right approach. So, we wanted to take some time to give credit where credit is due and pull back the curtain on IT consultants and the work that goes into crafting, updating, and maintaining all kinds of technology systems.

Who Becomes an IT Consultant?

In taking a closer look at IT consultants and what they do, the first step is to understand the people themselves. The people drawn to IT consultancy are often very service-minded people. They want to help organizations run smoothly and work efficiently without dealing with the hassles and frustrations that technology can sometimes bring. They want to make a difference and help other people be successful with their technology. Helping someone is the reason they get out of bed in the morning.

Additionally, IT consultants generally want to understand technology itself and are problem solvers. They were probably taking things apart a lot as a child, seeing how things worked. As an adult, they still have the curiosity to understand the inner workings of machines and systems and possess the instinct to figure things out and have a part in making things work.

Last but not least, IT consultants are people that have an extreme willingness to learn. They crave knowledge and constantly keep track of the latest trends and the next big thing. They absorb as much as they can regarding technology and are always on the lookout for more. And the knowledge they acquire is put to good use as they work to create, fix, and maintain various systems and complex technology networks.

Living Up to The Expectations

So, now that we’ve discussed a little bit more about who IT consultants are and why they are drawn to the work let’s take a look at some of the expectations IT consultants face and how they meet—and exceed—these expectations.

First, one of the first expectations businesses and managers have of IT consultants is that they will find the answers. They understand that their consultant doesn’t know everything and might not have all the answers immediately, but they will find those answers. And to be a successful IT consultant, it’s essential to live up to this expectation. Some of the traits we previously discussed—the curiosity and inclination for problem-solving—really lend a hand in meeting this expectation. But another big help is having a knowledgeable and experienced team.

We focus on teamwork here at Executech because we know it allows our consultants to meet this expectation of being able to find the answers. Our consultants know they can reach out to their team to get answers or get help finding the answers. There isn’t any competition or knowledge gatekeeping because we understand that no one person can know it all in the vast and ever-changing technology landscape. It takes a team and knowledge sharing to truly unlock the best IT support that is quick, efficient, and top-level.

Another expectation for IT consultants is excellent communication. Business owners and leaders expect their IT consultants to communicate clearly and effectively, especially because technology can be so complex. This involves translating things from technology-related terms to something that the general public would understand, which can be an arduous task.

We emphasize the importance of communication with our IT consultants so that they can meet this expectation. And not only that but focusing on being proactive instead of reactive is also extremely helpful when it comes to communication because it allows IT consultants to explain the steps they are taking now that will be useful in the future. They can communicate that they aren’t there just to put out fires; they are there to truly be a partner in building a solid technology landscape.

Why Executech’s IT Consultants Are Different

After seeing the expectations that IT consultants face, it’s important to get the right person into the job to meet those expectations. And at Executech, we approach hiring our IT consultants by looking at both technical and non-technical skills to find the best person to fill the job. And that’s part of what makes us different. We want the IT consultant who knows what they are doing and knows how to work on a team and ask for help. And a person who is willing and excited to share the knowledge they already possess and learn from others.

So, how do we find these people? Here’s what we look for:

  • First:
    We here at Executech value in an IT consultant and look for a practical understanding and application of technical skills in the hiring process. We want to make sure our technicians know about technology and understand how to apply their knowledge to different situations and problem solve. We look beyond a great resume to ensure that our people can actually do the work.
  • Second:
    We also look for certain soft skills, such as communication. Because we value teamwork and communication so heavily, we look for candidates that communicate during the interview. While we test candidates’ technical skills, we also see if they can ask questions and reach out during complicated tasks or problems. We see how they operate under pressure and stress because that is a component of being an IT consultant. Overall, the ability to work on a team and communicate is possibly even more important to us than finding the person with the highest level of technical skills. This is because we can teach the technical portions of the job, but it’s harder to teach someone how to have a hard conversation with a client or some of the other soft skills we look for.

Our Focus on Training

Last but not least, one of the things we believe heavily contributes to our IT technicians being some of the best in the game is our focus on training. We have a robust training program for our technical staff, which involves training on both technical and soft skills so that our consultants can consistently raise their own bar.

We highly value a growth mindset, and our training program really helps instill that in our people. We also consider the needs and wants of our consultants, building custom training programs. We have a week-long boot camp for new hires where we dive into all things technical, from firewalls, servers, Wi-Fi, and Office 365, and also emphasize our values of communication and teamwork. But our training doesn’t stop there. We invest heavily into training and development and have technical training every Friday for our staff.

Then, we add one soft skill training per month to ensure our consultants are growing in all aspects. These trainings are enjoyable because we’ve been able to get really creative with them, and we’ve done trainings on personality types, work habits, and even love languages. We want our staff to get out of their comfort zone in these trainings because it allows us to be a better team and grow together in different ways.

Overall, here at Executech, we really value our IT consultants and ensure they aren’t overlooked. We know how important technology is to every business, and IT technicians are the people that keep that technology running.

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