How To Build An Exceptional IT Team

With technology changing at lightning speed,build an exceptional IT team it’s important to have an exceptional IT team that will not only keep your business up to date, but that will also pioneer new technologies for your organization. So how do you do it? How do you form a tech team that will bring you to the forefront? It’s simple, really. All you need to do are these eight things, and you’ll have an exceptional IT team that no one can beat.

 

1. Find Passionate Technologists

The first step in building your dream team is to find passionate technologists. We’re not talking about developers who come to the office and don’t complain. We’re talking about people who spend their whole day coding, just to go home and work on a side project – a blog, an app, an open source project.

You want these people on your side, because they’ll go above and beyond when it comes to the technical side of your organization. They’ll work hard to keep you up to date on the latest techniques and will take pride in helping your company succeed. It’s easy to spot these passionate individuals during the interview process. All you need to do is ask interviewees about outside projects. If they’re passionate about what they do, you’ll be able to tell by how they talk about it. Grab the passionate ones.

 

2. Hire people who are a good technical fit for the team

At Base36, we like to say that A-players breed A-teams and B-players breed B-teams.  By this, we’re simply referring to the fact that technologists are attracted to similarly talented technologists. Developers don’t work for the money alone – they work for the mental challenge. If they’re not being surrounded by similarly talented people who will push them to think, you’re going to have a hard time getting an A-player on your team. And without one, your chance of attracting an A-player at all is low. Make a conscious decision to put the efforts and resources into obtaining the right A-players.

 

3. Hire people who are a good personality fit for the team

In our years in the IT staffing and technical consulting field, we’ve found that there are two types of sought after candidates. The first are the brilliant individuals capable of moving mountains. The second kind? Capable people that communicate well and are a joy to work with. It may be tempting to go with the first type of candidate, and many do, but often regret not hiring the second type when team personalities start clashing.

As a result, you need to find a balance between hiring people who are a good technical fit for the team, with hiring people who are also a good personality fit. Remember that people should enjoy working with the individuals around them. Even if Candidate A is the brightest developer you’ve seen in years, if they have a rotten personality, you should go with a different developer. That’s the only way that you’ll be able to keep your other qualified technologists.

 

4. Only hire quality people, someone who will add something new to the team

How is a quality person any different than the best technical and personal fit for your team? Easy. A quality person is someone who not only fits the team, but completes the team. It’s someone who brings a skill to the table that no one else has. Only by looking for diversity in skill will your team be able to grow, face the upcoming challenges, and succeed.

 

5. Don’t hire too quickly

In IT, things can change in an instant. One second you think you have a complete team, only to realize that things would be that much better if you had a person dedicated to SEO or Apache. Suddenly, it seems imperative to have this individual on the team as quickly as possible.

While we understand the urgency, we highly suggest not rushing the process. If you’re too quick to hire a long-term developer, chances are you won’t find the person who’s the best fit for you team in the long run. In order to build a team that will reach your organization’s goals, you need to be patient. Take the time to make sure you candidate fits all of your requirements.

 

6. Identify the right person for the task

Identifying the right person for the task is key to building a stellarIT teams IT team. If you have your brilliant tech pro doing the same rudimentary task day in and day out, you’re not going to have much luck keeping them on. They’re simply there for a challenge.

Find a more junior person to do the rudimentary tasks, and keep your best developers constantly working on new and exciting projects. By doing this, they’ll stay and help you attract other A-players.

 

7. Hire someone who understands business

Too often, organizations hire developers who can write exceptional code in their sleep, but who don’t have an idea of what the business does. The best IT teams, however, are made of individuals who not only understand technology, but also business. They’re able to bridge that gap between the two, illustrating an understanding of how their contributions will aid the company. Without this knowledge the end product tends to lack a certain functionality or usability.

 

8. Fire people who don’t work out

While firing people is never a pleasant task, it is a necessary evil. If you want to have an exceptional IT team, you need to periodically evaluate the members of the team to ensure that they’re living up to team standards.

If they’re holding the team back in any quantifiable way, it may be time to let them go. It won’t be a pleasant task, but it’s the only way you’ll be able to make room for a quality developer. In the long run, the benefits will outweigh the initial uncomfortable conversation and paperwork.

 

In order to build an exceptional IT team, you need to be willing to put effort and resources into finding passionate technologists who not only add to the team, but fit into it. If you’re too quick to hire or refuse to fire those who don’t fit, however, your dream of an A-team is not going to be met. This stellar team will be imperative to the success of your organization in the coming years, so start allocating time and money now.

What else is there to building an exceptional IT team? Let us know in the comments section, or join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.

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Thanks to stevoarnold and sunshinecity for the use of their respective photographs.

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