In today’s post, Paul Azad, the founder of ServiceTree talks about hiring new people and hiring a new team.
We have another post about hiring and staff. But on this one, I’m going to go specifically about two elements: The first one is when we’re interviewing for the role. And the second one is disc profiles.
Now, the first part I’m going to start with is actually disc profiles. The DISC profile is a personality assessment of a person. D, I S, and C, these four letters stand for the different kinds of profiles people can be.
- D: is a dominant, somebody that’s driven. Generally, you’ll find entrepreneurs and business owners are D’s, I can definitely say I’m a D.
- I: is an influential person, somebody who influences people to get things done. A perfect example of an I was Steve Jobs and Esther Study.
- S: these are people whose roles are designed to be supportive roles. A perfect example is actually a support technician, that likes to be in the same role for a long period of time, and they don’t like change. And they also don’t like making decisions, they like to go with the way things are without disrupting.
- And the last one is a C: is compliant. Generally, you’ll find people who are C’s are going to be accountants, lawyers, or business analysts. So these are the kinds of people that value accuracy in what they’re doing and accuracy in data and results.
Unlocking the secret of a successful team
Why does this matter when we’re hiring? My view is it really unlocking this is a secret of a successful team.
Having a successful team that also intertwines with team culture is imperative to having a successful business. Unless you are an organization that is all mechanical, machine, or factory-based, and it’s all automated, you’re going to find that your people are where your asset is. When organizations look at mergers and acquisitions, real success in an organization is being acquired. And the value of an organization to a buyer more often than not, is as important in the people that are in that organization, as the product that they’ve built and want to sell, aka being acquired.
When I talk about the actual disc profiles, it’s a no-brainer. We started looking at these profiles in my MSP back around the 2013 mark. I had my CEO, Anton, who was very much a people person, and he’s very, very a strong operations person. I, on the other hand, was very technical. I am a very D, and I’m driven to make things happen, Anton was a C. I didn’t know any of this at the time, I’ll be honest, but it’s definitely what made us achieve some of the achievements we made as an organization.
Why it’s so important to hire the right people for your team
Now, when it came to hiring people, we know at the time that there were other ways to analyze how a person could fit into the organization because hiring the person for their skill set is only part of the person you’re hiring. Because at the end of the day, these people are humans, they’re gonna have feelings, they’re gonna have ways of interpreting things. It is really important that we hire the right people for our team, but also hire the right people for the role.
In a service desk or in MSP, most of our people are going to be related to tech and related to the service desk. If you’re a large MSP you might have to some level three technical resources that have no interaction with customers. So there could be guys and girls that are doing automation in the background, doing coding, that kind of role. I’ve spoken to MSPs that have three or four people that just work in the RNM and just sit there and look at the tickets that have come through, and how can they automate it so that those tickets don’t come up because the RNM is able to make that issue not happen or go away.
When you look at that, and you think that most of our people are going to be customers facing is really important that these people are connected to your business in the right way. And what happens with these profiles is when you look at their roles, you’ll find that their specific roles work really well with the kind of profile that they follow.
First service personnel for a service test or a support tech, for an engineer, they’re a supporting role. The perfect profile is somebody that is an S being steady. These are supporting roles that are not driven by change. For example, I can support very well, I’m very technical, but I’m definitely not going to be a good support tech. Because as a D, I’m very driven, I’m driven about results, I want to make things happen. People come to me in life and at work and my customers, they came specifically because they know I’m going to make something happen. They’ve got a pain point, they come to a person, that’s a D, these are the risk takers. They’re going to be generally CEOs of organizations, they’re definitely founders and entrepreneurs.
But a D person in a support role would actually infuriate a customer because we’re going to be trying very driven to make something happen or change something that they need to, but they might not want to do it. When S is very much customer-centric. They’re customer-facing people, they’re people that will stay in the same role, and they’re accommodating of things that don’t go well. You got to be very mindful of that because these people are generally going to be customer-facing, which is great, but they’re going to be people pleasers. So there’s going to be times that they’re not going to tell you what you need to know, they’re going to tell you what they think you want to hear. With that in mind, C is a powerful role in an MSP space.
The other profile that’s quite applicable in an MSP is a C, a compliant person. In an MSP the same profile is really good for a service delivery manager, for an operations manager, or for a document writer, they’re going to be very driven to get, the results. In a management position, they’re going to be the ones that ensure that the targets are being measured accurately and that they’re able to engage the team with the direction of the goals in mind. An S profile is very good at following that, so they’re gonna have no issue following a predefined goal. But don’t expect an S profile to design a role or design a goal because they won’t.
Now when I think of other C roles or S roles, it’s going to be a service tech, a combined role that is. I’ve seen service techs or support techs being an S C or a C S. Although there is a D, I, S, and C profile, there are also four sub-profiles, which is a combination of the two.
In my team, I have had some C or C S roles, C S people. The good thing about a C S profile is that their attention to detail is there, it’s going to be definitely a lot more detail orientated than S. They’re going to be generally people that are going to be good at writing documents. They’re gonna have the tech element that they understand how to resolve something, and, also going to be able to write documentation to get someone else to follow that later.
When I look into a lot of MSPs, a lot of them struggle with documentation. And it’s generally because they’re trying to get their support technicians to write those documents. A support technician isn’t going to be a great person to write a document, because they’re an S profile, which means they’re going to go with the flow, the attention to detail isn’t going to be there. And the result is going to be a document that others can’t actually follow.
The importance of having a role.
Taking all that into mind, when we interview people for a role, we need to ensure that these people not only that the right profile with what I just mentioned, but we also need to make sure when we interview, that we actually interview with the questions we don’t want to hear the answers of. A lot of people when I say that just sort of look at me really strange, and said: What are you talking about Paul?
Every role in every organization is going to have parts that people don’t like doing. It doesn’t matter if an MSP, a retail outlet, or a janitor, it really doesn’t matter. But every role has components to it, that we know our people are not going to enjoy doing or they don’t want to do at all. It’s really important that these elements of a role, if they’re important for the role of success, that we do actually talk about these elements of the role at the interview stage.
The most common pain points on MSP
Specifically, when we’re talking about a service desk and an MSP and technicians, there is two real elements of the role that people just don’t talk about, at interview time. But they’re also the fundamental pain points that MSP business owners have, or service managers have with their teams.
- The first one is timesheets.
I can say I’ve lost track of the amount of conversations or the amount of forum posts I’ve read, where the staff of an MSP complain that their business owners or their managers are constantly on their back for timesheets. There’s a reason for that.
If you’ve ever been in MSP from a business point of view, from a management point of view, you know how critical it is that those timesheets are done. It’s so critical that the business understands when your time has been useful. So it’s really important that the technical people that we hire, or any staff that need to do timesheets, know that at the time of the interview. It’s unfair that we hire somebody, because they’re great, technically, they’re great on paper, but then we end up firing them because they don’t do timesheets, or their timesheets are inaccurate, or we got to constantly chase it. So timesheets are one of them.
- Prioritize their work
And the second one that comes to an MSP is ensuring our techs are able to prioritize their day, prioritize their work, do it, and have a work method flow for their day.
Unless your organization has got the capacity to have somebody manage the team or micromanage the team, so that the techs are able to just go through what technical work they need to do, but they don’t need to decide what tickets to work on or what jobs to do next, then it is critical for the success of your organization, as well as the success of your team, that they can do that really, really well.
Make sure when we interview, ask those questions. Just think about it, last time you interviewed somebody, did you ask that team member or that person the candidate, did you ask him to explain to you what their day looks like? And how do they prioritize their day, and give you examples of what a successful day looks like when they’re structured? Because I can guarantee you that most technicians would never consider structuring their day when they get in the morning. Unless that person, your tech was a C or a CS, they’re not going to even think that it’s possible to structure your day. Most technicians will think – I don’t know what ticket I’m going to get next. How do I know how many tickets I’m going to work on today? How do I know if they’re going to be big tickets or small tickets? How do I know this? – And that’s the truth. But as a C or as a business manager, you’re going to need to be able to put that into some form of framework that your team can follow.
I know from our data, that on average, a technician works on about 15 tickets a day, a level one service desk is about 25 or 28 tickets, and your level three tech is going to be maybe six to eight tickets per day. But on average, the full team is around 15 tickets a day. So it’s not going to be 100 tickets, it definitely shouldn’t be two or three tickets.
Don’t make it an issue later.
With that in mind, you’ve got data to be able to have a structure. But if that is important for your team to be able to structure their day, if it’s important for your team to do timesheets accurately, ask those questions at the interview time. Don’t make it an issue later when you’ve hired the greatest tech you’ve ever had. And then you’re gonna have to let him go because he or she didn’t actually do timesheets, or he didn’t keep the customer updated. Or he or she didn’t document how they did what they did. Just be mindful!
As much as it’s a pain for you to hire somebody and go through the hiring process. You got to remember, the person that’s coming to you it’s not only going to be something that they want to be doing over and over again, this job is for you, and the role is just as important for you as it is for them.