Top 5 Things to Look For in Your Next Virtualization Hire
Hiring good people is extremely hard. Firing bad people is even harder. With those two indisputable facts in mind, as you make your way down the path to the next hire in support of your virtual environment, there are five critical traits to look for every time.
1. Attitude and Team Fit
Personally, I believe that this is by far the most important characteristic in a new hire. This doesn’t mean that you hire a bunch of people that all think like everyone else on the team, but it does mean that you avoid hiring people with poor attitudes and that do not mesh at all with the rest of the team. Hopefully, you’ve already established a culture in which ideas can be freely discussed and debated and where that debate is seen as positive and constructive.
I’m also a firm believer in hiring “nice people” with fewer skills than jerks with awesome skills. Skills can be taught; attitude is a tougher nut to crack. That doesn’t mean that I would hire a newbie into a senior role, but that attitude is an important part of the hiring process.
2. Understanding of Storage
Today’s virtual environments are storage-intensive, both from a capacity perspective as well as a performance perspective. In fact, storage issues are among the leading causes of poor application performance in virtual environments, particularly as organizations start to push these environments to include I/O intensive mission critical applications and virtual desktops.
A broad understanding of the storage market, including the different kinds of storage and where each is applicable, is key knowledge in a new virtualization hire.
3. Technical Currency
Of course, all of this leads up to a new hire’s technical currency. Has the new hire successfully kept pace with the constant change to defines modern IT environments? It’s also important to understand here how the new hire prefers to learn about new products. Some organizations have only meager training budgets, so hiring someone that needs tens of thousands of dollars worth of in-class training every year may not end up being a good fit, whereas someone that just wants a monthly subscription to TrainSignal/Pluralsight might be.
4. Business Focus
In many cases, IT staff members have traditionally been somewhat insular, focused on the back room and may not always understand that their jobs is not to, for example, “maintain the SAN” but is to “ensure that storage services remain available to support business needs.” Sure, that involves maintaining the SAN, but also puts the support responsibility in the context of the business. During the interview process, look for candidates that understand this contextual difference. The pro that understands that the work is done in support of the business will be a much more reliable long-term asset.
5. “vSphere vs. Hyper-V” Is Not The Question
The real pro doesn’t get bogged down into holy wars over which technology should be used 100% of the time. Instead, the real pro analyzes the situation and makes a determination — based on existing need — as to what solution makes the most sense. Yes, in most cases, the answer will be vSphere, but in some cases, the answer will be Hyper-V. The same goes for all kinds of technology decisions. As you’re looking for a new hire, look for someone that can keep a solutions-based open mind.
What Say You?
What characteristics do you most often look for in your virtualization team hires? Share in the comments!