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The Top 5 Qualities of a Modern IT Manager

We recently met a number of clients who needed our help finding IT Managers. Some clients have outsourced IT work and now need someone in-house to develop IT strategy. Others need a new IT Manager who can bring them up-to-date in technology, especially with the latest IT security, mobile device, and business intelligence tools.

In the past, an IT Manager was responsible for managing hardware and software maintenance, and making recommendations about future planning and development of resources.

Although today’s IT Manager still has those responsibilities, our clients are looking for a new breed of IT Manager–more of a Technical IT Manager who can be hands-on when necessary, while still managing a team.

That means companies will likely no longer promote someone from another department to manage IT. Instead, future IT managers will be former developers and systems administrators who also have leadership skills.

Here’s what to ask technical candidates who want to move to a leadership opening:

  1. Have you managed technical people before? Technical candidates should, at the very least, have been Technical Leads who have managed or mentored others before taking on a leadership role.
  2. Do you really want a leadership position? In the IT space, it’s often the top technical people rather than leaders who make the most money. Make sure a technical person is not taking on a leadership opening simply to make more money. Instead, a technical person wanting to become and IT Manager should be more interested in leading a group towards goals.
  3. Are you collaborative? Every candidate will say yes, but are you a technical candidate who can put the best team on high profile projects rather than hoarding those projects yourself? Are you a person who enjoys making others in the company better rather than only improving yourself?
  4. Where do you see yourself going in your career? Do you see yourself managing others in five years or being a consultant working on a specific technical skill? The jury is still out as to whether IT managers or technical experts have more job security and earning potential. The key is finding out if you are a better manager or technical candidate, and pursuing that job.
  5. If you are called upon to be both technical and a manager at the same time, what technical skills come most natural to you? Can you multi-task and be a strong developer, database expert or systems administrator while, at the same time, being a good manager?

Ask these questions to find the new breed of IT managers!

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Content provided by Joe Janasz