This article has been contributed by Beth Kaminski.
This is part one of a three-part series by Beth Kaminski. In this first part, Beth addresses finding qualified staff and avoiding ambiguous job postings.
I am very pleased that the ITAM Review has asked me to write a series of articles regarding skillsets for now and the future around the ITAM discipline. I have been responsible for staffing an ITAM program for 20+ years. One of the biggest challenges encountered over the decades is finding qualified staff.
ITAM and Biscuits!
Let’s start with an analogy of sorts. Biscuits. I love biscuits. I learned to love them living in the Southern United States where they are a tall buttermilk creation served warm.
However, depending on your location on our good earth, biscuits can go by the terms bread, cake, cracker, cookie, scone, wafer. For our purposes here a biscuit is a baked good made using flour, shortening, baking powder or soda, and other ingredients. Pretty generic ingredients, right? So many combinations are possible to get the desired result.
By now you are most likely asking yourself what does all this have to do with IT Asset Management? Excellent question so read on but start to think about different names for a similar thing.
Just like biscuits, names or titles do have different meanings to different audiences. EX:
How many readers are currently looking to staff an ITAM position in the future or simply want to lobby for one? Pretty generic term “ITAM position” is it not? Can be problematic when you are asking for the funds to make a hire. I suggest that you concentrate on the following areas to make the job search less ambiguous and targeted.
Targeted ITAM Job Searches
First, clearly define the “top” 5-7 job duties for the hire. What do you see for the top 5, do you know? If not, find out what is typical and document. Do you know what your Leadership thinks the “top” 5-7 duties would be from their point of view for the position? If not, find out and document. Compare the two. You will get more traction if you can reflect Leadership goals along with your own. An added benefit, it sets the expectations in advance on both sides.
Next, work with the Human Resources department. Make sure you understand where this position falls within the HR hierarchy of job titles, salary bands. That seems obvious but ITAM does seem to fall in between the technology, administrative, financial job functions and that can be problematic from a compensation standpoint. In fact, if you can get a market analysis completed, I would recommend it. Experienced ITAM professionals can command large salaries. If looking for experience, the salary range can be a big challenge. Best to know that fact ahead of time.
Finally, a note of caution! Do not throw every job duty related to ITAM onto one job description. Often the description posted and presented to candidates would literally take a team to satisfy. In my mind that is counterproductive on several counts. Experienced individuals see the lack of understanding by the organization and the inexperienced will be overwhelmed. Be reasonable. Use the 5-7 duties already identified as the backbone of the posting. It is not a fishing expedition.
Following some of these steps will cut some of the ambiguity out of the ITAM posting. Figuratively, it will be clear whether you are talking biscuits or cookies to both your Leadership and potential employees.
Now you have a position created and defined but not sure who are the best candidates. Unsure which qualifications fit particularly well as the candidates have a wide variety of experience and skillsets. Have they made biscuits, crackers, cookies in the past, or maybe all of them?
Read the next part: Qualifications.