Building ITAM teams: Qualifications

13 May 2021
4 minute read
Best practice

Building ITAM teams: Qualifications

13 May 2021
4 minute read

This is part two of a three-part series by Beth Kaminski. Read part one here: finding qualified staff

Welcome back as we continue our exploration of building ITAM teams (and biscuits!).

In Part 1, we explored how terminology can have various meanings such as is the case with the word biscuit (cookies, crackers, rolls).  Confusion can also arise when defining and posting a new position for an ITAM professional.  We spent a bit of time looking at some ways of cutting the ambiguity out of the job posting both from the definition and compensation standpoint.

In the second part of the discussion, I would like to concentrate on defining the qualifications or the best ingredients to have a successful result.  We now have clearly defined the position that we want to fill.  Now we need to find the baker that can make the confection as defined.

QualificationsJust like in any baking recipe the combination of ingredients plays a major role in the product.  A cookie may have a lot of sugar where a cracker may have very little.  Depending on the rise required for the item the combination of baking power or baking soda varies greatly.  Eggs or no eggs.

At this point, the reader may be saying, seriously eggs.  Stick with me.  In Part One we identified 3 key areas that define the position: what the ITAM manager sees as the 5-7 top job duties, what Leadership sees as the top 5-7, compensation targets.  Break it down just like a recipe.

ITAM position qualifications are centered in the following disciplines, finance, procurement, technical training, administration, project management, sales, communications plus a sprinkling of others.   Also experienced ITAM professionals often have been positioned in one or more disciplines in their past ITAM roles.

Deeply examine your 5-7 job duties.  Prioritize those duties by most essential for the position.  That is the reason I mentioned in Part 1 you must resist the temptation to build a job description that takes a superhuman to make a success and doesn’t take some priority of duties into consideration.

Break each job duty down by type of discipline.  Perhaps creating a discipline vs. job duty matrix to lay each candidate’s qualifications into can be helpful.  Is job duty #1 more based on financial or project management?  Is #2 centered more on technical skills or communications.?  What about #3 and so on.  How do each candidate’s qualifications fit into the matrix?

Finally, a note about soft skills.  These are the skills that are not easily quantifiable: communications, critical reasoning, influence, persuasion, emotional intelligence, etc.  Take your matrix or list of job duties and map out the soft skills that would need to be used to successfully perform that duty.  When interviewing ask about soft skills and how they would be applied.

Most of the successful ITAM professionals that I have run across over the years have solid experience in several disciplines other than ITAM.  A lot of ITAM professionals like myself just fell or were pushed into this combination discipline and it is this wide experience and well-honed soft skills that have made us successful.

Finding a candidate that meets the requirements and has experience is not that easy.  It can prove to be almost impossible.   You have candidates that can make cookies but have never made biscuits as we adhere to the analogy?

Check back for Part 3:  Creative Recipes for Hiring Success

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