Service Desk Tip – Hire The Right People

Pretend you’re a Service Desk Manager and you have to choose between two people to hire:
Candidate #1 is technically very sharp and experienced, but they come across as superior and condescending during support calls. They resolve a lot of tickets on the first shot.
Candidate #2 is kind, bright, on-the-ball, listens well, is patient, and sees each issue through to completion, even though they have to throw a larger percentage of calls over to 2nd and 3rd line support because they’re not as familiar with the technology you use in your organization.

Which candidate should you hire?
The nicer person, hands down.


Let’s assume that you have the greatest IT department in the world. Everyone gets along, everyone is overpaid with tons of vacation time, your technology never breaks and your leaders are all fabulous. And let’s pretend that you’re a user, and you get the one grumpy snippy jerky IT person on the phone who just happens to work on the Service Desk. What do you, as the user, think of the entire IT department? That they’re all grumpy, snippy jerks!

So hire the nicer person, because they are the only interaction with IT that your users are going to have.

Let’s look at some facts about human nature:

  • You can train people to be more technical, but you can’t train people to be nice. People are either born nice or they’re not.
  • People either care about doing a good job or they don’t. You can’t train people to care. People are either born caring or they’re not.
  • People are either bright or they’re not. The good news is that bright people can be trained easily; they’ll learn to support whatever weird quirky apps you have easily.
  • Perception is everything!

    So… the tip here is: Hire nice, bright people who care.

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