The Challenges of Hiring Staff for a Data Centre

The Challenges of Hiring Staff for a Data Centre

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Data Centre Guidance

Data Centres Ireland

Data centre servers

Working in the Data Centre space is becoming increasingly popular in Ireland, and with that also comes the demand for exceptional staff to work within them. The systems and designs of data centres are constantly changing and innovating and this can make them an exciting but also a tricky place to work. There are many reasons that people find data centres an appealing place to work and the ever evolving industry has many delights that you can read about further here.

This constant evolving of technologies has opened up a huge market for people to immerse themselves in the exciting world of Data Centre activity but finding the right person for the job is not without its own challenges. 

Having taken the time to speak to Hiring Managers currently employed in this sector, it is interesting to see the different factors that can cause challenges for effective staffing. Here are some areas that are important to consider when making these important hiring decisions:

  • Domain knowledge

    Having the specific domain knowledge for any position in IT is vital, but particularly important with Data Centre roles. A software Project Manager isn’t necessarily going to know how to effectively lead a team of cabling technicians but might be fine with setting the budgets, time frames and the planning side of things. This is all good and well but one thing Project Managers have been vocal about is that the more knowledgeable you are about the project’s domain, the better the communication amongst team members will be. 

    Data Centres Dublin - Staff expertise

    These days, people are becoming a lot more specialized in their areas of work. This can be a great thing normally, but surprisingly in some instances it’s not so ideal in the Data Centre field. Project Managers often need to know how to use the technologies that their team is working with and it’s even more beneficial if they have done this type of work before themselves. In many instances we see Project Managers who are very good at planning and organising but don’t have a lot of ex[perience with networking or data centre terminology.

    It is because of these issues that the ‘Jacks of all trades’ are widely sought after in Data Centre roles. The Network Engineer with 10 years experience who then progressed into a PM type role can add a lot more value to the team then somebody who has started their career as a Project Manager straight from the beginning. 

  • Agile vs waterfall  

    People from technical backgrounds nowadays are almost always more experienced and knowledgeable in Agile methodologies as opposed to Waterfall. The new age of Technical Project Managers in particular are heavily Agile focused with many even calling themselves Agile Project Managers by title. Agile is ideal for projects in the devops field but for Data Centre focused projects, Waterfall is actually used more often. 

    Data Centres Ireland - Why Waterfall? 

    This is because data centres are built on a step by step basis, it is all sequential, and each step involved depends on the completion of the last - as per Waterfall methodologies. Engineers and PM’s alike are often familiar with Waterfall but have much more experience with Agile and sometimes this can be tough to get used to when hired for a Data Centre role. This is something that should be considered when making the hire initially, especially if the candidate doesn’t have domain knowledge and is new to this environment. 

  • Physical Deployment expertise  

    We all have to start somewhere when it comes to reaching our desired career goals in life. Due to the high demand of Data Centre employees in Ireland, candidates aren’t always going to have experience in the deployment of DC Infrastructure. This can cause a challenge as it can be difficult to find people that can rack and stack servers for example, but it doesn’t necessarily mean those that haven’t done it won’t be good at the job. This just means that Hiring Managers and Recruiters have to be a little bit more creative during the initial search for the job and find other desirable skill sets that might be suitable for the role, such as hands on electrical experience. 

    Technicians - Data Centres Dublin

    A PC repair Technician is another  popular job nowadays in the Data Centres of Facebook, Google, Amazon etc. The role involves maintaining all the servers and repairing any hardware issues that may arise with the PC’s onsite. This may seem like a very specific task to do, but someone who has never set foot inside a data centre could still have exceptional experience in repairing computer hardware from another job they had previously. Hobbyists who have always had a passion for building their own computers over the years can even acquire these skills over time and there are numerous other backgrounds that people come from that prove to be great at this type of work. 

    Data Centre services are only made possible due to the skilled team members and infrastructure that lies behind the scenes. We often recruit for these types of roles and know how important it is to match the right candidate with the right job. All of our active roles can be seen here on our jobs page.

  • Challenging Environment

    Working in a Data Centre can be a steep learning curve at first, but highly enjoyable for those seeking a challenge for their next career move. It’s fair to say that working in this environment sometimes demands more than your standard 9-5 job would and this is mainly because the servers run 24/7. You never know when something might go wrong and you are needed! Once you get the hang of this though it can be a very fulfilling sector to be working in. 

    Data Centre Relocation Services can be a tricky business for example, and there is a lot involved in these huge projects. Due to the challenging nature of Data Centre work, screening processes during the hiring stage need to be thorough. It is important to hire candidates that are resilient and quick to adapt so that they don’t leave the job after just being there for just a couple of weeks or even days. Processes are tough and the hours are long, so the right recruits can sometimes take a little bit of extra time. Amazon is great at choosing the right person for the job at interview stages. They test for leadership traits, reliability, resilience and technical capability and because of this they have some of the most talented Data Centre employees in the market.

  • Location 

    Data centres are usually quite large and physically require a lot of space to hold their server capacity and equipment. Furthermore, there are several factors of security that are involved including physical fencing and gateways that also require a lot of space. This often means that Data Centres are not centrally located (i.e in the city centre) as there simply is not enough space. 

    Sometimes this can be an issue when trying to hire potential candidates as the journey to and from the DC is too far out of their way. Of course this all depends on where they live and whether they are driving or not, but for those living on the other side of the city it can be too much of a trek, especially if using public transport. Another consideration to take when making a hire for your Data Center. 

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