What do We Look for in Candidates for Our Data Centre Teams?
by Mark Prizeman
Data Centre Guidance
At GemPool a big part of what we do in our infrastructure practice is recruiting top talent for a number of our clients in the data centre space. It is a truly unique (and testing environment) and exciting space to get into with so many possibilities for career progression. Whether you are a hardware enthusiast looking to break in and get that much-needed industry experience or a more seasoned technician looking to advance your career we have got you covered.
Working in this space for so many years has given us a deeper insight into what is needed for our candidates to succeed in their job search process. Today, I’m going to share some of that excellent knowledge with you.
Hard Skills, technical ability and certifications
Depending on the role, the level of experience needed is going to differ greatly. One team that we specifically focus on would be at an operative level. This is a great opportunity for hardware enthusiasts to gain experience in a data centre environment and to add to their list of self-taught skills.
So, when we say hardware enthusiast, what do we actually mean?
This would be aimed at candidates who have tinkered with computers and view building PCs as an enjoyable hobby. Being able to strip down a PC and easily identify, repair, and replace computer components is a great start.
For example, during our screening call with the candidate, we look to gain a detailed description from the candidate of the process they would use for the removal of a CPU and replacing it. Having strong knowledge about the inner workings of the PC is advantageous and being able to demonstrate your understanding of BIOS, CMOS and raid to name a few examples, would be beneficial.
Why is this beneficial?
We have seen candidates coming from this sort of background really embrace the role and become valued members of the team. All those years of salvaging parts to reuse in different builds show a frugality and the creativity needed to flourish in the environment.
What kind of certifications help?
A great way of enhancing your chances in these types of roles is by enrolling and completing your CompTIA A+ to give yourself a better understanding of these computer components and systems. This will also help you with picking up the accurate terminology to complement the knowledge you have built up throughout the years.
Top pointer: Moving up the ladder and gaining more experience, upskilling is always recommended. The more involved you get the more testing the work will become. Adding to your networking knowledge will be a real plus and grasping more than just the basics should see you thrive in these data centre roles. Adding a CompTIA Network + or completing your CCNA will be very advantageous to your career.
Understanding the role and environment
A big part of being successful in these data centre roles is having an understanding of what you are about to undertake. Previously I mentioned how testing this environment can be to work in. Spending a good bit of time researching the role can prepare you for what is ahead.
Data Centres are loud and can get very warm, it can also be very intimidating to walk into for the first time. Getting ahead of this and having an understanding of the environment can help you prepare before starting.
Important to note
Another big aspect of these roles is the safety measures involved. Data centres are highly secure environments and the security and safety measures to go along with that are of the highest importance. You will be expected to comply with all of these procedures and do your part not only for yourself but those around you.
Having the awareness to notice what is happening around you is crucial to keeping yourself and your team safe. For every job or action you undertake, safety should be at the forefront of your mind each time.
Having all the technical ability and know-how will only get you so far. You will also need to demonstrate a number of traits that will set you up for success.
Being enthusiastic and open to learning is so valuable in this role. Showing this eagerness to grow and develop will allow you to take on more responsibility and work and show more experienced technicians you are serious about your career.
The ability to communicate effectively within the team will aid your learning process and at the same time will help you address issues and discuss ideas regarding the work process and flows, whilst also being able to listen to your team and take constructive feedback is crucial.
As discussed earlier regarding the environment and security, being calm and working under pressure will also be a benefit onsite hopefully eliminating any error.
If you are looking for a role within a data centre environment, we have several opportunities across all levels of experience. If you are interested you can reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our Data Centre Job Search Toolkit.