Recruiting Tactics for MSPs

Hiring the right candidate depends on writing clear job postings, effectively interviewing potential talent and encouraging diversity in the workplace.

Datto Guest Blogger

February 21, 2020

4 Min Read
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For any managed service provider (MSP), having the right team in place is essential to success. So, how do you build an effective recruitment process if you don’t have a background in human resources? How can you attract the right talent? In this article, we’ll dive into tips on HR processes, writing clear job postings, interviewing potential talent and encouraging diversity in the workplace.

Keep Your Processes Simple

Make sure that your process is easily understood, and clearly communicated with your candidates and employees. Finding the right mix of simplicity, efficiency and quality assurance will enable your employees to engage in the strategy. You can always add layers of complexity if required, but keeping it simple can provide a strong foundation enabling long-term growth.

Writing Job Postings

A job posting is a mix of marketing, articulation of business needs and painting an honest picture to get high-quality candidates to click “apply.” It turns out that candidates skim job postings in much the same way that many of us read emails: Like someone replying “TLDR” (too long, didn’t read) to a wordy email, a high-quality candidate may see a wordy job posting and just move on. I’m aware of the soapbox arguments of, “Well, if they didn’t read the posting, then clearly we don’t want them here,” or, “We need to put everything in the posting so we get precisely what we are seeking.” But, where else does that apply in our day-to-day lives? We streamline processes and improve experiences for customers every day, so why not apply these principles to recruitment strategies?

Tailoring Test: 15 Seconds

A test I’ve developed and shared with many professionals over the years is the tailoring test. Print your draft job posting out and have two trusted colleagues not familiar with the role flip over the paper and read the draft for 15 seconds. Then ask them what they recalled from the posting and what stood out. What do they articulate? Was it what you wanted a proposed candidate to notice? Of course, the posting can be more than 60 words, but get creative, consolidate and target what will truly matter to high-quality candidates. In an age of Twitter and TikTok, the opportunity exists to engage short attention spans with high-quality postings.

 Evaluating Candidates

With all aspects of these processes, enable your team to master the basics before adding complexity. Below are a few points to consider:

  1. Resume reviews: Some individuals can get caught up in the minutia of resume reviews, instead of evaluating the underlying abilities of an individual–for example, saying something like, “I will not review candidates who don’t submit cover letters.” Similar to job postings, don’t let creativity on the candidate’s part get in the way of missing out on high-quality hires.

  2. Clear processes: Communication and simplicity are key. Developing and sticking to an interview process is a great first step to high-quality interview experiences. You don’t need a Google-sized budget to provide a great candidate experience. Every day we all seek out ways to improve quality communication and processes for our clients, so apply that same approach here.

  3. Active listening in interviewing: A great step toward landing quality hires is putting as much effort into preparing for the interview as high-quality candidates would. Develop a structure of job-related questions that get to the insights you need to ensure you make a high-quality hire. And, once a question is asked, listen to the answer! Avoid distractions such as Slack and email; focus on the candidate. Bonus tip: I always leave time for candidates to ask me questions. Communication is a two-way street.

Encouraging Inclusion and Diversity: “Culture Add”

We’ve all heard the words “culture fit.” However, there has been a pivot to the philosophy: “culture add”—a subtle difference with great distinction. In some ways, a culture fit is when you look for a square to fit into a square hole, and that can be limiting for your organization’s success. Instead of saying, “I need another [fill in the name]” when opening a job posting, articulate the skill set you are referring to versus the person. Seek out unique individuals who will bring different experiences and perspectives to the table that will add to your culture.

Everything discussed here is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to HR strategy and recruiting. If you’d like to hear more recruiting tips and real-life examples, jump over to our website and listen to our recent podcast on the topic.

(Just as a quick disclaimer: This article is based on the personal views and experiences of our Datto team members. If you are creating a recruiting strategy, please work with either your in-house legal and HR teams or consultants to ensure you are meeting the requirements and regulations in your region.)

Taylor Bradley is Director, HRBP Global Product Development, Datto.


This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.


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