It can be devastating to learn your bank’s IT Administrator is moving on to a new job. Many community banks find themselves wondering, what should I do now and what are the steps I should take to successfully find a new IT administrator to fill this key role?
Start with an updated bank IT administrator job description
The first step any bank needs to take is to update or put together the actual job description for the role they are looking to fill. Oftentimes responsibilities, requirements and required technology skillsets change based on process improvements and new technologies in the financial industry. The job description needs to be a collaboration between bank management, the board and key stakeholders within the bank.
Networking critical to spread the word
Once the description and key requirements have been put together, the position should be posted to key career sites such as LinkedIn, your state’s community bank association website, CareerBuilder and networking needs to start. The community banking network is a close-knit group so networking is crucial. Ask peers inside your organization and network if they know of anyone who they would recommend. Word of mouth can be very efficient in the hiring process!
Cast a wide net
Make your search broad. Given the rural location of many community institutions, locating qualified individuals locally can be a challenge. Don’t restrict recruiting to only your immediate community. Reach out to nearby markets, even other states and larger cities. Qualified candidates may be looking to relocate to your community and this could be the perfect fit for them.
Seek help during the hiring process
While all this sounds easy enough, it can be challenging to find the right candidate for your bank, and you certainly don’t want to make a rushed or hasty decision. It can take two to three months to find a suitable candidate that meets your needs for an IT administrator. Unemployment rate is low (2.3%, for IT jobs in the United States), so you may need to enlist the help of a recruiter who might have a pool of qualified candidates.
In addition, bank executives may find themselves at a loss to ask the right questions and assess qualifications during the interview process. This is typically due to a lack of knowledge of the technical details and skill sets required for this position. The IT Administrator is responsible for overseeing the selection, implementation, and ongoing support of technology throughout the entire bank, so having the right person in place is crucial. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from technology partners or even recruiters during this process. These professionals can help ensure the candidate does indeed possess the right IT and financial industry knowledge needed to efficiently and successfully perform the duties of the bank IT administrator role.
Key skill sets to look for in candidates
Since this position is responsible for the entire bank’s IT network, advanced knowledge of a wide range of computer hardware, systems software, applications, networking and communications technology is required. In addition, they should have:
- The skills necessary to maintain, repair and provide technical support for these systems;
- The ability to efficiently communicate with both staff and customers as well as have the ability to manage and supervise staff; and
- Solid understanding of the regulatory environment and compliance issues banks are facing today.
Given their remote location and possible hiring challenges, smaller community financial institutions can benefit from outsourcing or partnering with a provider who offers network management solutions exclusively tailored for community banks. An outsourced solution provider will work with your IT department, serving as a true partner and eliminating the possibility of a single point of failure. In today’s banking environment it is critical to have a system in place that offers key features such as patch management, third party patching, antivirus, hardware and software inventory management, vulnerability remediation, and compliance-focused reporting to help you verify that your financial institution’s network is adhering to your policies and procedures.
Don’t get blindsided when a single employee leaves
Have a solid back up plan and a trusted partner to ensure your financial institution continues to run smoothly and stays in compliance with today’s demanding regulatory requirements.
For a complete list of the skills and requirements for an ideal bank IT administrator, please see our complimentary job description.