Late Summer 2014

Hello all,

I hope you had a great summer.  I know I discussed having a get together over the summer.  Due to sponsorship and scheduling conflicts we just could not get it planned.  That said, do not worry. Our officer group is actively working on a September meeting that will be a combination of meeting and networking event.  The beautiful part of it all is that this event will not cost you one dime to attend, but there is a fee.  I will explain more later.

 I have been talking to several of you throughout the summer and there appear to be two big things occurring:

  1. Help desks and companies are implementing new technology that is impacting their ability to support their customers.  Some of it is good, some of it is presenting some challenges and opportunities.
  2. Many of us continued to be challenged with finding and recruiting good talent.  As we search the market for college students to groom into our new leaders or veterans that can provide experience, perspective and leadership.  Where 4 - 5 years ago, it was not an issue, today it is difficult to find good candidates and keep the ones that you already have.

The beauty of a group like the HDI Gateway Chapter is that we can work with each other as we run into challenges and issues, we can reach out to one another.  Recently, one of our members, Camie Oppermann, reached out to ask the following.

I could use your expertise. If your organization uses Chat as a tool for contacting your service desk, when this was implemented, did you hire additional support staff to handle Chat queues? We handle ACD calls and email only and it takes a full time person to handle email requests. Research says that agents really should not handle both ACD calls and Chat at the same time. How does your organization handle these different tools? Thanks so much for your response. 

Her simple act of reaching out to me and to our LinkedIn community will allow over 300 individuals the opportunity to read this and give her feedback.  I encourage each of you to use the comment section to respond to Camie.

In regards to the other issue, we will be soon posting a meeting for September.  The meeting topic will be a panel discussion on what companies are doing to get great talent and keep the talent they have.  We are going to bring on a panel group of recruiters and training personnel to discuss what companies in St. Louis and nationwide are doing to recruit away from companies and what other companies are doing to retain their good talent.  Remember earlier where I said that attending the meeting/network event has a fee.  Here is the catch.  When you sign up for the meeting, you must submit one question per person for the panel.  That is it, one question about recruiting, employee retention, or training. That is all.  Your questions will then be compiled and used to start discussions among the panel.  Questions like, what are companies doing to onboard, or what kind of training are companies offering, are not acceptable.  Those baseline questions will be a given.  Think of your pain points are specific things that you are running into and ask.

Last thing to mention.  Analyst of the Year, Desktop Support Technician of the Year and Manager of the Year nominations will be open soon.  St. Louis has some of the best and brightest talent in the nation and we are not seeing those people nominated.  Whether you have contractors or full time employees, we all should take the time to recognize the best and brightest on our staff.  I expect that everyone should have someone they can nominate.  If you are unsure or have questions, please email or ask one of our officers.

 Thank you all and I hope you have a great Labor Day.

 Joe Arechederra

President - HDI Gateway Chapter.

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