Switchfast Recruiters Say CompTIA Tech Graduates Have a Foot in the Door to IT Industry

By Karen Stinneford

Like every other tech company, Switchfast Technologies is hiring.

Charged with filling Switchfast’s job vacancies with the right new hires are Devin Franke and Kara Martin, human resources assistants who joined the company in December 2018.

Franke remembers their first few months on the job.

“We were still learning and getting comfortable, so we went the traditional recruitment route — college visits, career fairs — but nothing was really working for us,” Franke recalled. “Then we interviewed someone we both really liked, and she kept name dropping a tech-training program we weren’t familiar with. She was so impressive and awesome that when she left, we looked at each other and said, ‘Are there more of her? Where do we find more of her?’”

That tech-training program was IT-Ready Technical Support, part of CompTIA Tech Career Academy. And that job candidate who dropped the program’s name in her interview now performs stellar work for Switchfast as a full-time employee.


Like other tech companies, Switchfast is hiring

Switchfast Technologies is an IT managed services provider that serves businesses throughout the Midwest. In 2019, the company was named one of Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For® for the third year in a row. The award — bestowed by the National Association for Business Resources based on anonymous employee feedback — recognizes companies with especially innovative and thoughtful approaches to human resources.

Franke and Martin credit the award to Switchfast’s culture of transparency and teamwork, along with supportive and receptive managers who encourage employees to share ideas and concerns.

At Switchfast, entry-level employees typically work directly with customers who call into the company’s service center because they are experiencing technical challenges. Front-line Switchfast technologists provide some minor troubleshooting, but they usually will escalate calls that can’t be resolved within 15 minutes.

“Their biggest role really is customer service: Delivering extraordinary service to customers in a way that makes them feel heard and reassured,” Martin said. “Good communication and board management also are important — such as coordinating with other team members, or providing detailed notes about the issue and what next steps should be taken.”

To fill these entry-level roles, Franke and Martin seek job candidates who possess technical knowledge coupled with strong people skills.

“Candidates who have worked to earn certifications like CompTIA A+ really stand out to us,” Franke said. “Such certifications take a lot of hard work to earn. It shows us they have put in hard work and effort, and it shows us they have a strong technical foundation. Candidates like those who come from IT-Ready definitely have a foot in the door to IT.”


The path less taken is an option

While Switchfast hires college graduates, the company also hires job candidates entering IT from non-traditional pathways. One of the company’s strongest engineers is an employee in his mid-20s who started working in tech right after high school.

“A college degree is nice, but having a certification like CompTIA A+ usually translates to practical technical knowledge,” Franke said.

Since learning more about IT-Ready Technical Support, Martin, Franke and others at Switchfast have participated in networking events with IT-Ready students and given presentations in IT-Ready classes, sharing information about matters such as job interviews.

“IT-Ready graduates do have a sense of polish that is impressive,” Franke said. “They have job history experience, and together with that polish, it really helps push them forward. And I see a lot of excitement about the job opportunity that I don’t always see from traditional candidates.”

Martin agreed, adding that she would encourage other employers within the IT industry to consider IT-Ready graduates for entry-level jobs.

“I would highly recommend partnering with IT-Ready,” she said. “Successfully completing the program demonstrates a candidate’s commitment and dedication, and really reflects someone with a great work ethic.”

For employers looking to hire for entry-level tech jobs, find out more info on CompTIA Tech on the Hire page. For adults looking to get into tech, CompTIA Tech is accepting applications now for summer classes.


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