Pre-Service and Support Workshop

Wednesday, November 6, 2013, 8:30 am - Noon

Finding and Training Helpdesk Staff and Students to Reach for New Heights
Jerry Martin, Ohio State University

Finding, training, evaluating and retaining the right staff is a core competency of any IT manager. And yet, how many of us have a background in human resources and instructional design? Are you a busy Helpdesk manager dealing with employee turnover and training constantly? This workshop will give you the skills you need to be a more effective recruiter, trainer and manager.

In this workshop, we will focus on finding and hiring the right staff using focused marketing, research and interviewing techniques. We will discuss how to develop effective training programs, assess competency and increase retention for both student and full time staff hired to work in a phone or walk-in help desk environment. Session participants will learn how to

  • implement techniques for improving phone skills, including friendly greetings, focused questions, and replacing the all too often used "have a nice day" closing
  • Turn passive instructional components into active ones.
  • Apply principles of adult learning.
  • Provide "just in time" learning.
  • Individualize course content based on needs.
  • Select instructional methods.
  • Hold participants' attention and interest.
  • Promote learner participation.
  • Use small-group activities effectively.

All techniques presented can be used by both small and large help desk operations. This session will be highly interactive and fun! You will receive handouts with interview questions, training schedules, and lots of practical skills you can take home and implement.

This session has been developed specifically for large and small Helpdesk operations but the concepts and techniques can be applied to any customer focused department within an IT organization.

BIOGRAPHY: Jerry has been with The Ohio State University Computer Center (not its real name) for the past 33 years and has gone through at least five departmental name changes, multiple title changes and several reorganizations. He was never sure of his official title, other than it had the word "Senior" in it somewhere, which has been accurate for some time. He has worn many hats during that time, most of them dealing with training of one sort or another. Jerry has presented at many regional and national conferences including Educause. Jerry enjoys giving presentations at conferences and has used it as an excuse to justify attending them when necessary. He has participated in panel discussions, presented papers, poster sessions, and tutorials. He has found giving presentations helps prevent dementia, thus it is a powerful incentive to remain active. During that time his hair has turned gray, but his gray matter is still active.