Hiring personnel with the appropriate level of technical knowledge and experience is critical for a help desk’s success. Member Aypl recently turned to TechRepublic’s Technical Q&A section to ask for advice on developing a series of questionnaires to determine employees’ computer knowledge. Aypl wants to test around 100 employees on their hardware and software skills, especially in the areas of Microsoft Windows and Office. Sounds like a tall order, but we’re here to help. Here is some advice from TechRepublic members and a listing of TechRepublic articles to help Aypl and everyone else accurately measure IT competency.

Members offer their help
“I take my tests at www.brainbench.com,” wrote Deja_Vu. According to its Web site, Brainbench provides online certification and assessment of more than 200 different skills. Tests are available for a variety of subjects, including Windows 9x/Me and NT/2000, computer technical support, computer help desk, and network technical support. Although many in the IT industry do not believe Brainbench certifications are equivalent to those from Microsoft, Novell, Cisco, or CompTIA, they may be just the right thing to test IT knowledge.

Member Pjpatiky suggested developing in-house questionnaires, with a hands-on approach. “Develop tests that require a few moments of thinking, then physical acting at the keyboard,” Pjpatiky wrote.

TechRepublic articles and more
For more information on hiring technically proficient personnel or training existing staff, see the following TechRepublic articles, columns, and downloads:

Ask your peers

If you have a question that you can’t find an answer to, post it in TechRepublic’s Technical Q&A section. Other TechRepublic members will try to answer your question in return for TechPoints.