Notify your IT department sooner when hiring

by | Mar/18/2009

When you hire a new employee, you want IT to have them up and running ASAP, right?

Around a third of the companies where I consult one of the initial complaints from IT is, “Management doesn’t give us enough warning when they hire a new employee.”

It is understandable for managers who do not understand about Information Technology to expect their IT professionals to “Just order a new computer and turn it on! What is the big deal?”

Read on to find out what is involved in setting up a new user.

IT professionals know that new computers come with many extra programs commonly referred to as “bloat ware.” It is important to delete these programs for many reasons. Often, it is best for the IT department to reload the machine completely from scratch. Then there are the organization’s application programs that need to be setup. Remember clients for the anti-virus and other IT security tools. Additionally all those applications and the operating system need to be patched with the high priority updates. Many IT departments use tools to make this easier such as imaging of hard drives, remote installation methods, and some even use thin client technology to all but eliminate this problem.

Once the new user’s workstation is ready, there are other administrative tasks to complete as well.

The user needs to be registered in the directory system, set up with a temporary password, and assigned to security groups and organizational units. Restrictions and permissions need to be set up to allow and deny access to different types of data, web sites that can be visited, and what tasks the user is allowed to perform on their computer and in the network.  Proper auditing needs to be set up as well.

If the new employee will be allowed to work from home, provisions for remote access and securing their remote computer have to be included as well.

E-mail accounts have to be configured and tested.  If your IT department is in charge of the phones, they need to set up the extension in the phone system, set up a voice mailbox and establish a password there as well.

Will the user be issued a PDA of some kind? There are patches and integration with the network to consider here as well.

Then, once all of this is done, someone needs to have the user sign off on the organization’s acceptable usage policy and provide him or her with at least basic training in how to use organizational programs that may be unlike any software they have ever used before as well as standard security practices like not using thumb drives.

Most managers understandably have no way of ever knowing how much goes into setting up a new user on the network. Often, IT seems like “smoke and mirrors” to managers and executives anyway. The IT professionals really appreciate when executives understand why the IT departments prefers a two-week lead time for a new hire rather than a two- hour lead time. There is a lot to do and IT departments are often already as busy as they can be.