by Heidi Riley
ProServeIT is a growing IT company that supports companies in North America and Europe with managed services, cyber security, cloud transformation, professional services, change management, and infrastructure.
The company headquarters are in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and there are offices in Charlottetown, the US, France, and Vietnam. “PEI is home to the second largest location,” says Tom Shkrabuik, who heads the Managed Services team on PEI.
“We expect lots of growth within the next couple of years, and the PEI office will be the staple for our company’s growth,” says Tom. “We have been on PEI for almost three years. Because of our rapid growth, we just moved into a bigger office downtown and we are looking forward to continuing to grow.”
About 18 people work on PEI. Most of the work done in the Charlottetown office is in Managed Services, a helpdesk which helps companies manage their computers and other digital devices such as modems, mobile phones, servers, and networks.
The office also offers development services such as programming and building customized software, project management, and sales.
“During the pandemic, when things slowed down with project management and development, our managed services team grew three times larger, because a lot of companies were shrinking what they did internally and outsourced their IT support.”
Working in office or remotely
“All our current staff members live on PEI. We try to do a bit of both working in the office and from home. Some work 100 percent remotely. It depends on their role and what they are comfortable with. When working remotely, people can reach out with our digital communication tool, but it still is not quite the same as collaborating in person.”
- Two Junior Systems Administrators – this is an entry-level helpdesk role. Candidates for this role may have an older skillset.
- An intermediate-level Systems Administrator – this role requires more current certifications and a more specific skillset.
- Over the next year, the PEI office will be looking for sales people, programmers, and project managers.
Ongoing training needed
“I have been working in IT since I was 18, and every few years I need to upgrade my skills because IT changes so rapidly,” says Tom. “If we hire someone with 30 years of experience, that is fantastic, but we still need to get people up to speed for today’s technology.
“Throughout their first year, we help our new hires evaluate their skillsets and help them build their skills to where they need to be, depending on the role they are hired for. A lot of the training is available online. The company gives employees time to take the training and covers the cost of testing.”
Skills new hires need
They look for certifications such as A+, macOS, and any type of Windows or CISCO certification in networking. “We have hired a very wide range of skillsets because IT needs a wide range of skills.
“We have started partnering with Holland College and UPEI to offer their students work outside of school.”
How hard is it to find the skills you are looking for?
“Eight months ago, it was harder to find the right skills. Right now, there seems to be a spike of activity, and we are getting a lot of applicants. We are definitely seeing more talent in the field we are looking for right now.”
A role difficult to fill
“Cybersecurity roles are harder to fill on PEI, so those roles are mostly filled by the Toronto division,” says Tom. “Very specific certifications are required, and it is harder to build those skills. Because of the number of cyber-attacks happening, there is a lot of competition for people who have the skills and experience needed.”
Other skills needed
Customer service skills are important, and they look for new hires with previous experience in phone-based support roles. “When working through a problem, they need to be able to visualize the problem and try to drill down to find out when it happened and what systems are affected. It is like a mini investigation to determine the cause of the problem and see what needs to be corrected. Being able to have that nonchalant conversation with someone helps break the ice and find where changes may have occurred.
“You can have really strong tech skills, but without those soft skills you could have a hard time finding the answer. Not everything can be done virtually. Sometimes you need to pick up the phone and have a quick chat with the customer to find out what went wrong.
“We have a very diverse team when it comes to skillsets, but are looking for people who can speak French.”
“The company has just over 100 employees in all,” says Tom. “We still have a small company feel, and it is a very family-oriented atmosphere. Staff members know everyone’s name, even those working remotely. We have actually seen people who moved on to other better-paying jobs come back to us because they liked the job and the people here. It says a lot when you like what you do and you like who you work with.”
How to apply
Open positions are posted on Glassdoor, Indeed, and WorkPEI. The best way to apply is online.
For more information, visit www.proserveit.com Connect with the company on Twitter and LinkedIn