Reviewing your approach to staffing

Any chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Nowhere is that more true
than in an organization’s staffing. It has begun to dawn on many managers that
employees in key positions like information technology (IT) need to be more than
simple workers. As the job market for
excellent candidates gets slimmer, many
enterprises are turning to specialty firms to
help them fill IT hiring needs.

Smart Business spoke with Nicki Liesch,
managing director of staffing services with
Pomeroy IT Solutions, Inc., about how a
company should approach its IT staffing.
She says a staffing provider needs to be a
full partner and needs to know what its
client company requires when it comes to
IT staffing. It’s important that both partners
are on the same page.

How does staffing impact organizations and
their IT talent strategy?

The market is evolving. The concept of a
staffing provider being a ‘replacement’ or
‘just in time’ fill is no longer what the market needs. Companies are looking for
staffing providers to be strategic partners
in the acquisition of strategic and technical
talent. Companies are working with the
providers to locate the hard-to-find or high-demand talent that’s needed to complete
projects, or to gain permanent staff that
they themselves are unable to locate.

On the flip side, providers are being met
with more competition. Therefore, more
staffing providers are competing for the
same market share with the same resource
talent pool. The staffing providers that will
lead in these markets are those who are
able to gain advantages through their abilities to provide the talent and match customer needs in a timely manner.

What key positions are currently used for
staff augmentation?

Identification, acquisition, retention and
management of technical resources are used
to deliver the following IT services: hardware
procurement, integration and distribution;
professional consulting services and application development; life cycle technology services; and help desk. There is a solid demand
for people in all of those categories.

What is the best way to find people?

The old-fashioned way is still the best —
via word-of-mouth or referrals. Networking through your contacts and other
qualified resources is critical to success. As
part of this process, many providers still
continue to turn to the familiar sources of
talents through the use of Internet job
boards. Meanwhile, offshore channels are
declining. The need for the personal touch
and customer-first, high-touch profile is
important, both to the candidate as well as
the customer.

How can one evaluate staffing providers in
the marketplace? How do companies determine the provider to staff their IT functions?

Organizations want to know their
provider’s people can do the job and have
proven experience in their positions. These
are critical resources, and businesses are
entrusting this talent channel to an alternative-sourcing provider. It is important that
the staffing providers be able to provide
success stories and opportunities to review
their previous work and referrals from prior and/or current customers.

Candidates and existing sourcing
resources are a second way to increase
provider credibility. Considering economic
and security concerns in our environments, the candidates we provide are pre-screened through federal, state and local
background checks, immunization requirements and validated work history. Providers must exhibit their value proposition
to candidates as well as the customer.

Why do we see a growth in the use of staff-augmented resources?

Companies are motivated to use temporary
or contingent workers as a way to gain
access to skills that are difficult to find. Once
the hard-to-find resources are located, companies will keep them for long periods of
time or often request a right-to-hire. The ability for providers to be flexible in this right-to-hire model places them as a strategic partner
in their talent acquisition process. The right-to-hire model allows companies to fill talent
gaps on projects while evaluating skill and
company culture compatibility without the
risk of making bad hiring decisions.

What makes an effective sourcing strategy?

A company can measure things like number of interviews to hire, equal employment opportunity consideration to hire
and, of course, speed to fill.

Do environmental and economic changes
factor into the shift to staff-augmented

Companies continue to struggle in their
search for qualified and certified IT talent. As
the largest pool of IT resources — the ‘baby
boomers’ — continues to exit the market, the
talent pool is constricting. As this shortage
impacts more of any company’s IT function,
it’s likely to turn to alternative sourcing. At
that point, choice of staffing providers
becomes a key strategic decision.

NICKI LIESCH is the managing director of staffing services with
Pomeroy IT Solutions, Inc. Reach her at [email protected]
or (859) 586-0600.