By Richard Arneson
Raise your hand if you don’t work for an IT staffing agency. If your hand is still in the air, ask yourself this question ― “Do I feel like I’m in the IT staffing business?” You may feel that way if you’ve ever been tasked with finding technical and engineering talent, especially if it’s to complete a project or tackle an initiative that requires a carefully defined technical skill set and a high, and very particular, level of experience. And if you’re in need of augmenting your IT staff for a set period, this means your need to find this professional has been ratcheted up a notch or two (2). Staff augmentation is synonymous with “higher level of urgency.” Nobody wants the right candidate for a project in a few months. Projects are timely. If they’re not, they’re not really projects. They’re things you’ll eventually get around to. No need to augment your IT staff for those ones.
With the range of technologies, technical solutions and certifications that exist today, finding the perfect engineering professional with the right experience is like trying to find a left-handed pitcher with a mid-nineties fastball, throws a wicked curve and can drop in a slider that leaves batters flailing at any pitch within five (5) feet of the strike zone. But it’s more than finding the right certifications, education and experience. It’s also about finding the right soft skills, such as problem solving, communication, work ethic, and time and project management. And will they fit into the department and the company, from a personality, philosophical, even sense-of-humor standpoint?
It’s been estimated through several studies that it cost approximately a hundred fifty percent (150%) of an employee’s annual salary to fill a position that pays over a hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) annually (Twenty percent (20%) for positions less than $30,000 annually; over two hundred fifty percent (250%) for executive-level positions).
Let’s say you’re looking for a Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP). They make, on average, approximately a hundred and ten thousand dollars ($110,000) per year. Expect to spend approximately a hundred and fifty thousand dollars ($150,000) to hire them. Yes, this percentage and the related costs sound staggering, even unbelievable, but when you really dig into the numbers, it starts to make sense. Consider these costs―man hours spent by internal employees and resources, advertising and job board costs, onboarding and training expenses, and fees related to software licensing, employee referrals and memberships. But don’t stop there…
Now consider the costs incurred from not having a professional working on a project or initiative. For instance, is not having them on staff preventing others from designing or deploying a new solution that could be saving costs and time, and/or generating revenue? The numbers start adding up fast, but they’re exorbitant if you need somebody for a set length of time and know they won’t be on staff for the next five (5) to ten (10) years. When spread out over years, the costs to find that CCNP are palatable. If they’re needed for less than a year, not so much.
As the saying goes, “time is money.” It’s trite, yes, but timeworn for good reason. In the business world, time is calculated in dollars. If members of your HR or recruiting team are spending hours (often months) trying to find the perfect technical professional, your company is burning through funds. You may not see invoices cross your desk or checks being cut, but they’re costs, just the same.
Often HR and recruiting professionals don’t put the level of focus on bringing in a professional when they know they won’t be a member of their organization for years to come. But taking this approach is a pay-me-now-or-pay-me-later proposition. If the right person isn’t placed, understand this—you’ll be repeating the entire recruiting process very soon. Trying to shoehorn somebody into a position they’re not qualified or right for will come out in the wash. And if it takes you two (2) months to figure this out, you’ve just spent over $18,000 for the wrong CCNP. While it’s money you won’t get back, you’ll be reminded of it often—especially come budget time.
Do they understand The Language?
If your internal recruiters spend most of their time trying to place professionals outside of IT, there’s a greater than zero percent (0%) chance they don’t understand Technology-speak. Yes, it’s a whole other language, but here’s the rub―some people speak it, but don’t understand it. Does your team know how to detect IT illiteracy? If not, they’ll probably get snowed, which will lead to poor candidate placement(s), additional, unbudgeted costs, frustrated looks from executives, and Ibuprofen runs for recurring staffing headaches. Not being able to detect misrepresentations in candidates’ abilities and/or experience is a budget killer. Your staff needs to know which questions to ask, how to ask them, and can discern when they’re being sold a bill of goods.
Call on the Experts
If you have questions about what to look for in an IT staffing solutions firm, contact the staffing professionals at Staffing@gdt.com. They’d love to hear from you.
Some of the largest, most notable companies in the world have turned to GDT so key initiatives can be matched with the right IT professionals to drive projects to completion. GDT maintains a vast database of IT professionals who maintain the highest levels of certifications and accreditations in the industry. And they understand the importance of finding professionals with the right soft skills. In addition, the IT professionals they place have access to the talented, tenured solutions architects, engineers and professionals at GDT.