8 Key Considerations To Make When Finding an IT Staffing Company
When approaching an IT staffing company for the first time, you should note their business style, outreach, and brand. The reason why this is important is that your trusted IT staffing partner becomes an extension of your HR department — they voice your brand and image.
Move forward or move over — it’s the only mantra for the fast-paced and ever-growing IT industry. For a tech company, it’s the workforce that determines its growth or decline. But hiring and retaining skilled employees is easier said than done.
For an industry that is truly erratic in nature, where its growth and evolution cannot be correctly predicted, companies are all too familiar with high workforce turnover as a result of a potential talent or employee being poached by a competitor.
You can’t really blame the candidates for jumping ship — they have the right to work anywhere and for anyone who tables a lucrative offer. This is especially true for the tech industry where talent is swiftly tagged and bagged.
So, how can a company ensure survival and growth? Simple, by partnering with an IT staffing company that is all too familiar with — the inner workings, trends, workforce demands, — of the IT industry. Let’s take a look at a few parameters that determine the efficacy of an IT staffing partner, or rather, 8 key considerations you must make when choosing an IT staffing agency for your firm.
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Also Read on: The Benefits of IT Staffing for Employers and Jobseekers
Efficacy hinges on industry experience
Tech is almost everywhere. You cannot approach any run-of-the-mill staffing agency with your requirement and trust everything will be alright. You can, but you shouldn’t. Because the applications of tech depend on the outcome that is coveted by the industry.
In short, the same tech might be leveraged differently by all industries. For example, industry-specific tech solutions such as CRMs. A CRM used by an e-commerce company will be different from that of a law firm’s CRM.
The takeaway or the consideration here is that your IT staffing partner must have a background in your niche. In other words, the staffing partner must have complete knowledge about your industry and relevant experience in providing top-notch talent for it.
And speaking of niche, you might want to approach an IT staffing company over a general staffing firm. That’s not to say those general staffing companies cannot fulfil IT staffing requirements. They can, but an IT staffing partner can offer so much more.
They’re familiar with the best industry practices and have unique sourcing methods. What’s more, given the niche they’re serving, they will have forged strong relationships with hundreds and thousands of candidates in the past.
Know more about the IT Staffing company’s team
Before rolling up to a staffing agency with the objective of building a team, it’s best to know about their team structure. You see, many IT staffing companies evenly split resources at their disposal. For instance, they might have a single recruiter for an account manager. This might not suit your company, especially when there is an urgent need to scale up your workforce, as they might take an awful amount of time, or worse, come up empty handed.
A staffing agency with many recruiters employing various recruiting channels, on the other hand, will be agile and resourceful enough to provide you with resources in a timely manner so that you can scale up or down as per business demands.
Just be as nosy as possible when it comes to their candidate sourcing methods. Find out from online job forums, reviews about how they get their candidates and retain those who are passive. And while you’re at it, ask about any fringe benefits they’re personally offering to woo talent. It can work out if they do as skilled candidates usually side with staffing agencies that offer more.
Too many cooks spoil the broth
After knowing everything there is to know about the IT staffing partner’s team structure, the next agenda will be finding out how they operate. And this is important because you might end up achieving nothing in the long run.
Just think about it. Say that you have an urgent requirement for software developers so you reach out to a staffing partner. They assign your request to a handful of recruiters. The problem here is that you will not know whom to contact if you have certain queries about your desired hire. This, if you have guessed by now, will not only result in confusion but will also waste time.
What you need is a SPOC (single-point-of-contact) whom you can reach out to for anything related to your request. Having a dedicated SPOC improves the hiring efficiency as a reliable relationship and rapport is built. Having understood everything about the business and the nature of work, your SPOC will be able to understand your requirement thoroughly and also chime in with recommendations.
And speaking of recommendations, it’s your duty to figure out what they’re suggesting and why. Find out if their proposal has been drafted only after understanding your business requirements. If they haven’t done it, you’ll know that their proposal will not meet your expectations. Any firm can be your IT staffing partner. You should opt for one that spends ample time understanding where you come from and what you hope to achieve before preparing a proposal.
How do they screen candidates?
Screening candidates is time-consuming. In-house HR teams can handle it but a lot of resources and manpower is spent filtering the candidates. This is the reason why IT companies approach a staffing agency — they completely shoulder the burden.
But transferring the burden isn’t enough. You must completely understand how they screen candidates. Here are some things you might want to keep in mind when investigating their screening methods.
- How do they test for skill, personality and cultural fit?
- Is the candidate actively or passively looking for a job and why?
- How and when is the vetting of candidates sourced through referrals done?
- The budget-to-compensation-to-talent connection: How will the staffing partner offer compensation to a candidate based on your budget? Does lower compensation equate to inferior talent?
Probe their partnerships
Your IT staffing partner needs to be up to speed with the latest trends, practices, and laws governing the industry. This is where their partnerships need to be probed. Find out if they belong to an accredited staffing association such as the Indian Staffing Federation (ISF). Affiliation with an apex body such as ISF guarantees that the IT staffing partner follows a code of conduct when offering services to both customers and candidates.
And while you’re at it, analyze the IT staffing agency’s tech partnerships with other companies as it can bring their specialities to the fore. These partnerships you see, with tech and accredited staffing associations, helps you understand if the agency is doing enough to invest in themselves and offering more than general staffing companies in India
Protecting your company
Let’s roll back the years. It is year 2000 and Microsoft Corporation pays USD 97 million to settle an 8-year-old lawsuit filed by their temporary employees for denying them company benefits. USD 97 million in 2000 — in what was the largest sum of money ever received by temporary employees — today, after 20 years and inflation adjustments, is equivalent to a little over USD 148 million.
The takeaway for every IT company when partnering with an IT staffing partner for Flexi staff or permanent employees, is that there has to be proper checks and precautions in place in order to avoid any penalties or lawsuits. Microsoft for instance, learned their lesson and changed their policies for temporary employees.
So should you. You must review your employment policy before deciding on hiring IT staff, and also understand the intricacies of the IT staffing partner’s policy so that your company is protected against any liabilities.
How are the employees paid?
Paying employees the right amount and on time is extremely important. As a rule of thumb, the IT employees must be paid no later than once a month. Failure to compensate employees on time can result in attrition.
Find out from the IT staffing partner how they handle payroll, how soon do they credit employee accounts with salaries, and what extra details and reports do you get in return. If the staffing partner is working with a subcontractor, the salaries must be disbursed within 5 days of receiving compensation from your firm.
Do keep in mind that the IT staffing company might have non-solicitation clauses with their subcontractors which is precisely why you must get into greater depths about the payment of salaries, especially if you’re interested in their temp-to-perm services.
Is the IT staffing company financially stable?
One of the reasons why you must examine the financial health of the IT staffing company is because they are the ones who are usually paying staff. Moreover, compliance, legalities, rules and regulations are always binding.
You need an IT staffing partner that can power through any economic downturns and erratic cycles. Imagine a scenario where a government audit takes place and you need employee information dating back 5, 7 or even 10 years but your IT staffing partner has already shut shop and expunged records.
You want a partner who’s in it for the long haul and can survive all kinds of recession and inflation scenarios. You can take a look at their balance sheets, revenues, profit and loss statements and so on. There is a possibility of them denying you access to their financial information. But the ones who prioritize strong client-partner relationships will be able to provide you with some numbers to prove that they’re financially stable.
A few extra things you should keep in mind
- How does your IT staffing partner follow-up after placing employees?
- What is the process for follow-ups and how often do they occur?
- How and when does the IT staffing partner’s leadership/senior management follow-up?
- How are they outcompeting other IT staffing vendors?
- How many IT staffing partners do you need?
Whether an IT staffing company reaches out to you or the other way around for the first time, you should jot down notes about their business style, outreach, and brand. The reason why this is important is that your trusted IT staffing partner becomes an extension of your HR department — they voice your brand and image. Moreover, the IT staffing partner’s management styles influence a candidate’s quality and skill.
At the end of the day, it’s them who will represent your IT firm. So, you need to have confidence in them across all spheres of your partnership.
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