Not every company today has the resources to hire an in-house team of IT specialists, and this is especially true of companies that are constrained by tight budgets, or which have typically small projects to carry out. Several other constraints may influence the decision to assemble an in-house IT team.
However, if an in-house team is an approach that best suits your business, but you lack the resources to assemble this team on your own, your best solution will probably be to have a professional agency build up that staff on your behalf.
Services Provided by a Staffing Agency
What a staffing agency can do for you is to find top professionals in the industry who are capable of handling whatever software development tasks a client company typically must go through.
Staffing agencies often have a very broad network of talented individuals to choose from, who are capable of providing top-notch quality work. To maintain this kind of network, it’s important for a staffing agency to keep current and to maintain an updated portfolio of the skills and talents which each candidate has to offer.
When the time comes to match up qualified candidates with the skills a particular company requests, the staffing agency should make these connections and deliver qualified candidates for interviews.
IT Staffing Challenges
Acquiring the right staffing for any company will practically always involve many challenges you need to overcome to slot the right personnel into the right positions.
Two of the biggest challenges associated with IT staffing are budget limitations and the need to be innovative in the staffing process. There are always many very talented candidates available for given positions, but technology is generally developing at a breakneck pace all the while.
When innovative software doesn’t satisfy company needs, it will be necessary to somehow maintain an appropriate balance between innovation and utility in any software which might be developed. The budget constraints represent another major challenge to IT staffing because it’s crucial to be able to obtain real value for clients, set against the competencies of available candidates, and the amount of money that any client is willing to pay for acquiring those services.
It will generally take quite a while to go through negotiation and resolve whatever conflicts of interest crop up. This is where it becomes extremely valuable to exercise superior communication skills from an IT staffing provider since it will be necessary to negotiate between candidates and companies to arrive at an equitable solution.
How to Choose an IT Staffing Agency
No question obtaining top-notch talent in the IT industry can be a daunting task. Most staffing agencies promise to deliver outstanding service with excellent match-ups for the work required, but in actual practice, it happens often enough that referred candidates do not truly fill the bill for client companies. More often than not, tech startups and small companies simply can’t obtain the required pool of technical talent needed to accomplish complex software development tasks.
When a company must choose one staffing agency among the many which are available, it helps to have some guidelines that will help steer you in the right direction. First of all, you should evaluate your staffing needs, so you know exactly the type of individuals they are looking for. This might be a short-term contract, or you may want to direct-hire a candidate and keep them on your staff for an extended period. You’ll also need to know exactly what your budget will allow you to do in terms of hiring a candidate.
Next, you should do some research on candidate staffing agencies, and you should narrow your list of possibilities to those who have had experience in your industry, i.e. in supplying IT talent. Then you should consider the cost of contracts and services for any staffing agency that you are thinking of collaborating with. You should be skeptical about any staffing agency which offers terms that seem to be too good to be true because they probably will be. Also beware of agencies that offer temp-to-perm contracts, because they may add additional fees once the contract is over. When hiring on a contract-to-hire basis, make sure that any staffing agency works with offers a no-conversion fee once the length of the contract has been completed.
It’s a good idea to have a thorough understanding of a staffing agency’s recruitment process, and which type of recruiting tools and resources they have at their disposal. You might want to find out how many years they’ve been involved with building their candidate pool and establishing their network. Find out what their track record has been in terms of successfully supplying candidates to other companies.
You’ll want to know if you can actually trust the resumes you get from a staffing agency, so it would be to your great advantage to find out how any staffing agency screens its candidates. For instance, you should know whether or not they check references from prior employers, whether they verify employment dates, skillsets, workplace attitudes, interpersonal skills, and general knowledge for positions they are referred to.
Any staffing agency which has a very limited screening process or none at all should probably be avoided because you are likely to be sent a number of candidates who simply don’t qualify for the position you have available. Another good question to find out about any staffing agency you’re considering is how long it takes them to deliver qualified candidates.
It may be that you need to quickly fill a position, and if a specific staffing agency has a history of taking quite a bit of time and finding candidates, that may not be a good fit for your business. Of course, to some extent, the amount of time necessary to find good candidates will depend on the complexity of the open position. However, if you establish an acceptable time frame with your candidate staffing agency right at the outset, you’ll know what to expect in terms of the timing for them to present you with good candidates.