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Today more than ever, companies cannot afford to make bad hiring decisions. Budgets are tight and organizations need to do more with less. Therefore, it is vital that their employees are productive and reliable. When new talent is needed, companies want to ensure that they can find the right person, at the right price and do so as quickly as possible. The longer it takes them to find the individual with the necessary skills and aptitude, the longer they are distracted from vital company projects. For these reasons, more and more companies are relying on IT staffing companies to help them increase their hiring efficiencies.
Companies appreciate the ability to “try before you buy” by viewing contract assignments as extended interview opportunities. Utilizing contract workers is about more than just filling an immediate need. These savvy employers thoroughly assess the candidate's on-the-job performance to determine if they have the necessary skills needed for the job. Additionally, and of equal importance, they can also see if the potential hire is a good fit with the organization's work culture. Doing so allows managers to determine if the individual would make a good permanent employee.
By incorporating the use of contractors, companies are able to have more flexibility in their staffing strategies. For short-term projects requiring expert skill sets, the use of contractors allows businesses to acquire the proficiency they need for the precise timeframe of a particular job. This can save organizations considerable money and manpower resources. During busy seasons or to assist with important projects, IT staffing companies can provide experienced, reliable contingent IT personnel as needed.
However, in the reality of today's economy, it cannot be ignored that quality IT professionals with highly specialized skills command premium pay. If a company does not have a sustained need for the services of a particular IT expert, it makes wise economic sense to employ individuals with these abilities only on an as-needed or project basis.
It is also key to remember that most IT recruitment companies also provide temp-to-perm services, which allow companies to hire tech personnel on a contract basis. If they are pleased with their performance and aptitude, the company can choose to engage the employee on a full-time basis. This lets businesses fully access a potential employee's skills before offering a permanent employment option.
Businesses that are looking to hire the best and brightest IT workers would do well to partner with an IT staffing service. Research from the Bureau of Labor Services shows that contract workers provided by staffing companies generally have broader work experience and are more educated than other types of workers, including those in traditional work arrangements. In fact, their data showed that a majority of contractors had bachelor's degrees or higher. And because they work on a project basis, contract workers are exposed to a diverse range of technologies and business settings. With each new contract assignment, consultants gain new skills and proficiencies and hiring companies reap the benefits. Contract workers bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to their assignments and consequently are able to offer businesses unique insights. Offering an objective viewpoint, contract workers can often provide fresh ideas for innovative solutions that internal employees may have never considered.
One of the major benefits of utilizing the services of an IT staffing company is the ability to capitalize on their expertise in finding top quality candidates. A survey from the American Staffing Association (ASA) showed that nearly three-quarters of hiring companies rated the quality of their staffing employees as good as or better than that of their regular staff. That is quite telling. In theorizing the reasons for this, one could point to the dedicated sourcing and screening that IT staffing companies embark upon for their clients. Or perhaps it is the fact that IT recruitment companies have expert recruiters who have the knowledge, tools, and ability to identify and successfully recruit the industry's finest candidates.
One can also point to client satisfaction with the breadth of services offered by staffing companies. Further research from ASA shows that eight out of ten staffing company customers feel that recruitment agencies are a great resource for finding permanent employees. Since most IT staffing services offer temporary, contract, temp-to-perm, and permanent placement services, businesses can rely on their assistance to help fill all their talent needs.
According to research from Lehigh University and the University of Oklahoma, companies that utilize recruitment services tend to do better economically. Reliance on both temporary and/or part-time labor was associated with superior financial performance. In the study, economists compared firms that incorporated contingent labor into their staffing strategies against those that did not. The results found that increased use of contract labor boosted earnings (before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization), gross margins, and stock returns.
There are many advantages that IT staffing companies offer that support this finding. Providing extra support during busy times, contractors allow businesses to function at full capacity. Conversely, relying on contract labor also offers easier manpower adjustments during downtimes. When a particular skill set or expertise is needed, obtaining these functionalities through contract labor is a feasible alternative for businesses that wouldn't need these sorts of services on a full-time basis. This can save companies valuable resources and time in that they can focus spending their training budget on upgrading skills that are vital to the company's overall goals rather than training for one of their projects.
By outsourcing their recruiting and hiring efforts, companies are freed from the cumbersome and time-consuming task of finding qualified candidates. This can save organizations considerable time and money because even in today's economy, the unemployment rate for technology workers is significantly lower than the general unemployment rate. Consequently, it can often be quite difficult to find IT professionals with highly specialized skill sets.
Therefore, businesses are increasingly seeking IT recruitment solutions. They understand that working with an IT staffing agency can help secure the talent they need quickly and efficiently. Experienced IT recruitment companies have the resources, tools and connections to manage client needs, volumes and expectations whether the requirement is for one employee or hundreds, next month or tomorrow.
Research from the American Staffing Association confirms this notion. They found that eight out of ten customers believe that working with a staffing company is not only helpful, but also cost-effective, enabling them to find the qualified permanent employees they need in an expedient manner.
Especially during uncertain times and fluctuating economies, businesses appreciate the advantages that IT recruitment services offer. A survey sponsored by Staffing Industry Analysts (SIA), a research and analysis firm covering the contingent workforce, confirms this conviction. The study highlights the top three reasons organizations use contingent workers. The most prevalent and popular usage of contract workers is to fill in on a temporary basis to meet company needs to gain specialized skill sets or additional manpower for non-seasonal, special projects. Fifty-three percent of companies that regularly use contract employees cited this motive. In addition, twenty-six percent of organizations stated that they use contract employees to fill in for permanent workers. While they would prefer to hire regular, full-time personnel, for some reason or another, they are unable to find a match that fits their needs. So as they continue their search, they use the contract employee as a substitute until an acceptable alternative can be found. Lastly, the SIA research found that twenty-one percent of companies utilize contingent workers to meet seasonal needs.
Economic uncertainty drives many organizations to delay hiring decisions for full-time positions. The problem that arises in this scenario however is that there are still a large number of essential technology projects that require competently trained IT personnel.
Faced with the conflicting pressures of pent-up demand for IT services coupled with stringent budgetary restraints, businesses are understandably struggling with very difficult decisions. While they clearly are aware that technology can offer palatable solutions to increase corporate efficiency and potentially market changing innovations, they also realize that to embark on these endeavors they must have access to top-notch IT professionals. With funding at a premium, hiring full-time employees is often not a viable option. However, a reasonable and cost effective solution is to solicit assistance from an IT recruitment company. These organizations have access to highly skilled professionals and regardless of whether the need is for a large number of IT professionals or a single individual, IT staffing companies can provide top quality tech personnel to meet corporate cost structures and project deadlines.
Especially in today's economy, it makes smart business sense for companies to hire contingents. Doing so provides a unique opportunity to acquire high-level skills that may otherwise not be possible due to budgetary constraints. Bringing in a contract worker on a project-by-project basis is significantly less costly and involves fewer risks than hiring a regular full-time employee.
There are several reasons for this, one being that quality IT recruitment companies screen all potential candidates before placing them with any of their clients. Therefore, companies can be confident that the contract IT professionals they hire from IT staffing companies will be not only reliable, but will also have the specific skills and experience they need. If the candidate does not meet their expectations, reputable staffing firms, such as Sapphire Technologies, offer their clients satisfaction guarantees. That means if the hiring company is not satisfied with the consultant provided, the agency either replaces the contractor or credits the recruiter's fee.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|