If you’re a manager that hires IT professionals, it’s likely that within the last 30 days you’ve been called, emailed, texted or tweeted at by an IT staffing company. There are plenty of these organizations out there that can help you with your IT staffing needs and most of the time, they provide great value. The right one will be able to save you time, money and ultimately provide you with high quality technical consultants. However, with a new sales person from a new company calling you every day, how you can tell which IT staffing company you should partner with?
While you can get a good recommendation from a colleague or hear about a company via word of mouth, there are certain things you should consider and research that might drastically change your experience. Remember, not all staffing firms are created equal! Consider the following before selecting what IT staffing firm to partner with.
Relationship with Your Account Manager
During the sales process, you’ll likely get to know the Account Manager pretty well. He or she should be able to give you any information on the company and let you know how everything will work. It’s important you have a good, trusting relationship with them as you’ll be working closely with them going forward. Often, Account Managers (and Technical Recruiters alike) often go beyond their job descriptions and work on a consultative basis for their clients. For example, if you’re just not finding the right type of person to fill your job, they will be able to provide you with insights into the market to figure out how you can find that right fit. Maybe they’re having trouble finding someone with the amount of experience you require and hiring someone a little more junior might fix your problem. Or perhaps you need to consider raising your rate to find someone with that extra experience. Having these professionals who can consult with you on this level is invaluable to your hiring process.
Stability of the Company
It should go without saying, but research the company! Find out how long they’ve been in business and get references from their other clients. If they seem like a relatively new company, it might not be in your best interest to work with them. Stable companies that have been in business for a while are going to have a larger database of candidates to go to when your job opportunity becomes available. They’ll also have built a name with their candidates and consultants as a good partner to work with, only benefiting you in the end. Also, research how long the Account Executive and Technical Recruiters have been there. If it seems like a high turnover environment, you might want to keep looking. It’s advantageous to have people who know you and your company to help your technical staffing needs. That becomes difficult to do when you have a new Account Manager every 6 months.
Specialization or Jack of All Trades?
You might get referrals from colleagues or peers on which IT staffing companies they work with and recommend. Obviously, referrals are a great way to find a solid partner but there may be reasons it’s working for your referrer but might not for you. Some IT staffing companies specialize in one or two areas and have great pipelines of people built up for those roles. If you’re not looking for the type of role they specialize in, they may not be much help to you. Ask your referrer what types of roles they’ve been having their IT partner work on and if it’s not a variety of roles or roles that you need help with, double check the company’s credentials. Great IT staffing companies have pipelines and experience with various types of roles and should be able to help you, no matter the position.
How They Treat Their Contractors
Contractors come and go at your company – and at your IT staffing company too. But great firms don’t make their contractors feel like, well, contractors. They’ll go above and beyond to make them feel like they are part of their team and treated as much like a permanent employee as possible. They do this by implementing programs to keep their consultants engaged and do monthly checks on them to make sure they’re being successful and are happy in their role. It’s not unheard of for Account Managers and Recruiters to take their consultants out to coffee or lunch. Of course, this works to benefit the IT staffing company – they want to keep working with their consultants. It also works to benefit you. Happy consultants don’t leave mid-contract, meaning your project will get completed. And if for some reason it’s not working out, your Account Manager will have his ear to your consultant to let you know that.
With so many IT staffing firms out there, it might be hard to distinguish the good from the not so good. But there are things you can look for with any company that will clue you in to a good future partner for your IT staffing needs.