If more than 10 percent of an IT project manager’s time is invested to hire/back-fill or replace a talent, then it’s a clear indication that there’s a flaw in the hiring process.These days, we see several hiring managers coming on conference calls with suppliers to communicate who they really want and who is “the right fit” for their projects. Companies that have success in such scenarios are the ones that invest their time to understand their customer and pipeline for their anticipated needs.
All staffing firms have clearly defined customers into two different categories:ones that follow a managed services program (MSP) or vendor management system (VMS) model and those that follow the direct staffing model where there is no involvement of an MSP/VMS. Both of these models can be run successfully if a smart hiring process is adopted.
Mostly all staffing companies categorize their customers based on the following criteria: the time it takes to fill a position, bill rates and markups that the customer pays, a streamlined process, and repeated business opportunity. Staffing companies assign recruiters and drive their teams based on these factors to see success. At the end of the day, it’s a “Follow the Money Model” strategy. The best client gets A-level attention and the rest slide lower and lower. One of the fundamental driving factors for IT project success is the kind of talent in the project which is directly related to bill rates. Most often in an MSP-led situation, the bill rates are already provided and markups are sealed without any room for negotiations. If you provide someone better suited for the project above the bill rate, they get rejected in the VMS and the managers have no indication or record of the candidate. Within the same city, we will see the same skills required by three different clients all at different rates. Recruiters and candidates most often categorize the customers as a “low” or “high” paying client.
What becomes even more confusing for staffing companies is when large offshore companies win IT projects and try to find U.S. talent for knowledge transfer purposes at the so called “blended rate.” Why do they low ball it upfront and squeeze the talent? Do they really think they can make an ERP professional work for $45/hr? Some desperate souls accept these positions and then curse the s0-called opportunity.
Given the scarcity of quality talent, a “Smart Hiring Process” must be in place to shorten the time to fill and there are several innovative ideas one can follow to make this happen; otherwise, its “junk in and junk out.”