ChannelVision Magazine

channel management It’s also one I often hear from man- aged service providers (MSPs) when discussing their growth plans. The answer to the question starts with a question: As an IT (or telecom) company, what is your biggest strug- gle? When I posed this question to a friend who runs an 18-person MSP in the Philadelphia region, the response went something like this: “We are great at solving technical problems, but when it comes to sales, marketing and hiring, we are terrible; we need help.” The good news is that the demand for IT services is increasing. The bad news is the demand for IT talent is outpacing the supply. According to recent CompTIA survey, 48 percent of companies said recruiting is expected to be more challenging in 2018 than it was 2017. The study suggests the contributing factors include a shortage of qualified talent, rising wages and competition from other types of tech- nology companies.  This got me thinking. With an in- dustry that is facing healthy growth in the coming years and a need for a vi- able way to enjoy some of the spoils of this growth (i.e. increasing their staff to meet increasing customer demands), maybe it makes sense to explore the benefits offered to our amazing, not so little anymore, industry. So, after a year-long discovery process I decided to go “all-in” and join the IT staffing in- dustry. After all, I enjoy technology, but I love people. And that is exactly what staffing is all about … people.  “Isn’t engaging with a staffing firm expensive?” you might ask. Well, similar to the services you provide your custom- ers, it isn’t free. I’ll bet you can easily build a case for the cost of your services when you factor in security risk, resource uptime, expertise and flexible pricing models to meet any budget. Such is the case with engaging a staffing company to address your hiring needs. Taking it a step further, we all know how specialized and dynamic our industry has become. Hence, that’s the strong argument for knowing your staffing partner. Make sure they know the difference between Java and JavaScript.  It’s no secret growing companies are in pain. Even listening to the radio these days we hear “the most chal- lenging part of my job is finding quali- fied job candidates,” according to the radio voice guy promoting an online resume service. (At least they finally changed the ad from the original ver- sion claiming “the worst part of my job is finding qualified job candidates.” I used to cringe every time I heard that.) This is precisely why it makes sense to engage with a staffing company. You are an expert in providing IT services, probably not in finding IT talent.  A major benefit of working with a staffing firm includes the ability to “try before you buy,” giving you full-time ac- cess to new talent for weeks or even months, without the front-end expense and commitment of onboarding them as a full-time employee. After all, who mar- ries someone after a Skype meeting or even an awesome night out to dinner?  Ultimately, partnering with a staff- ing firm, especially one that focuses on IT resources, will save you time and money, while allowing you to do what you got into the IT services business for in the first place: to solve IT challenges. If you are flush with an inbox flooded with resumes, you don’t need a staffing company. If you’d rather meet with pre- screened, qualified candidates for your specific roles, it may well be worth your while to find a specialized staffing com- pany you are comfortable with. You and your inbox will be all the better for it. o Greg Plum has been a fix- ture in the channel for almost 20 years, building programs for several companies from scratch. With Brandywine Technology, an IT staffing company, his focus is helping IT and telecom providers meet their evolving technical needs as they experience unprecedented growth. He can be reached at gplum@Brandywi- or 302.656.6100.  The Right Staff By Greg Plum W hy work with an IT staffing company? This is the question I asked myself when contemplating a recent career change. A case for IT staffing solutions Channel Vision | September - October, 2018 66