Is IT Staffing Still Important In a Pandemic World?
By Andy Jonak
As of this writing, March 2021, we are almost one year into the pandemic, and what a year it's been. It's changed our personal lives and actions and certainly has shaped our businesses. When faced with a challenge, businesses learn to change and adapt to survive and, for many, to prosper. I believe that's the case with the pandemic.
That's what businesses and executives do—they figure it out, especially when they have no choice. What does the pandemic mean for businesses regarding some of their most important resources: employees and outside consultants? In short, let's address the question, is IT staffing (or what we call Talent Solutions at Converge) still important in a pandemic world? The short and upfront answer is yes. Let's explore that question.
There's no doubt firms need excellent and qualified people on the business and technical side. I would argue that it's even more critical now because of the pandemic.
Why is that? Well, for one, firms are much more scrutinizing of their finances. Right now, the business climate is a little uncertain, as we all know, and firms don't want to spend money, particularly on IT and IT resources. But—and there's always a but—they need to keep their businesses running and, not just running, but prospering.
Interestingly, we've seen that many of the firms we work with have not lowered their business goals, even with the pandemic's uncertainty. They might've changed their strategies and plans on how they get there, but their goals haven't changed. That can be said of us: our goals for 2020 didn't change, and we were fortunate enough to achieve our revenue goals for 2020.
So how can firms continue to meet their goals, and how can IT help? By continuing to invest (prudently) in technology, hiring great people (both employees and consultants), and adjusting business strategies and tactics to achieve those goals. It seems a bit paradoxical—given the business climate—but it's what we see our customers doing.
What have firms done in regards to resources, particularly on the technical side and their staffing needs? They continue to turn to staffing firms for the resources they need. We've seen a significant uptick in our staffing business, particularly on consulting and contract engagements.
Firms need a specific skill set for a particular task, but they don't want to hire people permanently, so they continue to turn to contract resources. They can engage these resources for a specific project or duration without hiring them, and they get access to the immediate expertise they bring. It provides flexibility versus hiring perm resources. Suppose circumstances change, and they no longer can fund a project or associated resources anymore. In that case, it's much easier to make adjustments when using contract employees. It allows firms to be more nimble, agile, and react when needed—something we all need today.
While many firms have internal recruiting capability to get the contract resources they need, many find it easier to turn to staffing firms, particularly those specializing in their required resources, particularly in what we all do, IT. IT continues to be extremely competitive for resources, so working with a firm focused on the types and experience of resources you need can be a significant advantage instead of sourcing internally.
For example, our firm focuses on IT technical resources and has for 20+ years. We generally don't focus on anything outside of IT—our expertise—as there are plenty of firms that focus on areas we don't. We've placed hundreds of people throughout the years in all types of IT positions in all types of industries. Firms recognize the expertise and experience we bring and lean on us for help. Using a firm specializing in the kinds of resources you need is a crucial advantage to your hiring practices, and I think firms tend to overlook that the importance of that at times.
There is significant value in working with staffing firms, especially during these times, for IT expertise. You'll get the resources you need, for the duration you need, at the price you need, so you can focus on what's important, which is not hiring people or consultants but running and driving your business forward. That's what matters. So continue to reach out and lean on your trusted partners and your staffing firms, as they will help you succeed, especially today.
So to address the question: Is IT staffing still important in a pandemic world? The answer is yes, more than ever. Use staffing firms as one of your secret weapons to help you and your firm get the results you need. You'll be glad you did.