Part Five: Come on IT Companies – Let’s be disruptive! Recruit or use a 3rd party?
In last week’s article I considered two of the main difficulties for large and small companies to work together i.e. having the desire to make it work, and finding a means of managing the cross company teams. So, if these difficulties seem insurmountable then the option to get the skills you need (other than company acquisition) is recruitment. How easy is it to recruit the people you need and how sure can you be they will fit into the team?
In the past I have used different means of recruiting people e.g. word of mouth, agencies, Linkedin, and even advertising in newspapers in the dim and distant past. The least successful method was newspaper advertising.
The other methods were all relatively successful, and the main differences between them were cost and the time it needed to select appropriate candidates.
So there are varying means for recruitment, and it is up to the recruiter to choose the method most appropriate to their budget and available time. However it takes time to get someone on board. It takes time to get them integrated into the team, and it takes time to figure out if they are going to perform. If their performance is not up to scratch it takes time to figure out what to do, pull in HR, and so on.
Recruitment is not an easy process and can be costly. Currently we have a shortage in IT skills. Companies need more people and there are a variety of initiatives to get people trained as programmers and in other aspects of IT. At the same time there are small companies with experienced resources available who are keen to take on more work. We may have a gap in IT skills and personnel available, but we also have a gap because experienced resources in small IT companies are underutilised.
For many companies it is part of their overall company strategy to recruit rather than use 3rd parties. Clearly there are very good reasons for this particularly in the area of IP assignment, core in house skills and having resources available when you want them, as well as the issues involved in managing external companies. However, equally there may be reasons to consider using a small company to fill the gaps. One of the issues that larger companies may have is actually finding a 3rd party that can carry out the work. This has certainly been my experience in the past and is one of the reasons why I set up Company Connecting.
However blending recruitment with building up partnerships with 3rd parties can help to fill gaps in resources, create flexibility, provide different perspectives, new skills and create a team that is overall stronger and more highly skilled. Many companies already recognise the effectiveness of this approach and build relationships rather than build the size of their internal IT team. However small IT companies with great skills, innovations and staff they are out there, looking for work, and keen to engage. It’s just a case of finding them.
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First published on Company Connecting November 2015