Author Archives: Jay Russell

3 tips for finding the right IT professionals in a candidate short market

As the pandemic recedes, many organisations are returning to projects that were postponed due to COVID-19 and are needing new contractors and permanent hires to hit the ground running. Additionally, some organisations that were relying on offshore capability are finding that this is not currently viable with COVID-19 conditions and restrictions varying across the globe.  This is leading to recruitment difficulties for many in IT services, as the demand for qualified candidates outstrips supply across many key roles, including developers, engineers, business analysts and architects.

While a candidate shortage is not an easy challenge to address, there are some avenues you can consider if this is impacting your business.  Here are my tips for finding the right IT hires in a tough market.

#1 Speed up your hiring process

What we are seeing, particularly in larger businesses and the public sector, is that organisations are missing out on the right candidate due to delays in the hiring process. While it is, of course, critical to make sure you are bringing in the best candidate, in a tight market, it’s also critical to move quickly when you find the right person.  Otherwise,  with so many job vacancies, the candidate is likely to have accepted another position.

Staying in touch with the candidate and letting them know what is going on at each stage of the recruitment process is also key to keeping them engaged.

#2 Hire for cultural fit, train for skills

While you will need a mid-level or senior person for some roles, it’s worth considering whether you can consider an associate-level candidate for a specific position.  Of course, this takes a commitment to training and developing the person, but there are many benefits if you are prepared to do so.

We have some great associate-level candidates who are talented and eager to learn, and adding some fresh blood into your team can prove a competitive advantage. Firstly, it’s a cost-effective approach.  Not only is it cheaper to hire someone at a more junior career stage, but you can potentially offer your clients a more competitive pricing model because your staffing costs are lower.  Thinking long term, you can also develop the candidate’s career, leading to cost-effective internal promotion and potentially a great ongoing asset to your business.

Secondly, you may also benefit from hiring someone who doesn’t approach the role with a pre-conceived notion of how things should be done. You can really mould your new hire, ensuring they fit into your culture and develop an approach that truly works for your business.

One of the other side benefits we are seeing in this is that many senior people relish the opportunity to mentor a more junior team member, so it can be a great way to engage the entire team.

#3 Work with a reputable recruiter

In a candidate short market, it can be even harder to find the right applicants when you are going it alone.  One of the great benefits of working with a recruiter who has significant experience in the industry is that it can take a lot of the headache out of the process.

At PPS, we have extensive experience in the industry and a solid network of IT professionals who are ready to go.  We have an onshore and offshore resourcing capability, giving you the confidence that we can identify the right person for your role in a quick timeframe.

If you are looking at a contractor position, we can leverage our network to have the right person in as little as 48 hours.  For a permanent position, we can help you speed up your recruitment process, giving you a talented pool of candidates quickly.

If you are finding it difficult to hire the right people for your IT roles, drop us a line. We’d love to chat about your recruitment challenges and how PPS can help you grow your business in 2021 and beyond.

Why project services? A different approach could help your business

Working in project services, I’m often asked by those outside the IT space exactly what it is I ‘do’. Coming from a recruitment background, it was much easier to explain to explain what it was I did, even if there were a few preconceived ideas about the industry in general (ok…some of them are correct!).

‘Project services’ is one of those terms that can be very open ended. For my clients in the IT space however it’s a game changer, and given our current circumstances where businesses are under pressure to cut costs often for their very survival, it’s one that I believe more organisations will look at as a way of delivering projects in a much more cost-effective fashion.

Project services 101

Outsourcing projects isn’t a new theory – businesses have been doing it for decades. In our space however it’s very industry dependent, something that I think will change over the next period.

Given that I run PPS’ IT business, project services is core to our approach. For our business, project services allow us to take on an IT project in its entirety, as opposed to simply dropping a body into a role for a set fee. It means we provide an entire range of services in sourcing resources for an entire project. For example, we can actually hire and pay the resources delivering the project for our client and they simply have the work done in the timeframe required without all the additional headaches of running the project themselves.

As the resources we work with are often very specialised and required for a set period of time, it’s a model that our clients love. Finding specific talent for a project, say for an organisation running an Agile model, can be both time consuming and ultimately unsuccessful. There’s plenty of demand for good quality people and having to hire them in for one set project, for a set period of time, can be a logistical nightmare. Taking a project services approach removes that frustration, as we utilise our networks and consulting capability to find and deliver the right capabilities when you need them.

It’s valuable in the ‘new norm’

In the end, delivery on any project is important but that’s being put to the test through the current environment we work in. While we are moving towards a more normal state of affairs, this ‘new norm’ suits a project services model even more than before.

Being able to outsource the resourcing of an entire project, for example a CRM implementation, has some obvious cost benefits but also provides a great amount of flexibility. Bringing in resources is expensive and finding them is difficult.

It also has some huge time-saving benefits. The reality is that we are better placed than most at finding the resources you need: We run multiple projects at any one time and have a bank of consultants to call upon. One client I recently worked with had spent months in an ultimately fruitless search trying to find a project lead with very specific qualifications/skill sets. When they turned to PPS for help, we found the resource for their project in under 48 hours. A project services approach gives you a faster route to delivering and implementing your project, with fewer delays.

What does a good project look like?

The answer is: Whatever works for you! In our IT business, most of our clients have a tech stack they’re working on and we seamlessly clip into projects to help deliver various components of that stack. The key for us is discussing your requirements.

Keen to discuss how a project services approach to resourcing might work for you? We have experience across a range of verticals including IT, Telecommunications, and Civil. Keen to discuss your requirements; DM me here or email me at jay@projectprofessionalservices.com.au.