Growing Pains in A Digital World
Not too many companies out there would say that growth isn’t a priority. Growth means increased revenue and we’re all a fan of that. So, how do you increase revenue to spur growth? Sell more, sell to more, and sell for more. Whether you focus on one or all three simultaneously, chances are you will need a digital strategy to sell more products or services, get in front of more people, and sell your products and services at a higher price – and that means you need skilled IT talent to make it happen.
Digital and mobile channels are critical to attract and retain customers. The more customers you attract, the more opportunity you have to sell – and sell for more. In 2018, approximately 1.8 billion people worldwide purchased goods online and global e-retail sales totaled $2.8 trillion. Clearly, online and mobile are where people are. That means you should be there, too.
According to an article by Forbes, “Technology will not only enable more ways for people to shop along their preferred paths, but retailers will begin using AI to provide personnel on the shop floor with instant information to better serve and advise customers.”
If you’re interested in staying relevant, keeping or increasing your market share, strategic IT staffing is key to your growth.
Outsource IT or Bring It In-House?
For cities like Austin and Denver, the technology boom is nothing new. Austin is continually listed in the top three fastest-growing cities (if not in the number one position), bolstered in large part by its healthy IT and tech job market. Denver isn’t far behind. What do these cities know that others are figuring out? Whether the company is an IT company or a company with a vision to integrate IT into their growth strategy, all things point to technology.
Companies really have one of two options: either outsource their IT needs or bring it in-house via strategic IT staffing. There are pros and cons to both.
Outsourcing your IT needs can alleviate the hassle, time and expense of hiring your own IT team. When you outsource, you may pay more per project, but you aren’t having to pay salaries and benefits or invest in current technology. Outsourcing can be a great way to push out new capabilities in a short period of time and increases the odds that your project is being built on the latest technology by the right talent for each stage of the job.
Related: 4 Tips for Reducing Time to Hire
On the flip side, the pros of hiring your own team are that you can build your team to your exact needs, maintain a constant level of output, and have an instant resource when high-priority projects come up. You are in control of your own team and aren’t at the mercy of the outsourced team. By working with an IT staffing company in your area, you can be sure to get the right people on your team, too. Yes, hiring skilled IT talent is challenging, particularly with the skill shortage, but if you work with the right IT recruiting firm, you can do it quickly and with much less effort.
Keep in mind, you can effectively support a hybrid approach as well. Many companies keep their own IT staff while outsourcing projects or even particular stages of a project to a third party when timelines and skills are short. It’s beneficial to have an ongoing relationship with a trusted IT and digital consulting and projects company to pitch jobs over the fence when needed.
When you outsource your entire IT capability, you are putting your growth and success into someone else’s hands. You have less control over the talent working on your project, less management of that project and you’re paying a premium for their services. You’re on their timeframe as well and they’re likely working on other clients’ projects at the same time. Instead of getting walk-by briefings on what’s going on with a project, you’ll likely have to schedule a meeting to discuss or view what they’re working on.
If you hire internally, especially if you try to hire talent on your own without the help of a connected IT staffing company, you can spend months trying to find and hire the right talent. You’re trying to hire the same talent everyone else wants to help them grow. ADP found there are approximately 6.7 million job openings. Statista reported the top four IT skills that are hardest to find are those within big data and analytics, AI, cybersecurity, and enterprise architecture – likely the skills you need. All of that searching and waiting can delay your projects and bring your IT growth to a screeching halt. Then, once you finally have your own IT team in place, you must continue to nurture them and upgrade your technology as projects demand and technology advances. This can be a continual investment.
Growth Is All About Strategic IT Staffing
For companies looking to grow in this digital world, to reach the largest number of people and provide them with the goods and services they really want, when they want them, it takes skilled IT talent. Whether you hire them yourself, use a staffing firm, or outsource, the key to your success is having the right people working on your projects at the right time.
Companies have to be strategic about who and how they hire, however. If you’re outsourcing, be sure you partner with a provider who can do the following:
- Give you a project turn-around commitment
- Use the most modern and effective technology platform on which to build your digital capabilities
- Can provide you with a dedicated team of skilled IT professionals
- Bring the right talent to the table when needed without delaying your project
- Will not nickel and dime you on services but provide a flat rate you can count on for budgeting purposes
- Will basically be at your beck and call
If you’re hiring within, we highly recommend using a reputable IT staffing/recruiting firm in your local area. Here’s why:
- The firm will be able to bring in talent faster if they are local (no relocating means faster onboarding)
- They have connections with more skilled talent than you will. This is all they do and their job is to build those relationships, even if candidates aren’t necessarily searching for a job
- The company will be able to work with you on the best offer to win the candidate over the competition as they know what other companies packages are
- As they get to know your company through an ongoing relationship, they’ll be able to find new talent more quickly and ensure they fit into your culture
- If you find an IT staffing company who also offers IT consulting, they can help you design a hiring timeline to build your team over time, cherry-picking the talent as your needs change
For companies who try to hire their own IT talent, it’s common to feel pressured to hire anyone rather than the right person. With the labor market so tight in the IT industry, organizations get frustrated and often settle for the wrong person. That can be an expensive mistake. Forbes reported that the cost of a bad hire can be around 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings. That doesn’t account for how that bad hire affects the team and the in-flight projects.
Similarly, hiring great people who don’t precisely fit your specific needs won’t help you much, either. The longer it takes to train them, the longer it takes to bring a product or service to market. Strategic IT staffing requires precision, a bit of patience, and a whole lot of knowledge. Knowledge of the industry, of the technology, of the talent requirements, of the company culture, of the vision, and of the expectations.
Unless your company has a dedicated person or team ready to take this on in addition to their current job tasks, it’s best to work with pros who do this as their core competency. While working with a third party to outsource to, consult with or hire for you may seem like a cost you can avoid, the benefits it brings, in the long run, can include prolonged savings and an IT team you can count on now and into the future.