Tech Trends: The Gun For Hire

Hyderabad India, Silicon Valley California, Detroit Michigan. At first glance most would come to the conclusion that one of these things is clearly not like the other. Quick quiz: What is Silicon Valley best known for? Answer: tech capital of the west coast, and maybe the world. What is Hyderabad know for? Answer: again, technology hub. And finally what is Detroit known for? Ice hockey? Coney dogs? In this case both of those answers would be wrong. To keep with the theme, “Detroit Rock City” is quickly becoming the — wait for it….. “Tech Capital of the Midwest” That’s right, Woodward Ave has been megabitten by the tech bug and it’s transforming the landscape of the workforce in southeastern Michigan. Some would speculate that this influx of IT jobs has created a utopic situation for companies and HR managers with people thinking positions are filled left and right. Almost as though Oprah is sitting in the board room during interviews screaming “YOU GET A JOB, YOU GET A JOB, EVERY ONE GETS A JOB!” However this is not the reality.

photo credit : NY Times
photo credit : NY Times

An underlying theme has become increasingly clear; there is a multitude of software based or IT jobs out there. The resources that are not as commonly available are the specialized talent needed to fill these open seats. This major discord in supply and demand has put a strain on an area of IT businesses, that being HR and talent acquisition departments. According to a TechCrunch article, The Fundamental Fallacy of Modern Recruiting Written by Danny Crichton , it is a unanimously accepted fact that recruiting is essential to your business growth.

Many a company knows that by the time you are granting an individual an interview, 90% of the recruiting is already done.” What most companies struggle with is mapping out and executing that 90% of the vetting process. To the naked eye, it might be hard to see why this is so difficult. Is it the lack of skilled labor to fill these qualified positions? Or is it the laundry list of unqualified applicants that submit for positions they have no businesses applying for? In today’s job searching landscape, ease of applying for a job allows for high school dropouts to submit resumes for positions allowing them to preform brain surgery. This creates headaches for and can often overwhelm unprepared HR departments making them feel as though they are searching for a purple squirrel. There is however another problem here that quite a few people ignore: competition from an unlikely source.

If your company is fortunate enough to find that needle in the hay stack resource that you needed…what

image property of Crain's Detroit
image property of Crain’s Detroit

can you do to keep them there? Retention is a HUGE part of keeping a company successful. IT companies are scrambling to make sure they are not the ones singing a Taylor Swift-esque tune in the wake of a departure for greener pastures. A Crain’s Business Journal  article by Dustin Walsh provides us some incite here as to just how common this occurrence is. According to the publication, there are over 4,000 more postings for Information Technology jobs in 2014 than there were a year ago. Let’s take it a step further. Software, and software related position were the most common in south eastern Michigan in Q1 with 5,090 postings and the next closest category was 1,000 postings off that pace.

So where does the issue lie? Well Crain’s does not just provide us these staggering numbers but also highlights the problem this influx in demand has created. When interviewing Colby Cesaro, Research Director at Workforce Intelligence Network, the publication touched on the comments that, “… you can’t train a world class IT professional in a day…” which leads to the next point and the trend that has businesses on guard: “The bottleneck created an ultra-competitive market where employee poaching is commonplace as the workforce plays catch up.” What we have created is a corporate gauntlet. Not only do you have to go through a gladiator-style fight to find a “technical do it all” but then you will have to battle tooth and nail to keep them. Seems inefficient does it not? There has to be a better way. Enter the knight in shining armor riding on a white horse, the IT Contractor and the Staffing agency that brings them right to your door.

If someone has an IT project they need to complete, that project likely has specific requirements. The company will often have a certain platform the application is going to be created in, or maybe a specific language is needed to write code. With all these unique requirements, we can comfortably conclude that no IT project or solution is the same. So why then would we try to fit the same very distinctly shaped peg into multiple sized holes? It makes no sense. There will be gaps, and as we know empty and unused space means things are being missed.

That right there is the difference between being Apple and being BlackBerry. Do you want to be the company expanding into new industries or the one filing for Chapter 11? It’s a simple principle: when demand exceeds supply the market must react to adjust and level the curve out. In the case of the IT industry we are starting to see that great equalizer and it is coming in the form of the IT contractor.

It is becoming ever rarer to see tech professionals staying on and spending their entire career or let alone a decade in one place. Why you ask? With the rate our industry is changing, companies have different tech demands on not a year-to-year basis but on a month-to-month basis. It seems as though we are finding it more economical to seek out people to carry out different projects rather than search for the “unicorn” that can do it all. This, in part, is due to the rate that individual would command and the efforts it would take to retain them. The bigger the desired skill set, the more you drive up the price.

If your company is looking to implement a resource that requires a K2 specialist for a quick hit project does it make sense to hire on this person full time, making sure they can fill other areas that might be lacking? Or to get the job done and move on? When our cars have a transmission problem, we pay to have our vehicle fixed – not hire a full time mechanic. And that is where we are headed.

Tech companies are breathing sighs of relief as this solves both of our above issues. The list of requirements that companies are seeking will be on a project-by-project basis. This spares us the hours spent looking for your company’s next five tool player. Furthermore, due to the fact that once the project is completed you both have the option of parting ways; the likelihood of poaching is all but eliminated. Combine this with IT staffing /resource companies making finding these contractors easy and making sure they are retro fitted to your business needs, you would be crazy to say no.

The faster the IT landscape changes, the shorter the stay of the IT employee at their respective company will be. Companies like Synergy Computer Solutions will be at the forefront of the IT world as this hiring trend gains traction. Synergy can deliver individuals who can complete your project on time and on budget. Need to find IT professionals to fulfill your business’s needs? WE DO THAT

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