A Quick Look at the IT Staffing Challenge
By now, most businesses are aware of the acute shortage of IT talent within or entering the workforce. It’s such an alarming threat that Gartner reports it is the number one issue keeping Chief Information Officers awake at night.
In fact, the lack of talent is getting so precarious that businesses are having to resort to using AIs to protect themselves from cyber security threats.
Many businesses have begun, or are further expanding their investments in outsourced IT with full service IT providers. By outsourcing all IT, organizations can reduce the time and money they are spending on hiring, training, and managing their internal teams. This strategy addresses immediate and long-term IT needs, but it also presents a challenge that skirts both personal and ethical boundaries – what do I do with my internal IT teams once I’ve outsourced my IT?
What should happen to your internal IT teams once you outsource your IT?
We’ve faced this line of questioning before, and in fact, many businesses resist outsourcing their IT department because they are worried about laying off internal IT teams – causing uncertainty and bad will for employees who may feel their jobs could be replaced with outsourcing.
When thinking about this challenge, remember that the IT talent shortage is impacting every business, particularly IT service providers.
For many IT companies, it’s exponentially more worrisome. IT talent is their product. Their business model depends on being able to offer expertise that’s better than their competitors’ and having to recruit from a shallow talent pool will have a devastating effect on the industry.
As a business owner, if you’re facing this challenge, we suggest helping transition your internal teams over to your new IT outsourcing partner. This approach ensures your IT teams have an advanced career path in place, you retain the inside knowledge of business technology and systems, while also showing everyone at the company that management are invested in their long-term security and prosperity.
This is something we’ve done at Resolute, and it has resulted in powerful and positive outcomes.
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Why Would an IT Service Provider Hire the IT Personnel of a Client?
Hiring the IT staff of a client is a remarkably simple and elegant solution to a complex problem, and it benefits everyone involved. Your firm gains access to an experienced talent base, your client doesn’t have to worry about letting them go, and the professionals themselves have everything to gain.
Gaining a Competitive Edge
When a business decides to outsource their IT, they soon realize that they no longer need the IT staff previously responsible for maintaining their environment. The IT partner will usually be contracted to handle all aspects of managing the company’s technology, so after the transition these resources are suddenly redundant.
The typical business owner or CIO will say, ‘OK, I’m sold on the benefits of outsourcing my IT management, but what happens to all my IT people?’
Depending on the size of the IT department, this can be a difficult reality. After all, no business leader worth their salt will be happy to have to terminate the employment of loyal staff members. Yet it’s usually an economic reality, and it’s hard to justify paying for redundancy.
However, the IT company that offers upfront to take on their client’s staff when they contract out their IT management has a competitive edge. The client will no longer have to worry about the fate of their IT staff, and they will feel better entering a partnership with an IT firm that pledges to do their best to take care of existing employees where they can.
Access a Deep Talent Pool
By offering to take on the IT staff of a client, the IT service provider will have continual access to a deep pool of trained and experienced personnel. Given the shortage of available talent, the value of this can’t be overstated.
One of the key reasons for the difficulties finding talent is that they’re out there – it’s just challenging to find them. The recruiting process can be long and complicated. You have to offer candidates the right incentives and perks. You’ll likely have to go through recruiting agencies, field time going through resumes, and conducting several rounds of interviews.
It’s estimated that the cost of recruiting and hiring one employee can be as high as $5,000 and range into $10k+ for specialized senior talent. It’s not hard to see how this can quickly become an enormous expense.
This approach offers a direct line to a talent pool with a track record of employment history. Meanwhile, the employee isn’t forced to re-enter the labour search.
Improve Client Retention Rates
Hiring on the IT staff from a client brings another benefit: improved client retention rates and relationships. If the client-facing staff were formerly working for that client, they will have a keen understanding of their unique needs and how to best meet them.
They’ll bring with them unique insider knowledge of their former employer’s systems and processes. The IT outsourcing partner will gain insight into how the client operates: their business strategies, practices, systems, as well as being intimately familiar with the code they will have to support.
Armed with this intelligence, your business will receive a greater quality of service and significantly reduce the time it takes to transition to the new support system. The IT company will be in an excellent position to be able to anticipate and proactively respond to requirements. It’ll be the foundation for a long-lasting relationship that maximizes business outcomes.
More Opportunities for Your IT Staff
In addition to saving your teams the trouble of having to find alternate employment, you’ll be able to offer these IT professionals an enticing and enhanced career path.
Whereas many IT personnel working for non-IT firms have a limited support network, an IT firm can offer them so much more. They’ll be able to enjoy a larger support team, coaching and mentoring from senior IT pros, and access to IT best practices and the latest research.
This will ultimately lead to greater job satisfaction, improved loyalty, and goodwill from your own employees.
There’s no question that the IT talent shortage is poised to be a major disruption in the coming years. Every business needing IT services will be challenged to find suitable talent to manage their technology needs.
If you’re outsourcing your IT operations, you want to know that your people are in good hands, and that your employees feel that the management team is always going to protect their interests.
When you reach out to an IT outsourcing partner for services, ask if they have a continuity plan for internal IT teams. These are tough questions, but it’s important to always put people first. A trustworthy and reliable IT outsourcing partner recognizes the job-disrupting role they play, and will have recommendations or actions to ensure a smooth and equitable transition.
Resolute Technologies offers IT outsourcing, IT staffing, and consulting services to businesses needing help overcoming their technology challenges. To learn how we can help you meet your business goals, contact us.