“We interviewed for six months for this position, and then gave this guy six months to prove himself, but he just hasn’t worked out.” a frustrated client explained to me just last week. “Now the head of that team has given her notice, and will be gone in two weeks! It’s just extremely frustrating” she went on to say.
Unfortunately this type of problem is a regular occurrence for small to medium sized businesses trying to build and/or keep their IT staffs intact, happy, and motivated. This recession, which many IT managers had hoped would provide a much needed reprieve from the incredible challenge of finding the right IT talent, has brought little relief. It is just as difficult to recruit and keep exceptional IT talent as it has ever been. There is a solution however, that I have seen work well for many companies willing to think outside the box a bit. I refer to it as “staff augmentation, basically bringing in outside personnel to augment your current staff from time to time”.
You see, there are many solid IT integration companies that have talented IT engineers with a wealth of knowledge of a variety of networking solutions. These are very expensive people to keep on staff. For integrators, keeping these engineers busy on billable projects is crucial to their profitability. Utilizing this talent in staff augmentation roles on a regular basis has many advantages. The first and most obvious is that such an engagement is usually billed by the hour, making the engineer’s billable hours 100% percentage billable100%. The second is that it can provide a degree of stability for the engineer who can report to the same site, with the same hours, for a specific period of time. That can be a welcome break for an engineer who has been all over the map juggling a variety of projects. It also allows the engineer to form much tighter working relationships with key staff at a valuable client. From the integration company’s perspective it can be a real win.
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