Flexible Staffing for IT in an Uncertain Market

Layoffs in the tech sector in late 2022 and so far in 2023 skyrocketed. In fact, a running tally of layoffs from U.S-based tech companies in 2023 alone reached 135,000 by the end of March. Despite this concerning trend, tech unemployment remains low in contrast to overall unemployment and the latest market data shows an uptick in tech job postings. What gives? This surface-level data indicates that hiring for tech expertise is still a top priority, however, leaders are rethinking, and perhaps restructuring, their tech staffing solutions. They are still prioritizing digitization of their products and services to improve work flow and remain competitive in the market, with IT spending—a ‘key health indicator”— projected to increase 5.4% according to Gartner. And yet, while leaders recognize that innovation can’t stop, market conditions are cause for trepidation in making large-scale hiring decisions. That’s why flexible staffing options in IT are critical.

IT Staffing Firms Help Propel Companies Forward

IT staffing and recruiting firms have evolved over the years in the services offered and the types of candidates they present. Once thought of as a “temp” agency, staffing firms would help businesses find a professional that could pinch-hit when needed, perhaps standing in for an employee who took a leave of absence or for when extra help was needed for a new project. The “temp” was not always someone engrained in their placement organization; they were there for a service and a set amount of time and were not heavily invested for the future.

In today’s IT staffing and recruitment environment, IT consultants are considered integral members of the organization. The consultants who are part of today’s IT staffing talent pools are sought-after professionals, providing a high level of expertise in their given discipline to help hiring companies achieve top-prioritized digital initiatives. They are helping companies innovate and increase their market competitiveness while also planning for future growth. It’s a tall order for someone who may have only been hired for a limited engagement with an end date. That’s why working with the right IT staffing firm is critical to finding the right talent who thrives on this level of responsibility and will deliver a successful outcome.

Flexible Staffing Options Help in Structuring an IT Department

With the economy showing some inflationary ease, and reports showing that tech talent is still in such high demand, companies are ready to re-approach staffing but may need flexibility in case the landscape changes. IT staffing firms that offer hiring options are the key. While each staffing method varies in terms of engagement, the process for IT staffing firms to fill roles remains unchanged, offering service excellence in sourcing, recruiting, candidate and client engagement, onboarding, and more, to ensure successful hires. Flexible staffing options in IT include:

Project-Based IT Staffing

Project-based IT staffing is exactly what it sounds like: hiring professionals through an IT staffing firm for a project-based initiative. This usually requires talent with very specialized skills in a specific discipline, that will be solely dedicated to one product/service/program development project for a finite amount of time. It allows a hiring company to control costs and manage budgets with a fixed timeframe for compensation, especially if they are unsure of future budget availability.

In this instance of project-based hiring, the level of access to confidential and critical company data and operations in the IT department is important to note. Project IT consultants are privy to sensitive information early on in their engagement with the hiring company, making it ever more important that the selection process with the staffing firm has been incredibly thorough and followed all compliance and screening protocols, resulting in a consultant recommendation with an impeccable record. In many instances, an IT consultant might require high-level clearance to company information in an organization in order to successfully carry out their job; that is also granting a high-level of trust to an individual that is not a long-tenured fixture in an organization. A reputable IT staffing firm doesn’t take this lightly.

Temporary IT Staffing

Similar to project-based IT staffing, a temporary IT consultant has a contract length and is often hired for specific skills. However, in many instances, this professional may be filling a role that has multi-touch points in an organization, spanning different departments, and often, has some flexibility in continuing their engagement with the organization if the workload requires it. Again, confidentiality is required, as well as the ability to ‘hit the ground running” with little learning curve to dive into the role. Temporary IT staffing also helps with budget management, and like project-based hiring, maintains the responsibility for compliance, benefits, etc. with the IT staffing firm. Plus, the temporary nature allows for adjustments in the engagements (albeit aligned with contract stipulations) if something changes in the business outlook.

Direct Hire

With direct hire, once the candidate is hired through the IT staffing and recruiting firm, they become a direct employee of the employer; the staffing firm no longer manages the engagement. In a direct hire scenario, hiring companies are permanently adding to their headcount, which is often a long-term commitment. The important part to remember here is the high probability of success direct hires placed through an IT staffing firm have. IT staffing firms have access to the most talented individuals in their field; they have done the vetting and conducted a thorough selection process, all while ensuring a right fit and a positive candidate experience. Since the hiring company and staffing firm work closely together to ensure that the employer’s brand is properly conveyed and work culture is a large part of the conversation, the direct hires secured through an IT staffing firm are the right match the first time.

Which Flexible Staffing Option Is Right for Your IT Team?

With the options noted above, companies can work with an IT staffing firm to customize their approach to hiring. Recruiters and staffing consultants will work with you to formulate a plan based on budget, timing, and technology goals to find talent that matches your needs and exceeds your expectations. The key is flexibility.

Wherever you fall in the spectrum of tech talent needs, look to your #Prosum experts in the Southern California, Denver and Phoenix markets to deliver a flexible staffing plan that works for your IT department today, and tomorrow.