What You Need to Know – When Choosing a Contract Staffing/IT Consulting Agency

The Must-Have Attributes – To Getting More Business, Partner and Employee Value

Today’s corporations tighten their belts and take a more conservative approach to business from technology development, operations, staffing to IT initiatives. The slump in the economy has certainly made many organizations rethink their corporate goal, and as a result, cost-cutting measures are in order. As the entire organization starts to feel panic – as fear begins to spread throughout the departments and management, and workload per employee has dramatically increased.

Creating value, improving business performance, building growth strategies to maximize solutions, and growing success is critical to business development.

  • Uncovering valuable industry alliances and new partnerships from working with a staffing agency to hiring an IT consultant strengthens collaboration, credibility, knowledge and generates resourcefulness within your organization.
  • Businesses can benefit from consultancy, realizing new ideas, and producing big wins. Utilizing an agency or IT firm creates a well-structured work environment that operates efficiently.
  • Surrounding teams and leadership with data collection, analytical solutions, and reliable talent that is organized, streamlined, well-structured, and standardized.

The weakening economy and low spending and diminished performance are forcing leaders to make quick decisions on “what to do next” on business planning, financial management, and jobs.

Using a staffing or IT consulting agency and hiring contractors, employers can save up to 40% on labor costs and not have to pay taxes to the service provider, freelancer, and contractor.

  1. Many organizations will get leadership to focus on the “low-hanging fruit” by first doing the easiest tasks.
  2. A business metaphor for doing the simplest/trouble-free work where targets can be met faster.
  3. A quick fix that produces results/positive, long-lasting answers to repeat problems.
  4. Targeting easy to achieve services, products, or up-skill employee abilities, professional development, or offering new customer solutions that encourage easier buying are tactics used by executives.
  5. Leadership uses the low-hanging fruit as a strategy to accomplish results fast.
  6. Low-Hanging Fruit – moves the more difficult tasks on the back burner; however, it’s sometimes harder to accomplish in the long run.

Chief Technical Offers (CTO) are overburdened by all the project management IT program needs and are overtaxed trying to manage all the developers and chief technicians. These IT professional agencies offer time-sensitive project expertise, short timeline knowledge, and internal/external business strategy to IT and leadership with proven resolutions.

  • CTOs are weighed down with hiring and team management and are drained by providing non-technical employees with a scientific understanding of hardware.
  • Hindrance with supporting all reporting activities and having knowledge of networks, know-how sustaining various systems, software and can provide the right functionality and architecture by suggesting improvements to IT initiatives.
  • They have specialized, technological understanding for all high level IT projects that put additional pressure on the CTO.
  • Utilizing an IT consulting firm takes the workload off the CIO and CTO.
  • The stress on leaders and executes to provide knowledge, competencies with various operating systems and databases puts so much pressure on leaders to solve problems quickly.
  • IT consulting agencies do everything that a CTO and CIO can do by proving the framework for workable solutions, expertise, and knowledge.

Perform Financial Review / Create Technical Analysis Plan

  1. Lowering disposable income by balancing the budget must occur, and revenue and expenses must be equal as budgeting processing and conducting financial analysis and valuation must take place.
  2. The strategic financial analysis measures any strategy that will impact business performance and the value of that occurrence for strategic management.
  3. Utilizing big picture objectives, creating realistic tactics, and analyzing ways to achieve corporate goals.
  4. Evaluating costs, pricing analysis, cash flow, staffing, projects, reviewing historical trends, past successes, past performance from earnings to profit margin analysis.
  5. Reviewing high-performing sectors and conducting a top-down or bottom-up approach from past to future performance to financial health, supply and demand, and products and services offered.

Due to the Decline in Spending

Companies face uncertain times and real challenges during a downturn from freezing open requisitions for full-time hires, cutting back on capital expenditure to halting continuous improvement plans.

The expansion of outsourcing and subcontracting out the business activities from staffing, recruitment, compensation, benefits administration to talent acquisition is now board-room discussions.

  • For managers, trying to stay afloat as they are desperately trying to keep operations going – layoffs, furloughs and reduced hours have hit the workforce.
  • Contracting out staffing and HR operations is the topic of conversation from compliance and project management to cutting wasteful spending, paying off debts and saving by opting-out of direct hires.

Managers are now asked to submit a list of the people they are willing to let go, and employers are putting pressure on the leadership to quickly find new candidates at half the cost of a full-time employee.

  • Controlling expenses and collective action are now front, and center with many organizations at a crossroads as revenue falls – expenditures rise, causing debit, shortage, and scarcity or, in other words, “budget deficit” problems. Effective risk management from identifying, evaluating, and prioritizing the risks.
  • The decline in the economy creates limited income within consumers resulting in inadequate consumption behaviors by the customer.
  • Budget cuts are daily disruptions – eliminating non-essential expenses, cutting interns, and competitive benchmark analysis are day-by-day strategies begin within departments.
  • Trimming the financial fat by streamlining and getting rid of anything that is not beneficial to the business. Removing the multi-layers of management and under-utilized resources to going paperless, outsourcing to independent contractors, automating processes, remote jobs, and removing the office location entirely too mobile working.

Companies look to staffing agencies for answers, help, and support – as short-term assignments, six-month contracts, and a handful of long-term positions (up to one-year) based on the requirement and immediacy have hit all industries.

What You Need To Know – When Choosing Your Staffing Partner/IT Firm

When hiring an IT consulting firm or Staffing agency, it is imperative that the recruiter and consultant excel at communication, have a large network, and have the best project management skills. If the recruiter and consultant are well-versed and knowledgeable in various software platforms and hardware, that is a total plus in addition to the agency bringing a sense of trust and calm to your team, while supporting the business objectives, initiatives, and executive needs.

Business consultants need to be understandable and transparent in their communication since it has a profound effect on workplace efficiency and productivity. Increases team commitment, drive, and morale as it helps to have a positive exchange of ideas and a good interaction with teams, leaders, and other groups of off-site consultants.

Your agency must have the ability to build rapport, be truthful with business etiquette, and socially engaging. Having a solid reputation, good track record, and stays composed during stressful meetings or missed deadlines. Your consultant needs to be “always ready” to talk or discuss anything at a moment’s notice, as being emotionally vested in your organization’s success. Ensure traveling to your office or facility is not an issue for anyone on the agency’s team.

Every consulting firm and staffing agency should do what they say with great follow-through on every assignment and task. Professionalism, courtesy, and offering to help your team in any way, allow for confidence and a strong, reliable partnership to be built. Assignments, project timelines, and business parameters are handled with care, composure, and coolness.

Must-Have Attributes Staffing/IT Business Consultant Should Possess

  1. People-skills and excellent communicators
  2. Be well-versed on various industries, knowledgeable in market analysis
  3. Be able to speak clearly, excellent verbal/written communication skills
  4. Work effectively in a team environment and with your teams
  5. Experience in analytical tools and have an analytical mind-set
  6. Superior organizational and time management skills
  7. Expertise in project management received ongoing training and certification
  8. Educated on analytical software such as Google Analytics
  9. Marketing automation technologies
  10. Database marketing or campaign management tools
  11. Work experience in marketing analytics, brand development
  12. Database training on various programs
  13. Superior coding, design and infrastructure capabilities
  14. Familiarity with relational database platforms
  15. Highly innovative, adaptable and configurable in software solutions
  16. Knowledge of algorithms and how they can aid in decision-making
  17. JavaScript and SQL knowledgeable and educated
  18. Technical understanding of APIs, web services and Message Queues
  19. Write functional specification documentation using client business requirements
  20. Trained in design and implementing business solutions from analyzing data, workflows, and business rules.
  21. Proficient in scoping, gathering business, technology needs, and team requirements for designing.
  22. Understand how to gather information on processes and specifications for devising a business plan, office solution, and future growth.
  23. Expert knowledge, good listening skills, good judgment, and time management are extremely important since there will be multiple responsibilities.
  24. If your consultant can describe in detail about the project and how it complements the company image by voicing

Staffing Agencies Offer

  • Full-service staffing to short assignments, six-month or long-term positions up to one-year.
  • Custom staffing solutions to deploying resources for the client organization.
  • IT Outsourcing, Engineering, and Architecture and Web Development.
  • Digital Marketing, Mobile Apps Development, and Content Writing.
  • Data Entry, Virtual Assistant Application, Multimedia, and Animation.
  • Legal, Financial Management, Account Processing
  • Human Resource Activities, Recruitment
  • Website Development, Graphic Design and IT Technical Support

Traditional “Staffing Models”

All are participating, and partnering companies compete for the brightest and sharpest minds in the business as they battle for the best candidate. Services are placement, temp, temp-to-hire, long-term. The staffing partner abides by the clients hiring standards and takes the time to understand the goals, needs, and client’s business and industry. The staffing partner uses a streamline and simplified recruitment process.

Staffing Agency/Partner

  • Gets paid a fee by hiring company
  • Offers a list of potential candidates
  • Does the vetting of chosen applicants

Benefits

  • Well-Built Partnership
  • Top and Distinctive Talent
  • Offers expertise, knowledge, and direction
  • Recruits, screens, and hires
  • Established partnership

Hiring Company/Client

  • Has a need, gap in work or department requirement
  • Increases new ideas, retention, unbiased opinions
  • More resources, tools, and services are now available.

Results

  • Improves Operations
  • High Productivity & Increased Performance
  • Access to a wide network of talented people
  • Better Time Management, Cost-Saving
  • Removes burden/pressure off the hiring manager

Staffing Recruitment Process and Project Planning

  1. Conception and Initiation
    • Gets details of project, skills, experience
    • Educates on the job with a detailed description
    • Encompasses hiring/recruitment knowledge
    • Learns about the hiring company
    • Knows many occupational industries
    • Establishes timeline
    • Builds forecasting/deliverables
  2. Research Candidates
    • Searches through online employment databases
    • Uses LinkedIn to find candidates
    • Networks with inactive/active candidates
    • Cultivates interest to increase the pool of talent
    • Keeps communication open/active
  1. Setting up calls with potential talent
    • Video chats
    • Emails sent out
    • Vetting occurs
  1. Schedules meetings
    • With client to discuss possible candidates
    • Eliminates applicants
    • Choices are made about the candidates
  1. Makes Necessary Arrangements
  2. Planning the Next Steps in Hiring
    • 1st and 2nd interviews
    • In-Person
    • Cross-examines the selected applicants
  3. Execution
    • Offers are made to top talent
  4. Training
    • Helps organize a training program
  5. Project Close
    • Or until a replacement is needed

There is an assumption in 99% of the hiring cases by the IT staffing firm deems the project done, and their job is done (less invoice/collect money). However, let us consider for a moment the IT staffing agency took all the responsibility from training, benefits, and resources and freed up your IT management team to have the ability to focus on deliverables, instead of hand-holding the new hire.

That’s liberating and beneficial with more productivity and work performance. Due to poor communication and limited instructions to the IT staffing agency, many hours, resources, and time is spent finding and vetting new candidates.

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Your Guide to a Nearshore Development Plan

In this book, we will be covering the basics of creating a nearshore development plan from finding the right partner to developing your near sourcing team. We will be exploring questions and delving into the pitfalls that many companies fall victim to due to poor planning or not acquiring the right buy-in from key players.

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Six Types of Staffing Models

  1. Short-Term Role – Refers to pressing situations, high priority needs, and immediate work.
  2. Long-Term Contract Position – Hired for a particular position up for a certain number of hours and duration of the contract, up to one year is offered to the candidate.
  3. Strategic Staffing – A new corporate strategic initiative is hiring a core group of permanent/temporary talent for key tasks/ job functions in a highly developed, standardized, assimilated way. Improves future company needs, staff utilization, and critical-urgent business needs.
  4. Succession Planning – Looks to higher-level roles by identifying the potential of developing future leaders, managers, and directors. Professional development training is usually part of the equation of upon hiring with these types of advanced roles.
  5. Temp Work / Temp-to-Hire – Hires a contractor for a pre-determined timeframe.
  6. Part-Time Employment – Permanent role that will be hired and arranged on a continuing contract basis.
    • Companies use part-time, temp work, and temp-to-hire is easy to cost and time effective strategies that work in terms of employment practices.
    • The part-time guidelines and regulations state that working 35 hours/week would be considered part-time.

THE TAKEAWAY

Important Tips to Remember

  1. Let the IT staffing partner choose the resource (within reason).  More and more IT staffing agencies do much more than staffing and can deliver quality services, top sourcing talent, and have human resource advice, recommendations, guidance, and consult on critical issues.
  2. Let the staffing agency decide on the resources, consultancy services, and tools as many offer industrial, technical, and corporate staffing.
  3. The technical talent and new hires – know where they are remotely working (location, hours) – and it is proven that IT professionals can work successfully remotely.
  4. Consent to your provider decides on the location of their work.  With tools such as Slack and Microsoft Teams, including live streaming, we can work closely without working onsite.
  5. Although the IT agency offers time and materials (T&M) contract method of billing, is an arrangement under which a contractor is paid.  Based on the actual cost of direct labor, usually at specified hourly rates, the actual price of materials and equipment usage, and agreed-upon fixed add-on to cover the contractor’s overheads and profit.
  6. Ask the agency to get involved in the Agile sprint process and make commitments on deliverables weekly, two-week, or three weeks depending on your Agile sprint model?
  7. If the staffing agency doesn’t deliver the work based on the agreed-upon deliverables, have agreements in place that they will provide and that no additional time will be charged.
  8. Make sure your IT professional agency has a lead/project manager that will oversee his team’s work – helps to reduce the need for hand-holding by your staff.
  9. Retain ownership of everything from documents, specifications, design and your technology to business knowledge in the event, you need to ramp up quickly and remove the consultant from the project.
  10. Work with an organization that can provide a wide range of skill-sets, both technical and functional, so that as you gain confidence in your IT provider, you can transfer more responsibilities to them.

IT Consulting Services Explained

These IT consulting agencies are quite different than a staffing firm in their approach to empowering the client with an extensive background in software and IT systems. Hired to achieve and fulfill multi-layered customer-focused requirements by offering expert technical assistance, training, and advice on planned timelines, implementation, goals, and project requirements.

Analytical, complex technical software skills and engineering building, problem-solving, and has a plethora of varied knowledge and services from artificial intelligence, data mining to machine learning, software, and legacy modernization.

  • Agency gathers the facts, data, and information for conducting research, setting deadlines, and gaining a thorough understanding of the client’s work practices, system specifications, and the business landscape.
  • Develops reporting, training materials, step-by-step process documentation, and finds solutions to client’s problems from software, hardware, and infrastructure needs, client’s wants and budget, objectives.
  • Moves forward with designing, implementing, testing, understanding the change-management process, and is familiar with the tried and true tested methodologies.
  • Monitors IT systems and gives objective recommendations, suggestions, and how to improve environment and information systems.

Services that are offered by IT agencies provide strategic direction, guidance, technology expertise, and IT infrastructure know-how and comprehension to the client.

  1. Server, Desktop and Backup Management
  2. Remote Monitoring
  3. Cloud Migration
  4. Cyber-Security Services/Privacy
  5. Firewall, Linux Servers, Web Server Logs
  6. IT Budgeting, Maintenance, Support, Monitoring
  7. Digital Implementation
  8. App Modernization
  9. Regulatory Compliance
  10. Program Management
  11. Enterprise Data Governance
  12. IT Process Optimization (technological/informational needs)
  13. Integrated Governance, Risk, and Compliance – GRC

IT Consultant Objectives

For project problem-solving to designing, analyzing, and diagnosing a client’s business needs.  Many providers offer technical assistance and can suggest improvements on existing systems, support new technology implementation to troubleshooting network problems to hardware, software, and operating system solutions.

IT consultants have experience in project management and have expertise in databases and operating systems. External analysts that can evaluate the company’s IT systems, diagnosing a mixture of business objectives, IT infrastructure by understanding the clients business need by implementing a technology-proven solution.

Utilizing Staffing For Better Business Value

Full-scale financial planning, operating costs review, and better predictions and estimates on spending, research, and development expenses will be thoroughly reviewed.

  1. Development of the industry conditions to microeconomic factors such as the effectiveness of management, staffing, and find solutions that best fit their business.
  2. Economic activity is in decline, with two-quarters of negative growth impacting the gross domestic product (GDP) and shifting businesses to be more conservative in the choices they make for their business.
  3. Low economic performance and unemployment are causing nervousness in leaders and executives.
  4. Reliable processes and delivering more value to the customer through business-related projects like outsourcing, IT consulting agencies, staffing providers that can provide extreme value, knowledgeable agents, proven methods, techniques, technologies, and tools for better execution of a project from short to long term and new offerings and services.
  5. Many staffing vendors bring technology, expertise, and new value to the business by reviewing your organization’s day-to-day operations.
  6. Agencies offer a work-ready workforce, have a deep understanding of your industry, have fluent field-temp workers that understand your business.
  7. Many staffing firms will instantly travel to your office, have work durability, business development, and offer growth trend strategies.
  8. Many agencies know how to expand into new markets, know brand awareness tactics with trademark copyright and legal processes.

A slower demand and general fear in people with the uncertainty of the future create a stagnant working environment. Sales revenue is down, and profits declining are pushing businesses to look at staffing agencies for talent, knowledge, services, and tools.

Hiring outside talent is no longer a viable option with accounts receivable (AR) and liquidity problems shocking business to pay its bills slowly and in smaller increments than originally agreed.

  • Erratic and unpredictable supply chain issues are upsetting shareholders, along with the board of directors demanding better decisions to be made and halting wage increases.
  • Morale will dramatically suffer as a result; longer hours and the layoffs are now the reality.
  • The use of IT contingent resources is a staple for companies to expand and contract Talented IT human capital.

To solve this particular problem, mutual concessions are mutually agreed between management and the current workforce.

  • Concessions include wage reductions, reduced hours, furloughs, increased workload with few employees, and decreased benefits.
  • Plant closures and removing brands disappointingly and inadequately perform in an attempt to improve the company’s bottom line.

Many companies are too afraid to hire and train only to layoff shortly after; due to unexpected economic downturns, a decline in consumer spending. This is where turning to an IT staffing vendor as a means for a better value-added solution.

  • Negotiating with outside staffing agencies, outsourcing vendors – and less money will be spent on marketing and advertising, and the quality of goods and services may be impacted as a result. IT contingent

Staffing Then

  • In a traditional staffing model, the client gives a technical human resource requirement, the vendor supplies resources which the client interviews, a candidate is selected and the project commences.
  • In 99% of the cases, the IT staffing firm “IT Provider” believes that it is the end of their responsibility (less invoice and collect money).

Staffing Now

Consider for a moment if your staffing vendor took the responsibility and freed up your managers to focus on their responsibilities.

How liberating and productive it could be, but in too many cases, the IT manager wants to get bogged down to manage the screening, manage the hours, and manage the resource. But stop, because it isn’t productive and time-consuming.

Staffing Agencies

Good To Know Information

  1. Onsite management, freelance, contractors, and temp help.
  2. Offshore outsourcing and managed services from outsourcing an entire department of business function.
  3. Outplacement from managing separation of an employee to payroll management – assumes all the benefits, HR functions, and payroll to administrative activities.
  4. Employee leasing (Professional Employer Organization / PEO)
  5. Reducing hiring and firing cost.
  6. Add on-demand productivity.
  7. Expanding to new markets and helps grow your business.
  8. Better focused product and business decisions.
  9. Build customer relationships faster, data mining, and exploration.
  10. Boost marketing, grow a pipeline with strategies, and better ROI.
  11. Intent data collection in behavioral of an online individual from visiting websites.
  12. Offers help and support with discussions around better hiring techniques, finding top talent, project struggles and resolutions.
  13. Better business intelligence, business development strategies.
  14. Help with long-term goals and online plans.
  15. Audience analysis, new hire profile analysis, job description creation and posting is all done by the recruiter.
  16. Takes all the responsibility of hiring, recruiting, interviewing, training, on-boarding, firing, first-day preparation with new hire.

Keep Moving Forward with Aptude

Aptude is your own personal IT professional services firm. We provide our clients with first class resources in a continuous, cost-containment fashion.

Our support services will free up your senior IT staff from the overwhelming burden of day-to-day maintenance issues. Now they’ll have time to launch those new projects and applications you’ve been waiting for. Simply put, we can free up your resources and contain your costs. Let’s have a quick chat to discuss our exclusive services.

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Testimonials

Aptude provides onsite and offshore Oracle DBA support, which includes troubleshooting, back-up, recovery, migration, upgrades, and daily maintenance of Oracle database servers. Aptude has been working with our team for the past four years and we continue to use them and are satisfied with their work

Warren E., Schneider National


Aptude provided us with Oracle DBA migration support, including an upgrade from Oracle 11.1 to Oracle 11.2, and the project was completed on time and to specifications. The project manager and project consultants were responsive and proactive, resulting in a successful conclusion to the work. I would definitely contract with them again, and have recommended them to other technical offices at the University of Georgia.

David C., University of Georgia

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