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As the need for IT skills increasingly outstrips the supply of talented IT labor, contingent IT labor is an increasingly important component to companies' talent management strategies. Organizations just can’t afford to keep the hottest skill sets on their permanent staffs, or businesses want the flexibility of scaling up staff as projects demand. So contingent labor is growing. But that doesn't mean IT leaders—or workers—always like everything about contingent working arrangements.
It’s not about qualifications—the majority of IT leaders feel contingent IT workers' skills meet their expectations. So why aren't IT leaders completely happy?
There are two main culprits:
A checklist of items needed before a worker starts
A repository of training and reference materials
Some companies find the process of onboarding simply takes too much of senior managers’ time, particularly with larger projects. For example, we recently this client dilemma: A big investment firm brought on dozens of IT contractors for a major project, but the company's managers quickly found themselves unable to keep up with the rush of new hires. The managers were overwhelmed, and it was taking contractors two to three months for contractors to become productive—a major cash drain.
We offered a solution in the form of a managed IT services engagement in which we’d source and hire contractors, supervise their day-to-day work (but not assign tasks or projects) and, critically, onboard them. Our delivery manager was the key to ensuring highly paid contract workers could become productive right away. In fact, his work brought the average timeframe for contractors to achieve full productivity down to 15 days (from a previous 60-90 days). By the client’s own estimate, this saved them $275,000. Even more importantly, it freed up their IT managers to focus on more strategic goals.
Whether you hire an IT services company to manager onboarding for you, or spend real time creating a formal process, your investment will pay off in the long run. Your company will get the most out of contract IT workers, and IT managers will get back valuable time.