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Most IT recruiting companies act as though their only customers are the clients who pay their fees. In reality, an IT recruiting company’s customer base is two-fold. The consultants staffed require just as much care and attention as do the paying clientele.
An IT manager issues a requisition. She is busy trying to manage several critical engagements. She is so busy that she does not have time to share the unwritten details of the position with her staffing vendors –the group dynamic and culture, the strategy driving the project or the reasons why someone may be interested in the job.
So she directs her vendors to rely on the job description for guidance.
The start date is urgent. Accordingly, the vendors work urgently to meet her need. In the rush, screening and selection best practices are often an afterthought. Priority number one is to plug the hole.
Worst case, vendors source as many candidates as quickly as possible from job boards rather than far more effective referrals. Sometimes they do not even talk to candidates before submitting their resumes. These recruiters do not share the details of the job with the candidates to gauge interest levels, nor do they take the time to understand the candidates’ skills and career goals to ensure the right fit.
Sound familiar? If so, the staffing provider is clearly serving only one customer: the client, not the consultant.
When asked to rank the most important criteria for evaluating an IT staffing provider, buyers cited “the ability to provide quality consultants” as number one.
If quality consultants are most important to buyers, what is most important to the consultants themselves? IT consultants identify a recruiter who “Understands my skills, goals and interests,” “Communicates details of available jobs,” and “Matches my skills, goals, and interests with the right opportunities” as the most important criteria.
Certainly, these findings are not earth-shattering. They are logical. IT staffing buyers need people who can do the job at hand. IT consultants, moreover, need recruiters who find the right match between their qualifications and job opportunities.
The staffing provider’s job is to satisfy both parties and to realize that satisfying one party can lead to satisfying the other.
If a recruiter does not understand the assignment details beyond the written job description (i.e. the organization’s strategy, the goals of the project the position supports, the stakeholders with which the position interacts, the group culture, the special perks), then she does not know exactly what type of person to look for to fill the role. Even if she did know, with only surface information, she is less likely to grab the attention of high-quality consultants when sourcing for top talent.
How Consultants Define a “Good” Recruiter
If a recruiter does not understand the consultant’s skills, goals, and interests, she cannot make the right match. She may be able to sell a consultant into a job, but she can not make him stay once he has realized the position is not aligned to his career aspirations.
Successful staffing firms recognize that their client relationships are only as strong as their consultant relationships. When a bad match is made, no one wins. To make the right match consistently, providers must make understanding their customers’ and their consultants’ needs a top priority. The best IT recruiting companies fully satisfy their clients by keeping their consultants happy too.
TEKsystems, the leading provider of IT staffing and services, surveys its customer and consultant populations annually to better understand drivers of satisfaction and identify areas for improvement. The extensive surveys were developed by TEKsystems and conducted by an independent research firm through a web survey. More than 1,600 buyers and nearly 6,000 consultants from across the United States and Canada responded.