Current Trends in Staffing - from Huntley Associates (Dallas), Inc.Quick Action Secures Skilled Contract Staff!
We have all seen and experienced the frustrating problem of hiring contract programmers for that current IT project in which those hard to find skills are needed.The Scenario!
HR or Purchasing receives an authorized requisition from IT to hire 4 Peoplesoft specialists with experience in HR, Benefits and Payroll. Vendors are contacted and resumes begin to arrive. These are logged in and the tedious task of review by various layers of personnel in HR, Purchasing and the IT dept., is initiated. Three, four, five or more days go past before IT selects one or two candidates for a phone screening interview.
HR or Purchasing contacts the Vendor to arrange the interview process only to find the candidate has already been hired by another firm. In fact, the candidate had been hired within 36 hours of coming on the market!
Companies that have streamlined their contract programming selection procedure know they must react within 24 hrs after receipt of a resume to facilitate an efficient recruitment process. In this way they are able to secure the most qualified candidates who generally are hired very quickly.
In a CIO Enterprise magazine interview, Senior Vice President and CIO David Smail said, "We had 40,000 paper resumes in play across some 50 unconnected recruiting points, but by the time we figured we had a good resume, the person had taken a job elsewhere."
Companies that move in a rigid manner with numerous departmental hurdles, documentation , resume reviews and whose selection team cannot seem to find time to make their selection of candidates for interview, are invariably left with the least qualified candidates or worse, no suitable candidates at all!
Companies that have directed their HR departments to move swiftly are benefiting exponentially over firms who drag their feet or whose HR personnel cannot grasp in good time the value of well qualified candidates submitted by staffing vendors or outside recruiters.
Chad Theule the manager of recruitment technology at Murray Hill, N.J. based Lucent Technologies Inc., was recently quoted in CIO Magazine as saying, "Because the unemployment rate is so low, getting data quickly to the desktop is vital. If we get a resume in on Monday and we sit on it until Friday, we lost that candidate!"
Additionally, staffing vendors and contingency recruiters are quick to concentrate their marketing efforts with those client companies who have fast turnaround times in their decision making and thus able to secure the most experienced and qualified talent!
Progressive companies are ensuring that HR and IS have a much closer relationship and liaison than in the past. HR must understand the technologies of the enterprise and IS must understand the need for controlled but speedy action through the HR hiring process.
No-one likes to be at the mercy of market forces but the issue of supply and demand in the contract staffing field necessitates a firm hand by management to ensure the company keeps ahead of the technology curve and remains a competitive and profitable entity.
Huntley Associates (Dallas), Inc., has been actively involved in the IT industry for over 20 years and continuously monitors the software development and programming positions occupied by Programmer Analysts. We are responsible for the recruitment of Programmer Analysts in numerous Software Programming and Application Development projects. We work under the direction of several project leaders and project managers to identify the right candidates with good communication skills and technical aptitude for a given project. We are involved in not only selecting the candidates, but also monitoring their performance on the job.
As technology is continuously growing and software packages evolving, the demand for capable Programmers and Programmer Analysts is skyrocketing in the USA. Since the availability of skilled software professionals to match the exact project requirements is not keeping pace with the demand, companies are forced to continually retrain employees, or consultants to meet market requirements.
It is our personal observation, especially in the IT industry, that candidates with good academic credentials climb the learning curve faster than those without degrees. It has been the professional practice to hire Programmer Analysts with a Bachelor of Science degree with a specialization in Computer Science or Computer Engineering before hiring someone with equal skills without a degree. It is believed that the knowledge accrued through the process of obtaining a degree helps the candidates maturity while applying his skills in the business world. Realizing that there is no substitute for experience management always looks for candidates with a good blend of academic merit and practical experience.
In view of the recent shift from an industrial based economy to that of information systems management, we find an increasing number of software professionals with non-computer science degrees entering the IT industry. With the scope of jobs in the IT industry widening to encompass numerous commercial systems the integration of functional knowledge of these systems with knowledge of computer science is essential. Since it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find candidates with dual degrees encompassing these areas management finds it easier to employ candidates with different majors like computer science, engineering, commerce, business administration among several others. An ideal person for a majority of software engineering projects requires some background in computer languages, operating systems, numerical algorithms, system analysis, accounting and management. In the absence of a specialized degree in Computer Applications, it is generally accepted in the computer industry to consider engineering graduates.
Traditionally, engineering programs have been designed to include courses in science, mathematics, exposure to physical systems (concepts of civil, electrical, mechanical engineering), engineering economics (accounting, commerce), project management (scheduling, production, reporting/marketing) and team oriented group projects. Either directly or indirectly, the magnitude of transferable skills developed through traditional engineering programs is intangible and highly relevant to the modern IT industry. In order to face the current challenges of today's workplace, the traditional programs have been altered to intensify the above skills, but also by adding some essential courses like computer programming, numerical procedures, computer aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) among others. Although universities have become older and the engineering specializations have remained the same, fresh graduates of engineering disciplines are useful to software development in the IT industry since 'innovation' is at the root of most engineering curriculum.
Future editions of this Newsletter will address issues related to foreign workers in the USA and the potential impact on our economy.
We will also address important issues relating to job descriptions and their importance to the dedicated staffing vendor or recruiter who is trying to add value to his service to the client.
Given a really accurate and well thought out job description usually through the immediate supervisor or project leader, Huntley Associates can invariably provide at least 2 qualified candidates within 48 hours.
One of our clients has such confidence in us they put us on a retainer to keep them supplied with potential contract candidates in the event of attrition during a major merger/acquisition project. We have a pipeline of qualified candidates ready to move in within days of being given the word! Our clients sleep well with Huntley Associates as their insurance policy!
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