Better Solidify Your Strategy for the Second Half of 2010
It's inevitable. Like a flash you are suddenly halfway through the year. Rather than panicking about all that's left to do, now is actually the perfect time to take a step back, perform a solid mid-year review of goals and objectives, and put a revised plan in place to initiate pivotal IT projects during Q3 and Q4.
The good news: unlike when projects were decided upon at the end of 2009, today there's plenty of proof that the economy is on an upswing and IT employment is rising. In fact, TechServe Alliance recently released data showing IT jobs growing by .19% over last month, with 7,300 new technology workers being added to the employment roster.
Even so, the aftermath of the last two years has left businesses hesitant to hire full-time employees. This juxtaposition of realizing the need for specific project implementation, but being skeptical to hire, is one with which we at STAR BASE have become quite familiar.
Projects Need Completion; Budgets Need Adherence
The fact of the matter is companies are trying to maintain productivity, yet lower profits and higher costs are forcing employers to take a closer look at the bottom-line and full-time employee expenses. But what about outsourced employees as a means to achieve productivity? Peter Cappelli, director of the Center for Human Resources at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School, was quoted in a recent Business Week article saying the brutal recession has prompted more companies to create just-in-time labor forces that can be turned on and off like a spigot.
Outsourcing has not only become an economic answer for successful project completion because of the low financial risk, but also a sound strategy. Here's why:
1. When you outsource talent, you're looking for specific skill sets and consequently contract with a candidate who is trained and ready to go with exactly what you need for a project or even certain components of your project.
2. Since the talent is function specific—when that function is finished, so is the contract and expense.
3. Outsourced IT professionals often become much needed change agents. Getting projects rolling sometimes requires companies to think outside the box and to try new strategies and a few fresh minds can help push your organization in that direction.
Outsource Concept Great; What About Execution?
The idea of outsourcing seems great on the surface, but to make it a successful proposition, STAR BASE recommends companies consider some critical questions when analyzing remaining and forecasted IT projects and their outsourcing potential. Many of these tips are referenced in our April BASEline feature article titled, "2010: Is Outsourcing a Viable Strategy?"
1. What specific skills do your projects require? Are they specialized? Do the skills exist within your organization today? If a project does have a skill gap, it is likely a good candidate for outsourcing.
2. Do you have technology specific needs? Are you in a situation where you have to utilize a highly skilled employee for IT maintenance when that person's skills would be more valuable on certain projects? If so, IT maintenance presents an area for outsource consideration.
3. Are you able to demonstrate a clear ROI by outsourcing skills or functions within your organization? If not, outsourcing might not be the best answer.
Once you determine that outsourcing IT talent is going to lead to greater productivity while keeping costs down, it's time to identify a staffing partner. STAR BASE has an explicit process for finding clients candidates with precise skills that includes things like random question exercises, absolute strengths and weaknesses and adaptive testing.
Temporary Talent = New Permanent Strategy
The "new normal" that has been referenced so often in relation to the way in which business is executed today also applies to staffing. Outsourcing temporary talent is fast becoming a permanent and valuable strategy. Contact Jeff Welsh at firstname.lastname@example.org for an evaluation of your needs and recommendations to the best approach to accomplish goals for the second half of 2010.