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Common Outsourcing Mistakes when Looking for IT Talent

by: Karen Cayamanda

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 |

Outsourcing the Right IT Talent

A lot of companies in various industries have turned to information technology (IT) outsourcing to utilize resources of third party providers so they can focus more on their core competencies and to improve productivity. In fact, it has become one of the greatest financial and quality reinforcements for any operation to date. Some of the most commonly outsourced IT functions are systems administration and networking engineering, and it’s been proven that outsourcing has a positive impact to the entire business operation.

IT providers worldwide now have more options which are beneficial to clients, their customers, and service providers themselves.

Since the IT industry never ceases to develop, value added resellers (VARs) have come up with different ways for more sales opportunities by expanding their service offerings. For example, businesses nowadays can outsource IT professionals - this saves them time and money in training yet provides their customers the same experience with local employees. VARs can also take advantage of the sudden growth of the market by providing outsourcing infrastructure models.

However, in most cases, companies that choose to outsource tend to overlook the actual quality of the candidates presented to them by the service providers because they are too absorbed on the low rates.

Astreya Partners’ Jim Illson recently shared with CRN.com common mistakes companies make when looking for the right outsourced IT personnel:

Not hiring locally
Skipping out on local talent while establishing an office offshore may put any operation at risk. Why? Having a new branch in a different location may well be a fish out of water. If the outsourced employees don’t have a clue on what’s going on around them, chances are they will have a hard time understanding their market.

Forgetting to evaluate the employees
Almost all industries use performance metrics as a gauge to see how effective the talent is for the process. Clients should also be able to participate in such evaluation so they can personally see if they are actually maximizing their funds and both parties are following the service level agreements (SLAs). Evaluations also enable clients to point out which area the service provider should improve more on or just give them a pat on the back for a job well done.

Presenting candidates randomly and hope they can get away with it
A proper screening process can save time and money for the service provider and the client. Some candidates may look as if they are perfect for the job yet they lack a specific skill or the personality doesn’t actually match the position. These are also things that firms should look into before presenting a candidate to a client. Companies that give out exams and perform intense screening processes should have a standardized format so in the end, clients will get only the best.

The freelance and exclusive dilemma
Companies should measure the capability of candidates before signing them off for a project. For example, do you assign a long-term project to an exclusive employee or to a contractual one? Firms should always keep in mind that once a candidate is chosen by the client, they will become a representative of the VAR, so the candidate’s failure or success will definitely reflect on the VAR.

Not all IT processes and candidates are the same.
Just because a candidate knows the basics of IT management doesn’t mean he/she can resolve IT infrastructure issues. The talent should also be able to ride the tides with the client as they expand, and not get stuck on the basic process which he/she was hired for. Providers and resellers should likewise be flexible enough in measuring and providing evaluating systems for clients.

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