Recruitment Firms Specialize in the Channel

By Alison Diana  |  Print this article Print

If you are looking to augment your workforce with help for a special project or else add to your headcount, recruitment agencies that specialize in helping IT solution providers can help you find just the right fit.

Solution providers may prefer seeking out job candidates via word-of-mouth and referrals from current employees or customers, but sometimes they need outside assistance from recruitment firms. For those channel organizations seeking a helping hand, there are placement firms that specialize in working with VARs, from offering temporary staff to recommending potential full-time staffers in an array of positions.

After all, solution providers typically need a blend of skills that include both technical expertise and the ability to interact well with customers. Sometimes, VARs demand additional experience in a particular vertical or software. And many smaller solution providers simply don’t have the human-resource infrastructure to sort through hundreds of potential candidates. Of course, agencies cost money—and VARs must weigh the pros and cons associated with paying for a recruitment firm versus keeping searches in-house.

VAR Staffing, a division of 11-year-old Apollo Staffing, was founded in 2010 to work exclusively with resellers, said Todd Billar, director of channel development, at the Dallas-based company. "The skillset’s a little different. When you’re interviewing for a channel partner, there’s additional screening that needs to be done," he told Channel Insider.

Ride-alongs are a valuable tool that prospective employers can use on job finalists, said Billar. Between client calls, executives will learn a lot about their potential hires, he said, and visits give VARs the opportunity to witness prospective employees in-action.

"This way, you can get a real strong feeling for what they’re made of. As you’re riding in the car between clients, you’re making small talk," Billar said. "If they want the job, darn it, they put some skin in this game, too."

Other VAR-focused employment firms include OnForce and Smart Source.

A Growing Demand

Solution providers also can turn to Ingram Micro, which recently further beefed-up the staffing capabilities of its Professional Services division. The distributor gives VARs the option of using its services to find both temporary and full-time employees, John Redman, manager of Professional Services at Ingram Micro U.S., told Channel Insider.

"We act as a staffing and recruitment partner for our partners," he said. "They can submit basic information about the position and we’ll go off and find appropriate candidates. We’ll make sure they have the right cultural fit, the right technical expertise, etc."

Although Ingram Micro has provided this service for five years, the distributor has seen interest surge recently, said Jason Bystrak, director of sales and services at Ingram Micro North America, in an interview.

"We’re seeing the pipeline more than triple. We’re starting to see that business grow at a much faster rate than we had in the past," he said.

In part, Ingram Micro credits this growth to the company’s newer, more proactive marketing of the service, Bystrak said. Solution providers also are turning to Ingram Micro for hiring assistance due to new business opportunities, the time and resources associated with in-house hiring initiatives, and the company’s history of partnering with the channel, he said.  

"It really helps our VARs quickly get the job done with regard to their staffing needs," said Bystrak.