No Settling for Second-Best

By Alison Diana  |  Print this article Print

The pendulum is swinging in favor of employees again, according to channel executives, who say the labor market has tightened and they have plans to hire. But they won't be looking to hire just anyone. Do you fit the bill?


In the case of Mendix, the 100-employee software developer seeks enthusiastic, knowledge-seeking technologists, CEO Derek Ruse told Channel Insider. It can make recruitment challenging: Mendix interviewed about 150 candidates for 20 positions, he said. But turnover is low as a result of its in-depth staffing processes, Ruse said.

"Personally, I look for people who don’t think they have all the answers but people who know they don’t have all the answers, but are willing to look for the answers, people who are open to new thoughts, new people and new ideas," he said. "We’re extremely critical even though the need for people is huge, but we cannot allow ourselves to go for second-best. It would break down what we build."

An Employee’s Market?

Where it once was an employer’s market, the hiring pendulum is shifting back in favor of job-seekers—at least in the IT space, according to executives.

"In March, you’d give a candidate an offer and they’d jump all over it. Now you give a candidate an offer and they’ll have a couple of counter-offers," said VARStaffing’s Billar. "The talent marketplace has become much tighter also. For a talented candidate, it is their market."

As IT professionals consider their opportunities, they should look beyond salary and traditional benefits such as insurance and 401Ks, and try to determine how well they fit within the organization’s over-reaching culture, executives said. Many solution providers offer benefits that range from flexible work hours and telecommuting, to corporate discount programs and bring-your-dog-to-work days. It may not be like working at Facebook or Google but, as staffing experts are quick to point-out, many IT experts would prefer a career at a smaller organization or a solution provider where they can resolve customers’ problems.

"There is certain talent that doesn’t want to work for large companies. There’s a lot of M&A action going on. There is some talent that prefers to work closer to management," said Billar.

Solution providers are preparing for increased business in 2012 by adding staff across multiple departments. That’s good news for well-qualified candidates seeking a new business home, and gives channel organizations another way to differentiate themselves through corporate culture, staff loyalty, and benefits programs.