Wallis Computer Solutions job listing

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An Australian regional MSP has come under fire for running an inflammatory job search advertisement. In such a difficult market, where IT skills are in short supply, this is an excellent example for small MSPs in how not to approach recruitment and HR.

Wallis Computer Solutions made the media rounds this week after posting on a popular job search website that it was looking for a “non-woke” managed services technician to join the team.

The company, whose website claims its values include “integrity” and “professionalism,” chose to include phrases like “we know what a woman is,” when proclaiming that employees aren’t required to disclose their pronouns.

The ad has since been edited and now reads like a standard job advertisement, with no acknowledgement of the cultural environment that the company was offering candidates. However, there is still a note at the bottom that the company won’t require that you disclose your COVID vaccination status to work at Wallis Computer Solutions.

That note is something of a whistle for the kind of candidate that the MSP is still chasing, as it’s no longer a requirement to disclose vaccination status outside of a very small number of sectors where it’s particularly relevant (such as healthcare). IT companies, including MSPs, are already no longer able to ask for proof of vaccination.

Risks with Limiting Hire Options During a Skills Crisis

Wallis Computer Solutions is offering up to $90,000/year for an L2 technician, and remote work is an option (or alternatively, the employee could relocate to Dalwallinu, and benefit from the lower cost of living in regional Australia). The benefits package also seems to be generous, and includes time off for community service, a training allowance, subsidised gym access and housing, and flexible work hours.

The reaction to the job did help boost attention for it, and perhaps that was the goal. However, in the midst of a national skills shortage, IT professionals hold all the cards. A third of employees are looking for a pay increase of at least 10% this year, and more than 50% of Australians are either ready to quit or are actively changing job roles.

Employers don’t have the luxury of offending half of their prospective applicants by promising a hostile working environment to anyone outside of a narrow ideological band.

Most MSPs are, like Wallis Computer Solutions, small organisations with fewer than 25 employees, and are unlikely to have an HR professional on staff. When relying on the owner to write their job ads, a lack of awareness on best practices and sensitivities may well be costing many MSPs the opportunity to find ideal candidates.

There’s an opportunity for MSPs to target robust growth in the months and years ahead. To make the most of that opportunity, smaller MSPs need to develop a robust and inclusive hiring process — one that will encourage, not limit, the number of skilled applicants that apply.