Bubbles and Consequences
In the 90s, MSP business of all sizes experienced a technology boom that induced a fruitful harvest of tech professionals for easy, immediate employment. But then the bubble burst, and in its wake came a tech-worker drought that has been expansive, sustained, and difficult. What has happened is that the pendulum has swung the other direction. In Europe, the technology known to the Romans around 2,000 years ago was eventually lost until around the 1700s. The pendulum swung in a wide arc and has continued to swing. In order to account for this, certain conditions of operation must be met.
Thankfully there are still good tech workers available, and recruitment from other IT organizations is also possible. But there are a few things you’ve got to do in order that your efforts be secured, and not in vain. Follow these methods and you’ll always have the right man for the job, regardless of the bubble’s life-cycle or the pendulum’s prerogative. These methods include:
- Be the best for employees over competition – “soup to nuts”
- Have a better office than competitors
- Always be on the technological cutting edge
- Provide employees worthwhile benefits
- Ensure a career path exists
Soup to Nuts
This American expression, “soup to nuts,” means “from top to bottom,” “inside and out,” and “from beginning to end.” Your MSP business needs to be this integrated. You need to have options for employees that naturally recommend you. From the job itself to the benefits that are available, to the very break room— soup to nuts.
A Better Office
People are visual. Even the kind of technologically proficient individuals you may expect to vie for the positions you’re offering are apt to be impressed by a well-made office. Have good furniture, lighting, decor and decorum. You’re courting employees these days because the bubble has burst. But if you’re always courting them, then you also have the ability to refrain from employment partnership. So even if the bubble resumes, you can wow prospective workers while yet choosing the cream of the crop.
The Cutting Edge
This should go without saying, but it too often doesn’t. As a technology company, you’ve got a built-in prerogative to have the latest technology equipment available continuously. Depending on your budget, this may not be possible in every sense, but you can certainly itemize purchases to attain that which is most affecting to your business. Find the kind of tech that can help clients and that will satisfy employees. Sometimes this can be as simple as a coffee machine that’s automatic, but don’t kid yourself.
If you want good technology professionals working for you, you’ve in a sense got to meet them halfway. Have up-to-date data systems and end-user terminals. Get the Internet of Things online. Have large flat-screen displays— you get the idea.
You’ve got to give employees the kind of benefits they want. Retirement packages, healthcare benefits, vacation pay, what flexibility is possible as far as scheduling is concerned— these kinds of things.
You can do a “twofer” with technology on the scheduling angle. Use cloud technology to allow for remote clock-ins (or just have your employees invoice you, if you’re comfortable with that) and allow for BYOD (bring your own device) solutions.
A great deal of technology work doesn’t actually require employees to be at an office. So have a nice, plush office and inform the prospective workers that you operate a BYOD environment for certain positions, and that after training, their job will be to get a certain quota of work done by a certain date. Then the employees can make their own schedule, spend time with their families, etc. Not all benefits have to be strictly monetary— that is the point.
More important than all these things is ensuring your employees as they exist, and those qualified candidates you bring in, have ample opportunity to expand, to grow, and to pursue a real career. The more this system of career pursuit has a meritorious nature to it, the better. The idea employees should have is, “Should I dot my ‘I’s’ and cross my ‘T’s’ for this MSP business, I’ll be taken care of for life.” Do that and you’ll retain top-tier personnel.