Pros and cons of hiring an agency
Agencies provide ready-made workers, ready to start straight away and without a lengthy recruitment process. But there are some things to be aware of, especially when hiring IT agency workers.
Why do companies need agency workers?
One of the biggest obstacles facing a growing company is getting qualified and ready-to-work employees. There are many difficulties that companies face during this search.
They might not be confident in running a recruitment program. If they are looking for staff to build out their core competencies, they will likely not have a dedicated hiring manager or HR person. Speed might be of the essence and contracting an agency will make it fast to bring in a qualified candidate. Agencies already have large books of people who are ready and able to fill in specific roles.
Agency workers are already vetted. They are qualified and have the skills needed for the job. This reduces the fear that the wrong candidate will be hired. This is especially important in the IT field, as new software, products, and languages develop. No one at a growing firm may have the background to judge the ability of candidates they find themselves.
And if things do go wrong with an agency worker, it is a lot easier to rectify. There are no convoluted labor laws or processes that must be followed. This makes the risk of bringing in new workers much lower.
Main fears when hiring an agency
There are some things that put people off agencies. First is the higher cost. This is a genuine concern but fails to take into account the opportunity cost of a firm running the hiring process themselves. Time expended filtering out candidates, running interviews, and evaluating tests could be spent more productively.
Using agency workers could undermine the company's ethos or team culture. Temporary and permanent employees may feel that they are on different teams. This could lead to them not collaborating well. Superstar candidates looking for a permanent role could also be missed if an agency were hired.
Common requirements when searching for new workers
Any new hire must be able to contribute to a business. They have to have the skills to work well within a team. This does not just mean technical ones. Social skills are equally as important – often more so.
Education, background, previous jobs, work ethos, personability, and being a good fit with the company’s culture are all vital. Agencies help with all but one of these. And if an agency worker doesn’t fit the company, it is straightforward to get someone that does.
Pros of hiring a ready-made team
Hiring an agency is perfect for IT companies looking to complete a specific project. Assembling a team to pursue a particular opportunity is time-consuming. It might take so long that the whole project is put in jeopardy.
Agencies can provide ready-made teams that can get to work straight away. With senior direction and oversight managed by a business, the team can thrive. They will have great communication and an ability to work together, knowing who is best for a particular job, really increasing efficiency. This is something that a business has to build over months and years with a traditional team. An agency team has it off the bat.
The major drawback of this strategy is that institutional knowledge is not retained by the firm. Hired for a short period, that agency team goes to work at another business using the experienced gather that someone else paid for. Higher costs, as mentioned above, are also a problem. If a firm wants to make an agency worker permanent then there are costs associated with that too, with the agency charging an additional fee.
Ways to identify a good team vs a bad team
If you are interested in working with an agency, the best skill to nurture is your ability to identify what makes a good team good and a bad team bad.
A team must have the right motivation. While we all need to earn money to survive, we choose to earn money in a particular field because we are inspired by the work. If an agency team is simply there to pick up a paycheck, then they might not be the right fit. Look for passion for a field. With many IT workers, this can be judged counter-intuitively. IT workers often express frustration, even hate, about something they work closely with. But this expresses passion. And they will defend a particular language or structure if they are challenged on it.
Reliability is another key aspect of a good team. It can be seen early and if it is lacking, it might be enough evidence itself to move on. Honesty and self-awareness are two other crucial points. The ability to say ‘I don’t know’ or ‘I messed this up’ means that a team takes responsibility for their actions. That means you can trust them.
Agency workers might not be right for everyone. But they are often a reliable way to quickly and effectively expand a business. The IT sector can certainly benefit from working closely with agencies.