3 staffing issues for IT Professionals

Recruiting and retaining great staff is always a challenge. Great staff can be the difference between keeping satisfied clients and losing dissatisfied ones.

In working with our MSP clients, a number of staffing issues keep popping up:

Staff recruitment. Many MSPs are struggling to identify and attract suitable experienced IT professionals. In any business, getting good people yields positive results: lower recruitment costs over time, better hiring efficiency and a strengthening of your reputation in the candidate market.

Employee retention. Average employee tenure appears to be falling. To help address that, many of our clients are focusing on a culture that supports the employee growth and development. Other MSPs are assessing non-salary benefits as part of their retention strategies.

Peak period workloads. Every MSP has busy periods. Managing your team’s workload during these times is challenging. The willingness of staff to work extended hours for extended periods is questionable. The potential for work quality to suffer is certain.

In addition to those issues, the skillset necessary to succeed as an IT professional in Australia has changed:

  • Clients are looking for value add. As troubleshooting work has become commoditised, client expectations of what value their MSP will provide have changed. Technical competence is a ‘table stake’. Clients are increasingly valuing the ability to apply one’s knowledge and experience to deliver outcomes.
  • Basic support is not value adding. Technological change has made basic support highly commoditised and, in some cases, automated. Many users will ‘Google first, ask support later’. This type of grunt work is difficult to support in an Australian labour cost environment.

If your staff is performing low-value add work such as dispatch or troubleshooting, their ability to develop and deploy the skills that your clients do value is limited. Limited opportunities for development and growth will likely also impact on your ability to retain those staff.

An offshoring partner can help. They can access a pool of qualified IT professionals. They can assist with peaks and troughs in workflow. They can help free up your local staff’s time to focus on developing value-adding skills and assisting clients.

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