“I just got 5 emails, 8 In Mails, 3 phone calls and 1 SMS from different IT Staffing firms for 3 different consulting engagements at Bank ABC, all between 8:30 and 9:30 this morning. Who do I call back? The first one who sent me an email, the first voice message or the last one? I know two of those recruiters very well, Peter and Rob. Should I call Peter first?”
If this sounds like a typical event in one of your typical days as an IT consultant, then you may consider going back to your basics. What does this mean?
The IT staffing landscape has changed considerably since the Y2K era (don’t tell me you don’t remember those good old times!!) As Jeremy Mason mentioned last week, most big organizations with large IT contracting needs go through an internally or externally Managed Vendor Program. This means one point of contact for the entire IT organization. As he also pointed out, this process can raise your risk of dual representation which is not good for you. But you should also know that, for some clients, being represented at the same client by 5 staffing companies on 5 different job requests in the same week is not very good for you either. Depending on which staffing firms you are dealing with, it could mean 5 different bill rates, 5 different profiles and a very confused end client!
How can you minimize this issue? By going back to basics and working with only your preferred staffing firms. The best measure for determining the best firm fit should rest on how you feel about its recruiters, its ethics and the way they represent you in this new “tighter” consulting ecosystem. Good recruiters will care, follow-up, abide by strong ethics and look at the short and the long term. It is worth your while to get to know them and to speak with them frequently because they may have different clients and more options for you. Take the time to meet them and ask about their values and how they view their relationships with their clients and their contractors. Then discard the ones who are just providing you with a short term opportunity. Because short term is just what it is — short term.
So, look for the fundamentals. They are still your best guide today and for the years to come!
How many staffing companies do you currently work with? Have you run into any confusing situations while juggling multiple companies?