Recruitment in IT services companies: on mission or on profile?
Recruitment in IT services companies is a highly strategic function. Indeed, their business depends on their ability to recruit at the right time the experts their clients need or will need. As a result, not all IT service companies operate in the same way, especially in terms of recruitment processes. There are two main types of recruitment: profile-based and mission-based. Focus and explanations.
Recruitment based on mission or on profile: different challenges
The process and objectives of these two types of recruitment correspond to their names:
In the case of recruitment on mission, the IT services companies analyzes the applications and studies which ones to retain. Recruitment, generally on a permanent basis, is therefore conditional on the existence of the position. In addition, the mission is presented and detailed to the candidate before the interview. In this model, the end customer is also an actor in the process validation.
If the IT services companies does not have, strictly speaking, a position to fill and a concrete request, it can however retain a candidate whose profile interests it. This is called profile-based recruitment. Thus, it will be based on the candidate’s background, technical skills and personality. In fact, the objective is simple: to recruit someone who can respond to future missions and demands.
Recruitment on assignment
Within the framework of the recruitment on mission, the consultant will have the possibility of choosing precisely the mission which interests him and will be presented to the customer. If the interview is successful, he/she will start directly on the mission concerned. He will have chosen both the company and the mission.
Similarly, there is little risk for the IT services companies since this recruitment meets a concrete need and will begin at the same time as the commercial contract. This is an option that seems more reassuring for small and medium-sized structures. Indeed, this model offers more flexibility.
On the other hand, since IT services companies works with many partners, it may happen that one of its customers may have rarer needs for specific skills. And in this case, if this punctual need does not meet a new demand, how to replace the consultant on a new mission? The risk remains.
Recruitment on profile
IT services companies recruit employees to place them with clients. This leads them to constantly anticipate the needs of their markets and to adopt a “just-in-time” recruitment strategy. This specificity explains why the recruitment activity of IT services companies is not always linked to a given mission, but rather aims to build up a pool of candidates that they can recruit quickly by synchronizing employment contracts and commercial contracts.
In the case of profile-based recruitment, it is less a question of recruiting for a specific need than of identifying easily employable profiles. This allows managers to present to their clients, before the conclusion of a commercial contract, or even the expression of a need, profiles likely to interest them.
Profile recruitment is a little more risky. The IT service companies will, in fact, recruit a consultant without being 100% sure of being able to staff him quickly. If it does not find an assignment for this employee, he could start his permanent contract on an inter-contract or be offered an assignment that does not correspond 100% to his wishes. But this is not mandatory. More and more consulting companies will favor this period to set up a dedicated onboarding for example.
The particularity of this recruitment also lies in the fact that the IT services companies believes in the future of its consultant. This develops a good ” employer brand ” image in terms of human resources. Recruitment based on profile is a bet for the IT services companies and therefore, a proof of attachment for the employee. As a result, the involvement and loyalty of the latter are often more important. The relationship tends to be long term.
Why do these 2 models coexist?
On the one hand, in a highly competitive environment, IT services companies are subject to the need to be responsive to their customers’ demands. On the other hand, they seek to minimize the number of their unassigned consultants, and therefore naturally tend to hire only after the assignment is acquired.
This is why IT services companies maintain a constant sourcing activity. They may receive, on a continuous basis, candidates who may be of interest to their clients and who will only be hired in the event of a commercial contract. Searching for and receiving candidates is a constant activity, apart from the existence of an expressed demand and of real job vacancies.
Another important feature is the very strong competition for recruitment. They are often looking for the same types of profiles. They must therefore be extremely responsive to the most sought-after profiles. This implies short recruitment processes. When the job market is tight, it is common for a candidate to be retained simultaneously by several companies.
Agility, responsiveness and collaboration are the key words for recruiting talent to meet customer needs. In conclusion, it is therefore important to quickly create a link between potential candidates and the IT services companies, in order to start a strong relationship between a talented profile and a company ready to offer development opportunities. The idea is to be able to propose the “good” projects to the “good” experts.