San Francisco — Feb. 6
The battle between line managers and HR managers over staffing strategies continues to rage, according to Granite Solutions Groupe.
A continuing tight labor pool intensifies this tension between HR recruiting managers and line managers who need to fill positions to get their work done.
Contractors become increasingly attractive in this conflict, as the labor pool ages and the need for both hard and soft skills increases.
Areas of expertise and business processes continually overlap, with technology tying it together — and the business/IT knowledge workers needed to make it all happen are in demand like never before.
“Technical expertise alone is not enough in filling many product and IT positions, which increasingly must understand the key business drivers in their respective areas,” said John Henning, Granite Solutions Groups
director of business development. “Our clients find more need for roduct and IT contractors with deep business acumen and strong interpersonal skills.
“This profile tends to appear more with age — younger workers often need time to develop the business experience. Yet, even among more experienced workers in the current labor market, this profile is not readily available.”
To better their chances of finding candidates and contractors who understand business, Henning suggests HR keeps current a deep candidate pool and also affiliates with trusted external recruiting resources.
Companies often don’t know when staffing needs will reach a critical point where tensions can erupt. For example, Henning noted that one of its clients, a large national financial institution, completely reversed its position on hiring contractors within a three-week period in large part because of from line managers.
Many business scenarios typically drive the decision to hire contractors versus full-time employees. These include immediate staff augmentation, where project deadlines dictate speedy hiring time frames; the need of the organization to reduce long-term financial commitments,
as when staffing a growth spurt that might not last; and the ability to take advantage of nonbudgeted opportunities such as an unanticipated business opportunity that would strain current staffing levels.
Contractors also can reduce management overhead, including the needs for regular performance reviews and HR administration involvement.
Additionally, corporations often find hiring a contractor helps direct focus and maintain accountability. A company might run across an unplanned yet lucrative opportunity while putting the work onto existing staff members that might distract their attention to day-to-day opportunities,
and accountability for the unplanned work often suffers.
A contractor focused on the task can maximize the opportunity and maintain accountability and not be distracted with other normal duties.