People are not widgets


No manufacturer in the world would do business with a supplier if only one part in 20 coming from that supplier actually fit into the manufacturer’s final product. So why is it that organizations that hire contingent labor from staffing firms find themselves accepting only 5% of the candidates offered by those vendors? 

The answer is obvious — people are not the same as parts. However, that answer begs the next question — why do so many organizations try to manage a workforce of skilled professionals as though they were commodity parts?  The answer is often that a procurement division has implemented a centralized approach to managing an organization’s spend on contingent labor.

That can work if the skills being hired are actually like a commodity. That is, if the requirements for the work can be boiled down to a specific set of specifications — the fewer the sets of specification the better. In practice, however, the package of technical and “soft” skills actually required for most contingent labor projects will have nuances that are easily lost unless the internal project managers are deeply involved in the personnel selection process. Centralizing or automating that process is likely to generate a high percentage of mismatches.

A more strategic approach to managing contingent professional help involves collaboration among the procurement representative, the internal project manager, and the firm supplying the contingent labor. The procurement representative can lead the process and provide the framework for the relationship, while the project manager provides all the details about the project, deadlines, and working culture of the team.

The staffing firm should be prepared to answer questions about the availability of talent and current market rates and conditions. The staffing representative should have a good idea of the kind of candidates he or she has in his pool and be prepared to ask detailed questions that will inform the choices he or she offers.

This collaborative model can shorten the cycle for hiring and increase the candidate acceptance rate. Furthermore, all stakeholders gain a high sense of ownership of the results the collaboration is delivering.

If you want to see how true collaboration works in staffing, we’re happy to help.

Paul Sheridan

VP, Eclaro


Psst, the unemployment rate is only 2.3%


We are all inundated with “jobs” data regularly, including the monthly unemployment rate. This is, of course, a “macro” statistic.

There are 156,000 computer or IT professionals currently unemployed – which amounts to a 2.3% unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, last modified on January 10, 2014 (down from 3.9% in Jan 2013). According to the BLS, the unemployment rate for people with a Bachelor’s degree or higher is 3.2%.

3% is statistically considered to be “full employment”.  There is a talent war in IT. Candidates are in the driver’s seat. They are comparing on average four offers, not only weighing compensation packages, but also opportunities to expand their skills, flexibility to achieve optimal work/life balance and to contribute to a brand of which they can be proud.  

So if you have questions about market trends for specific positions and in specific sectors, we’re happy to help.

Tom Sheridan

VP, Eclaro



Top Performers Earn their Gold!


It is a long held belief that top programmers are at least 10 times more productive than average programmers (some have said 100x more). They are not only more productive, but develop better/cleaner code.

 A programmer typically spends 10-20% of his time writing code and most programmers write about 10-12 lines of code per day that goes into the final product. Top performing programmers spend the majority of their time thinking, researching, and experimenting to find the best approach. Under performing programmers spend the majority of their time debugging code often randomly making changes and seeing if they work.

“A great lathe operator commands several times the wage of an average lathe operator, but a great writer of software code is worth 10,000 times the price of an average software writer.” –Bill Gates

A good programmer is maybe ten times more productive than an average programmer. A great programmer is 20-100 times more productive than the average. This is not an exaggeration – studies since the 1960′s have consistently shown this.

So if you have needs for top performing programmers, we’re happy to help!

Kate McCabe

VP, Eclaro