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To Build or To Buy: Finding Talent and Optimizing Your Team

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Building a talented team isn’t just about finding the best people for the job; it’s about keeping them, too.

There’s a talent shortage out there; there’s no doubt about it—especially in IT. Technology is quickly evolving; in-house teams don’t have the bandwidth to keep up, let alone keep up with the rate of change, often preventing companies from making a necessary strategic move. The question is—do you hire or do you partner?

It’s more than just skillset

When looking for suitable candidates for a particular role, we default to looking for a particular skill set. Are they trained in DevOps/Agile, virtualization, python? Do they have the experience with InfoSec or Technology X? However, a good candidate is not necessarily the right candidate. There are several other less tangible pieces that are as important, and sometimes more important, than skillset—are they a cultural fit, will they mesh with the team, will they enjoy the work and proactively learn new skills, and, regardless of skillset, can they solve problems? Because bottom line, problem solving is fundamental to people, process, and technology challenges.

Throughout many different positions, I’ve found that there are two types of people in the world: paycheck people and passion people. The paycheck people are motivated solely by punching a clock and doing only the minimum to get that check; while the passion people are excited by a job well done and will go the extra mile to solve whatever problem may arise. Certainly, within IT, some foundational educational pieces are required, but skills can be taught and passion has to come from within. You either have that strength within or not.

Posting a job on a job board or contracting a recruiter to dig up talent is the equivalent of walking down the street with a sign that says Help Wanted. Top tier candidates don’t actively apply to jobs posted online; they make moves through networking and word of mouth. I have played match-maker many times when good people are looking to move and good opportunities exist.

Including a potential hire’s new peers in the review process is a good way to determine how they’ll mesh with the team as well.

Of course, the best place to look for talent is within your organization. Hiring from within means hiring someone who is already integrated with the company culture and the team dynamic simplifying and shortening the transition. However, to do that, you have to create a company culture that encourages people to stay.

Keeping top talent is the most significant investment a company can make—and I don’t mean installing more foosball tables and filling the fridge with craft beer. Those are just perks, and they’re great, but what keeps the really good people at any organization large or small is being empowered to do their work in the best way they know how, a sense of trust throughout the team, and at the end of the day, a feeling that they’re making a difference. A company culture that encourages on-going learning through external conferences, networking events, meeting vendors, or independent reading not only serves individual team members but the overall goals of an organization.

I’ve had the good fortune to work with some incredible leaders over the course of my career who set the bar high and got problems solved from the top down. They set the example for their direct reports, and that cascaded down to the front lines. If a mistake was made, they made sure their team could learn from it and reinforced the good.

Expanding the bandwidth

Regardless of how much time and effort you’ve invested in building your team and developing a compelling and rewarding company culture, among many organizations, there’s zero bandwidth to take on anything new. These days, it isn’t just lack of budget or belief in the technology capabilities preventing most companies from making a strategic move; it’s a lack of human resources.

More and more, companies are embracing professional services or partners to accomplish certain strategic tasks. It’s quicker and more cost-effective than attempting to hire that level of talent in-house and serves as an insurance policy for executives. It’s no different from trying to change your own water heater to save a few bucks on installation. You could probably figure out how to do it, but it’s probably not your ‘day job’ and if anything goes wrong along the way, it’s on you to figure it out. Your team can be part of any project, but you’ve got to have an expert to get it off the ground and to guarantee its success.

At Edge, we’re proud of the in-house team we’ve built and the company culture that fosters ownership and encourages creative problem-solving. The freedom factor and the trust factor, it’s huge at Edge. We believe in positive reinforcement, and we encourage out-of-the-box thinking to solve problems of any size or scale.

By partnering with us, whether to build a vision and develop a strategy or deliver tactical services, our customers get access to the best talent available. And, if we don’t know how to do something, we have our own trusted network of rock stars we can bring in to help us get the job done.

Want to learn more about Edge Solutions? Have a problem you need help solving? Contact us today and let’s get the conversation started.