Don’t Swear Off IT Recruiting Agencies Before You’ve Done These 3 Things

The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Tech Talent

This guide will walk you through the steps of choosing a staffing partner that will revolutionize your hiring experience and leave you feeling confident in your ability to find the IT talent you need.

Bad experiences with IT recruiting agencies have left many companies skeptical — even downright opposed — about partnering with them again to find tech talent. 

Common frustrations we often hear about include:

  • talent mismatches
  • receiving unqualified candidates
  • dealing with poor communication
  • experiencing bad overall customer service
  • facing delays in candidate submissions
  • Wasting valuable time with all of the above

“Many times, we come across individuals expressing their past negative encounters with staffing firms. Experiencing candidate or recruiter unresponsiveness, prioritizing quantity over quality of candidates, and encountering inadequate screening processes — these are all-too-frequent experiences.”

Sarah Pervo, Artemis President

The good news is that not all IT staffing agencies are the same, and this article aims to guide your organization in finding reputable and trustworthy partners to source top-notch tech talentwithout wasting your valuable time.

office team brainstorming session

Step 1: Identify Key Criteria

To rebuild trust and find reputable IT staffing agencies, it is crucial to focus on key criteria that can make a significant difference in your hiring process. Here’s what to look for.

An Established Network of IT Candidates

Look for agencies with a wide-reaching and diverse talent pool to ensure access to a variety of expert IT professionals — and a track record of matching their niche skill sets with the right projects.

Ask: “Can you provide examples of successful placements you’ve made in the past year for roles similar to the Oracle DBA position we’re looking to fill?”

Quality Over Quantity

Seek agencies that prioritize providing a limited number of highly qualified candidates, guaranteeing that each one is a suitable fit for your organization’s specific IT requirements.

Ask: “How many candidates do you typically provide? And how do you ensure that the candidates you present are thoroughly vetted and meet our specific technical requirements?”

Focus on Culture Fit

Finding a match based on technical skill is half the battle. There should also be a focus on matching IT consultants to your organization’s culture and team dynamic.

Ask: “How do you assess the cultural fit of consultants before presenting them as potential candidates?”

High Retention Rates

Reputable agencies have a track record of retaining talent, indicating their ability to match candidates with the right IT roles.

Ask: “Could you share insights into your agency’s candidate retention strategies and the percentage of candidates who stay beyond the initial placement?”

Excellent Client Service

Choose agencies that prioritize customer satisfaction, offering exceptional client service and demonstrating a commitment to understanding your organization’s unique IT needs.

Ask: “Can you give examples of how your agency has gone above and beyond to address client needs and ensure a positive experience?”

Industry Experts in IT Recruiting

Opt for agencies that employ industry experts with specialized knowledge in IT recruiting and consulting, as they can better understand your technical needs than a generalized staffing firm.

Ask: “What certifications or specialized training do your recruiters have that demonstrate their expertise in IT recruiting?”

Relationship-Based Approach

Look for agencies that value building long-term relationships and partnerships with their clients, fostering a deeper understanding of your IT organization’s culture and preferences.

Ask: “How do you foster long-term relationships with clients? Could you provide a client reference who has had a successful long-term partnership with your agency?”

Strong and Transparent Communication

Prioritize agencies that maintain open lines of communication. From initial contact, to providing clear and timely updates throughout the hiring process, and every interaction that follows.

Ask: “What is your typical communication cadence throughout the candidate search and selection process? How do you keep clients updated on progress?”

man doing research

Step 2: Evaluate Tech Staffing Agencies

To ensure that you choose a reputable staffing agency, thorough evaluation is key. Follow these steps to make an informed decision.

Research Extensively

Conduct in-depth research to understand the reputation of potential agencies, checking online reviews and ratings from other IT organizations.

Example Evaluation Question: “Can you share examples of recent client testimonials from organizations similar to ours that have utilized your staffing services for Cyber Security projects?”

Seek Referrals

Ask for recommendations from industry peers who have had positive experiences with staffing agencies in the past.

Example Evaluation Question: “Could you provide references from clients who have had a successful experience with your agency, especially in placing PowerBI experts?”

Review Case Studies

Examine case studies and success stories from agencies, paying attention to their impact on other IT organizations.

Example Evaluation Question: “Do you have case studies showcasing your agency’s role in helping to overcome time-sensitive hiring challenges for cloud implementations?”

woman on virtual call with multiple people

Step 3: Build Trust Through Communication

Communication is the foundation of any successful relationship with a staffing agency. Once you’ve selected a staffing agency to partner with, never stop communicating. Ensure that it’s two-way, open, and transparent. 

Clearly Convey Your Needs

Articulate your IT organization’s hiring needs, preferred technologies, and company culture to help the agency find the right IT consultant.

Example: “We need a seasoned SAP Quality Management Consultant with expertise in SAP S/4HANA Quality Management. Can you focus on identifying candidates who possess hands-on experience with SAP Quality Management modules, specifically QM-PTP, QM-IM, and QM-QC? Additionally, we’re looking for candidates with a strong technical proficiency in ABAP, XML, and IDocs. Their ability to provide both technical and functional insights into quality planning, inspection, and control is crucial for our team’s success. Could you prioritize candidates who showcase a proven track record in these areas?”

Be Honest and Transparent

Just as you should clearly convey your needs, your recruiting partner should be transparent about what they can and cannot accomplish, and why a particular candidate isn’t the right fit.  

Example: “After each candidate interview, I’d appreciate your thoughts on how well they align with our requirements. Likewise, I’ll share my feedback to ensure we’re both making informed decisions.”

Regularly Communicate

Ideally, your agency should maintain consistent communication with you to stay aligned throughout the hiring process and promptly address any concerns. Likewise, you should also be responsive and easy to reach.

Example: “I would like regular updates on the progress of our search. I prefer a weekly email summary and a brief check-in call every other week to discuss any developments. Does that work for you?”

woman in orange blazer shaking hands of two people off camera

Your Guide to a Great Experience

By following these three steps, your organization can rebuild trust and find reputable IT recruiting agencies that truly understand the industry and can provide top-notch IT consulting, like Artemis did for this Fortune 500 client:

“My colleagues and I truly appreciate you! You really look out for our best interests and try to make our searches as painless and efficient as possible by understanding our needs and effectively vetting the candidates. The fact that you present only quality candidates with the right skillset saves us so much time. That is a unique trait, and something that makes you stand out among other contract resource vendors. Each time I do a contract search I continue to narrow the firms that I work with, weeding out those that tend to throw people at me that aren’t what their résumé claims they are. You are definitely at the top of my list for resource providers! I also appreciate that you continue to check on how things are going even after the person has started.”

Manager, Corporate IT – Fortune 500 Company

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The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Tech Talent

In the fast-paced world of technology, finding the right tech talent is critical. There’s no time to work with someone who just doesn’t get it. It’s time you felt valued and understood by a staffing partner. With this guide, take the first step in refreshing your staffing experience to land top tech talent in a competitive market.

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