Team Sourcing

Team for hire

15 November 2018


Supplying reliable IT professionals who have the right skills quickly and flexibly is undoubtedly one of the most effective ways in which an IT partner can unburden the CIO. But this individual reinforcement isn’t always sufficient in complex environments; sometimes you need to hire a whole team. That’s called Team Sourcing, and Jan Graulus, Manager Professional Services at Realdolmen, knows all about it.

‘Making people with a certain skill set available, or competence sourcing, as it’s called, is something that Realdolmen has been doing for a long time already,’ begins Graulus. ‘Companies call on us for this service because they can’t find the right profiles on the labour market or because employees with these competences need to be replaced temporarily. Because of our critical mass – around 1400 consultants, of which around 1000 are permanently employed by us – we’re usually able to help our customers in need very quickly.’

Useful extra services

Competence sourcing enables CIOs to access employees with the right skills relatively easily so that certain tasks can be completed successfully. This is especially useful for safeguarding the continuity of day-to-day operational activities, or for very specific projects. But it’s often not enough in a complex environment. ‘Some organizations ask us to supply whole teams,’ says Graulus. ‘There are various formulas for this, possibly with SLAs, such as managed seats contracts for example, where we ensure that a team of around five people with specific competences is always available. We provide competent replacements in the event that employees are absent through illness or on holiday.’ These types of contracts often include extra services, explains Graulus: ‘We provide flexibility in upstaffing and downstaffing, for example. If the client needs more or fewer people at certain times, we can also take care of that. Another such service is knowledge management, where a so-called technical account manager (often the unit manager of a team) ensures that everyone in his or her team stays up to date with new developments and knows how they can be useful for the organization or project they’re working in.’

Team Sourcing

Hard-to-replace profiles

As well as the managed seats formula, companies can also make use of team sourcing in other ways. ‘There’s quite a lot of demand for managed staffing,’ explains Graulus. ‘Whereas competence sourcing is generally for more common profiles – customer support staff or developers, for example – managed staffing is more useful for filling roles that are harder to find replacements for, such as business analysts. Potential candidates are screened and accredited in advance – in close consultation with the client, of course – to prevent the need to search for these people when someone leaves.’

Relationship with the customer is changing

There is generally less consultation between the client and the ‘supplier’ for competence sourcing, which often involves collaborating with various parties simultaneously with recruitment via a portal. The availability of the employees and the price are often the most decisive factors when selecting a supplier. This is somewhat different for team sourcing, where lots of different formulas and numerous associated services are possible. ‘We work much more in terms of the customer’s specific needs here,’ explains Graulus, ‘which means that the collaboration with the customer is more intensive and proactive. Our customers are invited to submit projects as an exercise for our acADDemICTs, for example, and they can attend the project presentations. These customers often gain access to our employees’ future availability, so they can deploy scarcer profiles faster. We also make agreements with some customers for collective training, knowledge management and recruitment.’

Give yourself time and space to think about the future

Time is scarce and can only be spent once. Operational tasks often require so much attention that the development of an innovation strategy is pushed forward every time in agendas. Together with Realdolmen as a partner, you can look at what you can do more and better if you do not have to worry about anything else. 

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