Insight

Channel firms on the hunt for new employees

Despite current pandemic conditions, many channel firms are on the hunt for new employees.

That’s according to CompTIA’s IT Industry Outlook 2022, which was released this week.

Among a host of channel research, the IT industry association found that channel companies are hiring – and particularly those with skills in certain areas such as emerging tech (IoT, AI, etc.), as well as for sales and marketing positions.

More than a third (35 percent) of firms surveyed report having current openings they are actively looking to fill in technology roles. Another 24 percent are angling to shore up their business-related employee base, an increase from 15 percent last year. Thirty-two percent are fully staffed at present, while seven percent said they remain in a hiring freeze directly related to Covid-19’s impact. In 2021, 13 percent were in a hiring freeze due to Covid.

The report says that the business model, technology focus and type of customers served will greatly influence the staffing needs of the typical channel firm. For example, an MSP may well need more tech staffing now that most of its customers are working from home instead of a central office location.

Other companies are “grappling to fill staffing holes because some of their employees needed to leave the workforce to tend to school-age children at home during the pandemic.

“Other channel firms are using their solid financial base and positive cash flow to dive into new markets and grow during this uncertain time. For other firms, it’s about strategic thinking and finding people with skills to tackle the nuances of the emerging tech landscape.”

The research highlights how – like the rest of the IT industry – emerging tech skills are in high demand among channel firms, and often hard to find. But it claims other obstacles have complicated hiring as well. This includes rising salary expectations and competition for talent from other tech providers.

“Increasingly, other industries outside of tech are in the mix for potential job candidates. And while last year’s approach to hiring issues was foremost to retrain existing staff for open positions or to address new areas of focus, this year channel firms turned to contract workers to fill open positions.

“This might reflect a reality of Covid-era employment shifts and the gig economy generally, or contract hiring could be seen as a way to combat salary demands of full-time hires. For those hiring externally, recruitment efforts that seek out more diverse applicants is underway. Others have eliminated the four-year college degree requirement altogether.

Channel firms – does this reflect your own experiences in hiring staff?

Ultimately the authors of the report, believes that the channel is “starting to think bigger again, rekindling some of the strategic initiatives and aspirations that may have been put on the back burner during the extended pandemic.”

It says even among those firms that have struggled during Covid, there is a sense of renewed yet cautious determination entering 2022.

“Whether it’s building back a solid foundation that had cracked a bit these past couple years or forging ahead with ambitious business decisions aimed squarely at the future, the channel seems ready to accelerate.”

We’d love to hear if this – or anything else in the report matches with what you’re seeing in the channel! Drop me a line at christine@purechannels.com

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