When is it worth to use the help of a recruitment agency? 

In today’s highly competitive, employee-driven labour market, it is quite challenging to find and recruit the perfect candidate. That is why many companies turn to employment agencies to help them hire IT specialists for open positions. Why is it worth to cooperate with agencies, and why is employment outsourcing more and more common? It turns out that this may be the key to maximising recruiting resources. However, a harmonised strategy must be developed. The better the relationship with the recruitment agency, the more one can gain!

What skills are needed in a team?

The most significant advantage of employment agencies is their experience. It allows shortening the whole recruitment process significantly. Agencies, as highly specialised companies with in-depth knowledge of a specific employment sector and its organisations, have developed procedures for profiling and filtering IT candidates. This knowledge allows them to effectively identify those whose skills actually match the expectations of a particular employer. The proper selection of specialists is the most common problem in companies that do not have a dedicated internal recruiter or have not previously hired candidates for a given position with specialised competencies, which would make the independent search for employees long and expensive.

What remuneration should be offered to the candidate?

Setting the right level of remuneration can be quite a challenge, especially when there are few candidates with the necessary competences in the IT market. By cooperating with a recruitment agency, you can entrust it with setting the optimal remuneration. Professionals know the current salary data so that they can help with the benchmarking. This is advantageous knowledge, especially if the company is creating an entirely new position or looking for an expert in a narrow field and wants to offer competitive working conditions.

When can one use the help of an employment agency?

Especially when we care about time and effects, using an experienced recruitment agency, we statistically increase the chances of access to the best job seekers on the market. It is worth mentioning that they reach specialists actively and passively looking for a job. The HR specialists employed in the agency definitely do not limit their activities to placing advertisements on job seekers’ portals. They use their own databases and, above all, effectively identify people who meet specific criteria, which means that they will actively search for suitable candidates, not wait for their application.

A crucial reason why many companies turn to recruitment agencies is also to improve the quality of employment. Most of the agencies specialise in specific sectors of industry, which means that they already have a group of highly qualified candidates at their disposal with whom they are in contact. They not only know how to find great candidates but also make sure that they are really suitable for the job.

Difficult recruitment processes

An employment agency also works well when the requirements for the future employee are very detailed, and the internal employment department has no experience in conducting such a recruitment process. The situation when the HR department does not know the area of activity of the candidates at all is an additional obstacle. The agency’s help in such circumstances is invaluable. This is, for example, the specificity of recruiting IT specialists who are needed in most companies, even in those whose business profile is not closely related to technology. The lack of sufficient qualified staff is an additional difficulty here. The need to reach out to people who are not currently looking for a job can prolong and complicate the whole process. In such cases, the IT recruitment agency will better manage the entire process. It will manage all requests from candidates and respond to their expectations.

Benefits you did not acknowledge

For many companies, the advantage of using an employment agency is also additional security in terms of minimalising the turnover of new employees. Good recruitment agencies offer guarantee periods (usually 3-6 months). If the successful candidate leaves before the end of this period or if they fail to perform, the company is reimbursed. In most cases, however, the agency undertakes to provide a new replacement candidate at no additional cost.

How to choose an employment agency well?

There are many employment agencies on the market. To increase the chances of finding a good employee, companies often cooperate not with one, but with many of them. For the cooperation to run smoothly, it is worth making sure that the recruitment company has experience in effectively attracting candidates from a particular industry. The agency also needs to know the specifics of the business, including the expectations towards employees. This increases the confidence that the recruiter will provide precisely the candidate we are looking for. This, in turn, will prevent losses associated with the possible resignation of the employee.

In a partnership, few things are more important than right, consistent communication. The outsourcing of employment requires that the expectations of the candidate we are looking for be as precise as possible. Thanks to this, the recruitment agency does not waste any time, and the sooner it delivers the right candidate, the more both parties gain.

Business as usual, which means that
projects stay unchanged

 

At the beginning of this year, we started preparations for the project of ERP system implementation at a client’s site in one of the Baltic countries. In February, we still had a few preliminary meetings on the spot, but then suddenly, we had to switch to fully remote working. And you know what? The project is implemented according to the assumed schedule. Could we imagine we’ll finalize the plan without another visit to the client? Yes, but when the epidemic is over, we’d probably prefer to go back to the traditional way of conducting projects. In many cases, it’s just easier, faster, and more enjoyable.

When successive European governments, including the Polish one, began to
introduce restrictions on movement and closed borders, we were finalizing preparations for the project. It turned out that this is not a sufficient reason to stop us. As planned, at the end of April, we signed a contract, the operations started and are still going on – all remotely. Of course, a direct meeting with the client’s representatives at the beginning of the year was an advantage. We got to know each other a bit, but most of the activities were carried out remotely.

 

 

What is the biggest challenge?

 

We feel that in some situations, there is a lack of face-to-face contact. By being physically in one room, you can better assess the involvement of the participants. It is also much easier to feel if everything has been understood or if something has remained unclear to someone. Sure, you can also ask questions while working remotely. However, practice shows that not everyone is open enough to ask for something on their own initiative or to ask people to repeat themselves. If we are there, we observe someone’s behavior, not only the face but also body language, and make some assumptions then.

Long training sessions are also a challenge. Many people find it much easier to deal with a conference room than sitting in front of a computer screen in their own home or office. This situation is challenging, especially for the trainer, who has to speak almost all the time without seeing the participants. It slightly improves the situation if all the people taking part in the on-line training have the camera on. However, if the trainer does not see the participants and they do not ask any questions, he does not even know if they are on the other side and listen to him.

 

 

An additional difficulty with this
project was that all
communication with the client was in English.

 

It should be added that it was not the mother tongue of any participant in the project. Moreover, some key users of the system did not speak English, and the project manager on the client side acted as an interpreter. This would be a hindrance even under traditional conditions, but remote working was a real challenge.

Someone might say that remote working and teleconferencing is not a novelty, as they were used as a standard  in larger projects. That is true. When we were doing projects in Africa or Australia, it was clear that we could not be there all the time. On the other hand, when there was a need, we were there every two weeks. Specific activities in projects are usually carried out at the client’s premises. Processes are discussed on-site, configurations are developed. Due to the epidemic, it had to be remodeled. When there were problems in the project, you couldn’t just go and explain everything on the spot. You had to deal with it remotely.

And we’ve done it. The project is proceeding according to the plan. Difficulties can be solved, and so far, the issue of returning to the traditional way of working does not arise.

But we are still wondering: will it stay that way or will we go back to what was before? In projects that are carried out far from Poland, the business trips of consultants have always been a significant cost. Now that customers find out that remote working can be effective, they will be willing to reduce travel expenses. However, for local projects, there will still be room for face-to-face meetings.

Analysis, requirements development, solution design, configuration – these activities are the easiest and quickest to perform at the customer’s premises. When we have a question, it’s easier to go to someone’s desk and ask them. It takes much less time than making an on-line appointment or even making a phone call – if someone doesn’t answer, we don’t even know why, and you have to make more calls to find out; and if you don’t get someone at your desk, you can ask someone sitting next door right away. Everything can be done remotely, but it usually takes longer and is more complicated. You’re wasting a lot of time with this. A few lost minutes every day for such trivial reasons can translate into severe delays.

 

 

To sum up: can we imagine that we close the project without visiting the client?

 

Yes, but still, during the final tests, we would prefer to be on the spot so that we can see if everyone is doing the planned tasks, and if a minor mistake occurs, it can be corrected immediately. After all, project management is all about working with people. So, see you at the next project.

Mindbox, after being on the market for over a dozen years, is undergoing a real metamorphosis. We are logically dividing the company into two brands: Mindbox and Mindworkers. Why? Because of the dynamic growth and expanding our offering with new products and services. Everything we have been doing is with our customers in mind. But let’s start at the beginning …

The birth of the company

It all began over a dozen years ago. The Mindbox brand was born with a mission to respond to a challenging market need – solving business problems of organizations with the use of technologies that were becoming increasingly available at the outset of the digital revolution. The end of the first decade of the 21st century marked a moment of dynamic changes in where business and new technologies meet. It was then that solutions such as Cloud or Big Data stopped being just flashy ideas and became a meaningful source of changes and competitive advantage for businesses. Those who overlooked digitalization, lagged behind.

Getting through the digital turnaround became a vital challenge for companies – whatever their size, roots or the market sector they were in. And we – by providing specific, generic or tailor-made solutions and technologies – are responding to these vital needs of any business. By delivering out-0f-the-box IT solutions that we customize and implement, we boost the business process effectiveness for our clients.

Growth…

Since over a decade, our flagship offering has been and will continue to be ERP systems. We are the biggest EMEA region company that implements the solutions by Epicor Software from the USA. During this time, we have implemented hundreds of projects in Poland and worldwide. Many of these involved comprehensive services – commencing with the analysis, through developing the solution architecture up to the implementation and maintenance. Our clients include both Polish companies and global international corporations. So far we have delivered projects to enterprises in over fifty countries.

But that’s not all. From our very beginning we were not just looking for the available market niches but also were responding to the actual needs of our clients that have been emerging all the time as new challenges. The development of technologies that Mindbox is implementing allows the clients to go a step further – eliminate the sources of losses that seemed just to be there or cut the costs that earlier on seemed unavoidable. Any process – as long as the IT tools and solutions allow – can be improved, made more efficient and modernized, to gain a boost of the entire business in the end. This has been what makes us tick – from the very beginning.

Technology is purely instrumental to us. It must only support achieving the goals of our clients, not our ambitions. Reliability and honesty are the values we have been following since our establishment in 2007. This approach allows us to grow dynamically based on long-term partnerships with our clients as well as employees and suppliers – stressed Piotr Żeromski, CEO, Mindbox

This explains why for quite a long time we were able to grow organically, nearly exclusively thanks to the excellent reviews and recommendations by the existing clients. But it is not just about implementing ERP systems. We are supporting the digital transformation of companies, thus helping to make organizations become truly innovative. In addition, we are performing business process reviews and analyses that lead to their improvement and automation – in nearly all manufacturing and services sectors.

…and development into completely new domains

Technologies are an excellent source for inspirations, growth and new needs. But every business is primarily its people. We are no different. Our organization is made up of already two hundred experts – practitioners specializing in diverse aspects of broadly understood IT. Quite a growth over these years, wouldn’t you agree? And not to forget, that this quantitative growth is inseparably accompanied by qualitative improvement.

So it’s not a big guess that also our clients see the competencies of our employees. After all, it is people who do good analyses, tailor specific solutions and then implement and maintain them. So it is no wonder that with time customers started to ask us to help them with acquiring good IT specialists who, after we did the implementation, would meet the organizations’ internal needs for digitalization and good maintenance of its business processes.

These needs led to a birth of a new unit. A new department and new chapter in our company history – we took to professional consultancy and recruitment of IT experts, recommending selected people to specific companies. Finding and employing the right person for new technologies, specialized software or ICT tools can be a huge challenge – one that …. only we can meet. Really.

Solving the problems with finding prospect employees, convincing them to accept the new offer but also verifying their experience and skills is a job for professionals – just like us. This is how the Mindworkers division was born, responding to the specialized industry specific HR requirements.

Our offering in this area is as broad or as tailor-made as in the case of our IT solutions for boosting the business processes. We can just help in selecting the right person for the job. We can also employ such persons ourselves and outsource them to specific customers or just for a project or a solution. We offer Sourcing as a Service, where we take care of the entire recruitment process of relevant candidates. Finally, we offer our clients complete teams consisting of specialists working together under the watchful eye of a project manager. And even more – as we all perfectly know, there is an employee’s market and an employer’s market. Therefore, prospective candidates looking for new challenges that call on us, probably turn to the best possible address.\

A problem and a challenge

Right, but how do we explain this to our new or returning clients? We are a company that has IT experts, the best practitioners in its ranks and implements digital solutions? Or, we are recruiting such specialists? So, some could say we are into headhunting. Well, IT experts will recognize an IT expert when they meet one, so why not?

These are not just theoretical thoughts about a strategic matter, but a real problem, a challenge. Clients actually had doubts and did ask about them. So we have set ourselves a concrete goal. There is a problem, a challenge, so there must be a solution. We need to clearly communicate to the market environment, our existing and future clients, who we are and what we do. Where are we going and why?

So how do we get away from this communication chaos and provide the outside world with a clear message and the real picture of our organization?

The idea of parallel lives

The goal was clear. The idea was also getting clearer. We have two main lines of business aimed at meeting our clients’ needs. The first is IT solutions; the second is sourcing the industry experts on the market.
In summary: we were to continue specializing in developing and implementing various digital solutions that improve our clients’ processes. And in addition, in parallel, to look for and recruit for the needs of these clients the experts from various areas of IT, who meet their needs.

Though these domains seem to be worlds apart, in fact are very close to each other. They are consistent and complementary. Like sisters.

So we have two sister domains. Parallel lives. IT solutions that led to the emergence and growth of our company – Mindbox, and specialized HR – the Mindworkers.

The solution

So we made our mind. Two independent parallel entities: Mindbox and Mindworkers. To make things clear to every market participant. And this is how an idea was turned into a practical solution: we have established two separate brands, giving each one its independent life.

We have decided to make these two areas autonomous by formally running them under different brands.
So here we are – the two sisters – Mindbox and Mindworkers. Good morning, nice to meet you. Don’t worry, definitely one of us will respond to your challenge and solve your problem. You were listening to us long enough – now we are all ears.