Technology is advancing at such a rate that it is hard for even experts to stay up-to-date. The enterprise systems we are using are now very clever and give such a competitive edge, so much so that their customisation for a business must be conducted by highly skilled technology consultants. However, the inevitable enormous demand for these tech experts has virtually dried up the resource pool, creating a War for Talent among software vendors and implementation specialist firms.
Microsoft is a perfect case in point: ‘The demand for their Business Applications line, Dynamics 365, has been growing exponentially (65% in the last year)’, explains Elena Baeva, CEO and founder of 365 TALENT PORTAL. ‘The biggest problem for software vendors is finding the right people to deploy these complex solutions and customise them to match the customers’ specific requirements.’ After twenty years in the IT world – nine of which were spent directly with Microsoft UK, Elena appreciated the extent of this problem only too well. She is currently a Board Member both of the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners (IAMCP) and of The Women in Technology Network (WIT) in the UK supporting the advancement of women in the technology sector.
‘Traditional recruitment companies are ignoring these changing dynamics: their focus remains on searching and filling job vacancies and chasing after companies who are hiring, which only moves people around, raises employment costs and of course doesn’t solve the pool size or skills shortage problems.
I founded 365 TALENT PORTAL in 2013 with one specific aim: to address and solve this issue in a revolutionary way. We worked closely with Microsoft to find initiatives that would bring new talent to the market, such as well-prepared university graduates, or cross-training individuals from other areas such as retail, manufacturing or even simply from a different part of the technology sector.
By providing a career hub for Microsoft consultants, we enable them to access comprehensive online training, certification, advice and ultimately the ideal jobs and projects for them to work on. This, in turn, allows companies to hire permanent or freelance specialists at a fraction of the price charged by traditional recruiters. Our unique pricing model charges a small subscription fee for the companies to join us, through which they have a limitless hiring capacity. It is free for the consultants which, by default, increases the size of the talent pool by nurturing and educating new people.
We specialise in Microsoft technology as it’s such a huge and complex marketplace; their growth in business software is massive and the demand for their solutions is far exceeding the supply of talent. Our customers (the hiring companies), include SMEs as well as global multi-national tech corporations including HP, KPMG, IBM and Avanade. In the five years since we launched the business, the platform has achieved significant traction: we now have over 7,000 consultant users, 850 hiring companies and have expanded into 134 countries. Our biggest markets are currently the US, the UK, Canada and India but our largest area of growth is, without doubt, the US. We have established a strong American presence and, through our joint initiatives with Microsoft, we work closely with their global technical readiness teams in the HQ in Redmond, Washington’.