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Scarce technical resources

By Bob L. ·
Our firm is tooling up for a major development effort. Finding trained, experienced staff is extremely difficult and expensive here in San Francisco. I'm considering proposing that we hire under-qualified people and train them. Does anyone have any wisdom on this approach?

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Scarce technical resources

by Wayne M. In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

If you go with this approach, I would also recommend hiring 1 very experienced person for every 10 unexpereinced people. These people will be needed to serve as mentors and guides for the inexperienced folks, so be sure to pay attention to their communications skills as well as their technical skills during the interview. It is absolutely critical to have a core group of experience people to lead, but if they are available you can supplement them with alot of inexperienced people.

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Scarce technical resources

by Bob L. In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Scarce technical resources

by McKayTech In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

I have a couple comments based on my experience.

The first question to ask is whether you have the infrastructure to support training employees. A highly developed ability to educate is even more rare than technical ability and without mentors, the trainees will languish and take a long, long time to get up to speed.

The second question is whether your hiring organization is able to pick out suitable candidates and predict who will succeed and who won't. You're already going to have atough challenge with time-to-market for your product, and any additional washout will hurt badly. Picking candidates on future promise is much riskier than picking candidates based on proven ability and requires a different skill set.

Finally, Iwould ask whether you've considered whether the work could be accomplished at distance. Not necessarily India, but maybe Indiana. The biggest portion of cost is just that of living in SF.

paul

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Scarce technical resources

by Bob L. In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Scarce technical resources

by edahl In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

Though I generally don't favor this approach, but in your location and given the (possibly) temporary nature of the work, have you considered outsourcing? Buy the technical skills outside and look at recruiting 1-2 project manager types that can run the project and then stick around to shepherd the new development through production after it's completed.

By outsourcing the technical labor, your costs should not be significantly higher, you put the recruiting burdon on an organization gearedfor it, and you have made scaling resourcing up and down as priorities change a little simpler on you.

Keep in mind that sourcing your technical skills in a less expensive area, is always an option. It increases communication costs, but usually is more than covered by lower labor costs. Let the outsourcer worry about this.

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Scarce technical resources

by Bob L. In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Scarce technical resources

by don.amsbaugh In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

From experience, you'll have to do both: Pay through the nose for experience AND train under-qualified people.

The above ratio to 1 qualified person to 10 under-qualified seems a bit low. Maybe 1 to 3 would be a little more appropriate. Thatway the people with experience will be more productive rather than constantly teaching.

A strong training program will dictate the success of your hiring and your ratio. A well-run training program (possibly outsourced for design) will give you productive engineers faster. Additionally, your training program indicates how much you value your new employees. A 'sink or swim' method common to many start-ups indicates you only care about the work, not the employee.

Be wary of people leaving once they learn the ropes. I've seen in my company Jr. Software Engineers leave after 6 months to double their salary. You will want to keep them challenged and motivated. I'm found that an environment where the engineers have a high amount of control and where the

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Scarce technical resources

by Bob L. In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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by MCSE Lee In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

You should ask yourself how long you will need all these people - are some/most of them only going to be needed during the development pahse, and then let go once complete? If so, consider a consulting or staffing firm - check out www.teksystems.com.

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Scarce technical resources

by Bob L. In reply to Scarce technical resource ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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