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How to Choose the Right IT Staffing Firm

Hiring the right tech talent can make or break an organization. This is why having the right IT staffing firm will help your long-term growth. One that can help you find candidates whose experience, knowledge, and career goals align with your organizational values.

What’s common?

Most IT recruitment agencies hire recruiters with no or little actual technical expertise. What recruiters are hired to do is, post job descriptions on various job boards, match the resumes submitted by the candidates with the job description, approach those who fit the description, determine eligibility for the role, and set up interviews with hiring managers.

Why is it no longer effective?

Although this is standard practice and somewhat relevant, sometimes qualified candidates are lost because recruiters don’t have the bandwidth to keep up-to-date with both recruiting and technology advancements. They pass along the suitability determination to internal technical talent who spends their time vetting candidates, which takes them away from existing projects and delays timelines.

What is the trend?

The new brand of IT recruiting firms, those who reliably conduct “tech outs,” a pre-submittal technical interview, to prioritize which of the candidates fit your hiring need. Outsourcing your hiring needs to a tech staffing agency that values your time and limited resources makes sense for all stakeholders, but with all of the choices in the market today how do you choose? 

How to choose the best IT staffing intermediary?

Mentioned here are the six qualities that you have to look for while making the decision to partner with an IT staffing firm.

1. Competence of the IT recruiting staff

The first attribute of the staffing partner should be the quality of the recruitment staff. The vendor should hire people who are not only technically experienced but also know how to use the existing hiring methods.

What are the core competencies of an agency recruiter?

In order to be successful in matching candidates with a position, the recruiter must have, and be able to integrate, some skills and qualities. Here are the most important skills that a recruiter should possess:

Foundational competencies

Soft skills  

  • Language and communication
  • Being detail-oriented
  • The ability to build and maintain professional relationships

Personality traits

  • The ability to adapt to situations
  • Evolve and learn new things
  • Be naturally curious

These basic skills and qualities help a person be versatile and more effective in any position where interaction is required on a daily basis.

Technical Competencies

Data and Analytics

Data collection and analytics don’t just apply to business or data management for large organizations. Information such as:

  • Candidate’s basic information
  • Skills, qualifications, and experience
  • Contact information
  • Record of their interview progress

Accumulating data in an organized way to keep a track of the above-mentioned points is important in recruitment analytics. It can be strategically converted to lowering candidate acquisition costs, creating efficient hiring processes, and increasing revenue.


Modern recruitment technologies, tools, and methods are not limited to just accessing a database and sourcing resumes through job sites. Here are a few tools that a successful recruiter must be able to navigate their way through:

  • Use Applicant Tracking System to source candidates
  • Use techniques such as OSINT (open-source intelligence) to find and verify the truth about the candidate’s experience, cultural competence, and personal values
  • SMS and Text based systems to maintain communication and share updates
  • Time management and tracking tools to improve productivity
  • Use hiring tools such as AI powered forms and test
  • Combine automated tools with the one-on-one human-centric screening process, such as video conferencing software, and pre-screening interview to check technical competency


There are almost nine hundred thousand unfilled tech positions in the US alone. If not presented properly, qualified candidates overlook the job post. This is why it is important that recruiters must understand the importance of marketing the position with the help of social media.

Navigating social media management tools and websites with success to understand candidate expectations and mold the jobs accordingly; making the job posts stand out by making it as detailed and personalized as possible; connecting with communities on social media; are few strategies that are being successfully used by many recruitment agencies nowadays.

2. Experience in sourcing top talents 

There are various ways to source resumes, however, the answer doesn’t just lie in the fine print. What really matters is, how experienced the IT recruitment agency is and what success rate they have.

Well, we have already established what external tools are required to source candidates. However, the right staffing partner will know that no matter how good you are at using technology, tools, and modern marketing techniques, sourcing the candidate that fills all the specifications is near impossible without technical screening.

The answer to that conundrum is to take the help of a pre-submittal technical screening service. Pre-submittal technical screening is a fairly new tool that can up the level of recruitment success rate, finding the right candidate for a specific role. This will help you get a deeper understanding of the competency of potential candidates for critical and high-profile technical positions.

3. Capability to screen and evaluate candidates

When it comes to evaluation techniques, there is no one method that would work better than the other in determining how qualified a candidate is. Here are the existing methods currently being used:

Previous work samples – Asking for previous work samples to evaluate technical skills may be common. Work products such as previously written codes may be shared if it is not protected under privilege.

Simulations – Practical talent assessments such as job simulations, games, and short-live tasks are a common way to judge a candidate’s capabilities. 

Job trials – Pre and post-interview trial projects can be used as a way to judge a candidate’s abilities.

Online pre-submittal screening – Hiring a third-party technical screening firm to ensure that the experience and skills of the candidate match their resume and the requirements for the position.

These technical screenings have become a sort of a norm in technical hiring, however, the effectiveness comes into question when recruiters themselves are not technically compatible at the same level as the candidate or the position they are hiring for.

The IT staffing partner you choose should have a system in place to make sure that the communication between the interviewer and the hiring team within your organization is easy; you are provided with a recording of the interview, candidate score, and a detailed report created by the interviewer; a fast and transparent process. One of the things that an IT staffing partner can do is to consider outsourcing the technical screening to a third-party provider.

4. Capacity to handle the volume

Often quality and versatility do not come with the ability to handle large volumes. Many IT recruitment agencies cannot evaluate candidate quality and remain consistent when fulfilling a high number of open positions.

The right tech staffing partner would be able to source, qualify and screen any volume of resumes and shortlist high-value candidates within a reasonably short period of time.

Conducting a high volume of interviews such as campus recruitment, interview drives and niche recruiting without having a vendor management system in place is nearly impossible, especially regarding technical positions.

5. Reputation as a staffing intermediary

When choosing your staffing partner, one thing to look for is how the organization is rated, not just by its clients, but also by its internal resources.

Do they follow timelines and industry norms?

You want a partner that understands the urgency and the set timeline of your hiring needs and can prioritize accordingly.

Can they present actionable data that have proven metrics?

They must be able to provide actionable data that can provide interview insights, rate the candidate based on skills and experience, and a detailed report that can be used as the basis for decision making.

What kind of work ethics do they have?

The staffing partner should have a very high level of work ethics and should have transparent processes.

Can they coordinate with multiple people within your organization? 

Hiring is often a multi-departmental affair and your staffing partner should make the collaboration and access to information easy for everyone.

Diverse service portfolio

Your staffing partner should understand the various staffing models and the kind of quality to look for in a candidate to fill them. For example, a permanent role requires different qualities from a temporary, consultant, extended team, or freelance position. The ability to understand the clear distinction between role requirements and to identify the qualities in the candidates is a big plus.

6. Ability to invest in internal resource development

The IT staffing vendor that you hire should understand the fundamental quality of the technical world, which is up-skilling. The tech trends change very fast and a staffing intermediary must have the foresight and resources available to constantly train and upskill the internal workforce.

This quality not only ensures that you receive highly qualified candidates every time you are in need, but also facilitates new and developing tech hires as new technologies are introduced.


Many hiring managers face difficulties with finding the right technical talent and look to an IT staffing partner for their needs. Here at eTeki we work with both IT staffing firms and direct hire tech teams to help make hiring processes easier and smoother.

Amanda Cole

Amanda Cole, Vice President at eTeki

Amanda Cole has more than 15 years of experience developing innovative programs staffed by non-traditional workforce’s including freelancers, paid & unpaid interns, boards of directors, special event volunteers, and skill-based volunteer programs. The annual value of services rendered for the largest programs exceeded $18M. She is a communications professional with superior facilitation and training skills, an engaging public speaking presence, and a fanatic about synergistic business relationships.