How to Balance the Need and Rising Costs of Hiring Skilled Technicians

Whatever your business, the term “profitable” has likely become an important descriptor of your operations and a standard part of your business vocabulary. And why wouldn’t it be? After all, you are in business, in large part, to profit. How then do you cope with the rising cost of recruit qualified technicians? You know, the ones whose contributions will really help your business grow.

The cost of hiring qualified technicians

The average tech support salary in the United States is around $55,000. When taxes, workers’ compensation and a whole host of benefits are added to this number, the total expenses for each of these valuable employees can easily exceed $100,000 per person per year. In fact, this estimate is for the average IT specialist, so Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and/or Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) can expect the costs associated with recruiting, to the integration and retention of high-level employees are even higher.

Additionally, in order to effectively motivate front-line staff, a well-designed bonus program is essential. Cash bonuses and a stake in the company are the most common incentives for prospective employees, so the cost of these should also be part of the equation when considering a new hire.

When all the expenses necessary for attract and retain top talent are added together, it is clear that skilled employees are among the most important investments an organization can make.

Fact: Since every new help desk or technical support employee represents a six-figure investment, your evaluation and selection process should be as comprehensive as a capital expenditure!

Questions Every MSP or MSSP Should Consider Before Hiring

If your company is completely confident that its revenue projections will easily support adding a full-time hire, the choice to do so will be easy. That being said, a number of factors need to be properly assessed for most companies to achieve this level of confidence.

Even when team productivity is maximized, MSPs and MSSPs need to assess their sales and support needs for the next three to six months to determine whether or not hiring more qualified professionals makes financial sense.

Before signing a new hire, every MSP/MSSP should ask themselves the following questions:

1. Does your company have enough resources to meet current SLAs?

SLAs are a fundamental agreement between your IT team and your customers that, when done right, helps build trust in your business. With service level agreements in place, there is a mutual understanding of service expectations. But when your business is unable to meet them, whether due to lack of capacity or some other issue, it has an overall negative impact on your reputation, your sales and your business in general. .

2. Could existing staff be reassigned in a way that both boosts productivity and eliminates the need for a new hire?

From writing an accurate job description to identifying the right candidates and onboarding, new hires take work. But because your typical MSP doesn’t have a dedicated HR department, the office owner or manager often finds themselves burdened with these responsibilities, often without formal training. So, whenever possible, learn to redeploy the team you have more efficiently.

5. How many new customer contracts would you need to pay the annual salary of a new technician?

In his 2016 Human Capital Benchmarking ReportSHRM estimated that companies spend an average of 42 days to fill a position and $4,129 per hire (that’s before they are actually hired). Additionally, it can take up to six months or more for a company to break even on its investment in a new hire.

6. Is there an adequate pool of qualified local candidates?

According a Gartner reporta talent shortage is considered the biggest obstacle that 64% of new technology companies want to adopt. The problem also extends to IT infrastructure, platform services, networking, security, storage and databases.

7. Could new or existing competitors (local or national) threaten your current and future sales projections?

As you calculate these numbers, also consider that the biggest problem plaguing many MSPs and MSSPs is competitor-induced turnover. What if, after investing time and energy in recruiting, training, and other onboarding costs, your new hire leaves for a bigger company? Non-competition clauses can help, but there’s little you can do to protect your training investments.

8. Would outsourcing at least part of your help desk be a more cost effective solution to multiple issues at once?

MSPs and MSSPs should focus on activities that will meet their specific workforce needs. When new hires are not an option, outsourcing becomes an interesting alternative. The right third-party agency can provide the necessary qualified specialists when and where they are needed!

9. How can outsourcing your help desk, well…to help

If hiring a full-time employee seems a little too risky right now, outsourcing your helpdesk is a very practical alternative. The good partner will complement your company’s existing services, filling coverage gaps and complementing the skill set of your existing support team. They will monitor and adhere to SLAs to ensure that every customer receives the appropriate level of attention, regardless of your current capacity, and they will do it 24/7/365something your current help desk probably can’t handle.

Although the decision to hire or outsource can be difficult, after considering the costs and benefits of each available option, many service providers eventually decide to outsource their support services as a cost-effective way to provide front-line services. white label support. By extension, this frees up their internal talent to focus on critical customer issues and new business opportunities. This new flexibility has allowed many MSPs and MSSPs to focus more on growing their business, rather than devoting the majority of their time and resources to monotonous routine operations.

If improving the productivity of your business is no longer an option and you are carefully weighing all possible solutions, be sure to consider the revolutionary possibilities that an outsourced help desk can offer your business!

To learn more about how outsourcing your help desk can benefit your customers and staff, and help you grow your business, check out this guide.

Guest blog courtesy of Sherweb. Regularly contributed guest blogs are part of the MSSP Alert referral program.

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