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Your staffing tool should do more than allocate resources. Here's why
Resource management
Project planning

Your staffing tool should do more than allocate resources. Here's why

Agathe Placet
Content manager
March 17, 2023
5 min

At Napta, we meet, meet, and interact with Partners and managers of consulting firms and ESNs (digital services companies) as well as with their employees every day.

From operations directors to CIOs, from staffing managers to project managers or even team managers, all agree that the last few years have had a profoundly significant effect on business as well as on the aspirations of employees and in particular on the place that they must take within the company.

And if the business and the expectations of employees have changed, the Process Staffing, the common denominator between these 2 elements, is forced to change.

Exit the spreadsheet on which you move the names of collaborators in front of the projects as you would move anonymous resources. Make way for much more comprehensive systems, processes and tools that take into account the needs of the company, but also the skills and interests of the employee.

Putting employees back at the center of Process By staffing seems to be obvious today but it took a combination of several elements associated with a natural evolution of the market to get there.

This article allows us to come back to these factors placing the employee of ESN or a consulting firm at the center of the staffing board before talking about the renewal of staffing tools, more 360° than ever.

The employee placed at the center of Process Of staffing, the condition Sine qua None of successful project management

The Covid-19 crisis acted as a superaccelerator of latent trends.

On the one hand, consulting firms had to demonstrate a “resilient profile” in the words of Elie Girard, CEO of the Atos Group (source: Digital solutions) even though more than 70% of ESN managers said they had taken or were considering taking short-time working measures to maintain a certain level of activity. (source: In Extenso).

On the other hand, employees have gradually reaffirmed their desire and need for fulfilment at work. The Big Quit and even more the Silent Quitting (silent resignation in French), i.e. staying in office by simply doing the bare minimum, were strong signals of this.

At the end of the crisis, business picked up again. According to Numeum, the professional union of NSEs and ITC, The market for digital services companies grew by an average of more than 5% in 2022.

But so is the war for talent on the recruitment market in the IT sector. In the words of KYU Associés, French NSEs “are now competing with their international counterparts on their own territory” due in particular to the generalization of employee teleworking.

Consequence: consulting companies must at the same time ensure their ROI to develop this famous “resilient profile”, a lesson from the past crisis, while developing a genuine employer brand externally, but also internally in order to exist in this war of skills.

The staffing tool, accustomed until recently to simply positioning employees on missions, must now go much further to be truly effective. It is necessary to integrate many other elements such as the availability of the employee of course, but also his progression of competence from one mission to another as well as his desire to evolve.

In this case, what can you expect from a staffing tool in terms of functionalities, but also benefits for a consulting firm or an IT services company?

A staffing tool that takes into account the complexity of the market

Gone are the days when the columns and rows of your spreadsheet alone could be enough to organize a project and its stakeholders.

Your project is no longer just made up of boxes in which to fill the deadline and the budget, but of a whole set of changing parameters: changing availability due to market volatility, skills that themselves must constantly evolve to keep up to date with technologies and techniques, but also increasingly demanding customer expectations expecting to receive a tailor-made commercial proposal quickly.

Your Staffing tool must therefore at the same time:

  • consolidate all this information which can come from various sources (ATS, CRM),
  • make sure to have the most up to date information that is and therefore updated in real time,
  • cross this same information to help you create the best possible project team
  • and allow you to come out with tailor-made commercial proposals for each of your prospects and customers.

Here's how your Staffing software Becomes a 360 management tool for your activity.

As you can see, your staffing tool becomes the central place for a set of data and bringing together such a lot of information opens the way to many other opportunities, starting with allowing you to better optimize your staffing and better anticipate risky situations.

A staffing tool to move from reaction to prediction

The increasing complexity of projects due to an ever greater number of parameters to manage (skills, availability, aspirations, etc.) and their multiplication within consulting firms or ESNs logically has the consequence of increasing risks.

From double entries of information to conflicts between assignments, through an excessively deteriorated margin or a greatly exceeded deadline, your Staffing tool should be your alarm bell to notify you, but also your compass to guide you to the exit.

That's why one of the most popular features, if we consider a Staffing software such as Napta, is the Project team simulation. By playing with different scenarios, it is thus possible for you toidentify the best possible combination to respect your load plan, whether human, material or temporal but also the expected ROI.

And if, despite all these precautions and simulations, it turns out that this or that risk occurs, it is also the duty of your staffing tool to notify in order to react as quickly as possible.

Finally, the foresight made possible by your staffing tool must go beyond the financial aspect and extend to the skills of the employee by allowing you toidentify the skills your team lacks and thus offer the right training path to the right collaborator.

The staffing tool deployed within the consulting firm or the ESN must therefore take into account all this complexity of the market, to make it possible to anticipate risks in order to better prevent them and all this, while of course fulfilling its main mission, which is to ensure the success of the client's project.

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