They do say the only constant is change, it’s a trueism for sure.
Who could have imagined even ten of fifteen years ago, the massive and disrupting chnage that cloud computing would bring. To employ advanced sales, tracking, accounting and CRM systems needed a huge in-house IT infrastructure that was, in most cases, even beyond medium sized companies.
The SaaS Advantage
This “technological edge” gave a huge competitive advantage to large companies who could afford to employ the fastest and most efficient systems to keep ahead of the game.
Fast-forward to 2018 and now, even the smallest of the small can benefit from the implementation and use of such systems. Cloud based applications built on the SaaS (software as a service) platform off “buy as you go” solutions for SMEs. This Quickbooks, think Sales Force. These are just two examples of highly functional SaaS applications that offer real information power and “big corporation functionality” to SMEs on a per user basis.
This seachange now means even the one man band company can look and operate on an even playing field with the largest corporations…because they can deploy the same systems.
The lead companies supplying these SaaS software solutions have become mega corporations in their won right. Indeed, tradiotoopnal software companiesm, like Oracle have piled into the SaaS applications market. Why? Simply because they realise the market for SMEs and one man bands, when all lumped together, far exceeds the blue chip market. It’s added a whole new layer of potential customers and therefore profit.
Recruitment and Jobs in SaaS
So, how has this knocked on to jobs and recruitment?
It’s very interesting to assess that’s for sure. I talked to Jon Eyres at Harvey Thomas in Milton Keynes. Jon’s company specialise in supplying into the SaaS development market, but with a slight twist. Harvey Thomas supply to pre-IPO and venture funded SaaS start up companies, which gives Jon a unique perspective on this growing market and makes him particularly qualified to comment.
“One thing is for certaion, the “job for life” went years ago”, he smiles, “But, supplying into this market has taken the meaning of contracting to a whole new level”.
“I’m jesting a litte”, he smiles again, “seriously, if you can think of any IT application, you can build a SaaS version. Obviously companies like Sales Force, early adopters of the technology, have stolen a march in the sales tracking market. But, they delivered an excelllent and very user friendly application that is highly functional. They blazed a trail others are trying to follow”.
“The market for recruitment into this pre-IPO and venture funded arena is one of the most fluid I have ever known. Obviously, start-ups, are, by their very nature, more risky and even some of the best ideas do not see the light of day. Others get started run down a blind alley or out of funds and get bought up by more visionary people who push things forward. However, there has to be a fluid talent pool to service this constantly moving market”.
“And, that talent pool are by their nature more risk friendly than many IT skilled people. They understand the nature of what they are doing. They tend to be the more entrepreneurial people, they are prepared to take a lower salary maybe, in return for shares in something that might deliver a longer term reward. Its like being offered Microspft or Apple shares in the very early days. O.K, it probably won’t be as dramatic as those two examples, but these unique people are prepared to look at risk versus reward”.
“Our job is, as far as possible, to ensure this market remains in balance by moving the skills where they are needed. I guess you could say we are more facilitators than recruiters. Of course, we engage in all of the normal recruitment activity, booking interviews, taking jobs specs and matching candidates to roles. However, the flip side is we need to be aware of everything that is going on in our market place. If we know a new project is about to start we need to be able to service that project with relevant people. If we see a project in trouble, we need to find provision of where we can place the resource that is going to suddenyl need work”.
It’s a balancing act and requires skills over and above that of the “run of the mill” recruitment consultant. That’s not to be disparaging to other recruiters, it’s just a different skillset. We are in contact with all of our customers and candidates more often and have a deep understanding of what is going on. Indeed, we don’t really have clients and candidates we have contacts”.
It’s a really interesting and unique market place and thank you Jon for sharing some of those unique insights.