Hiring Lessons: “The One-Size fits all” IT Staffing Company mergers & buyouts – Why clients are losing

Canada is one of the most advanced countries in the world when it comes to information and communications technology. There are constant developments which require companies to improve their pool of IT employees to keep up with the changes and advance in the market. With the high demands for the most competent IT staff, firms have tapped the resources and services of Canadian IT Staffing companies for decades.

The merging, aligning, buying out and gobbling up of Canada’s IT Staffing Companies however has reduced the service offering to a small handful of market Gorilla’s. Procurement policies and extremely structured (and limiting) Approved Vendor Agreements and the red tape and obscure requirements to even submit information have forced the hand of many smaller firms to downsize or leave the market while the biggest firms have banded together with new brands to service this new reality. But who wins? Not you the client.

Since the mid 1990’s there has been an ongoing trend of merging large and mid-sized recruiting firms. Some of the big names in Canada’s recruitment scene now are Ajilon / Modis, Eagle Professional Services, Randstad Technologies, Quantum Recruiting and Robert Half Technology. One can be sure that no “Vender of Record” would be complete without one (or more than likely ALL) having their RFP writers spinning their best spiel about how wonderful the company is, how superior their recruiting service offering is, how big their “database” is and how many offices they have around the country for a true “National presence”.

Does any of that matter to you the Hiring Manager though? Do large firms deliver more “value” to an organizations recruiting strategy? Do the big firms find and place better candidates? More and more firms are finding that the consolidation of the Canadian IT Recruiting industry does not give them an upper hand in the race to identify, attract and retain the best people. In fact, it limits their options more than ever.

Thinking Big with Small Niche Recruitment Firms

In the battle between the large recruiting firms and smaller more focused ones, procurement departments are quick to choose the larger firms as a one size fits all approach for ease of billing and invoicing, citing ISO 9001 certifications and the vagueries of layer upon layer of administrative oversight and nonsensical hoops to jump through. On the surface it sounds rational as these companies may portray more authority and larger-than-life capacities. Any small company would look inferior. This perception however is only skin deep and worthy of being challenged.

Advantages of Tapping the Help of Small Canadian IT Staffing Companies

The smaller recruitment firms may not have the most recognized brand name but tapping their help could also be the best move that you the hiring manager can do. The focus on the relationship, the right fit, the “high touch” customer service that these compact, speedy and agile smaller recruiting firms can deliver more than make up for the potential obscurity of their brand name or raising the ire of your local HR or Procurement department who like telling line Hiring Managers what they can and can’t do. The endless hammering of square pegs into round holes is something that Hiring Managers simply can’t afford when timelines and deliverables are closing in. Still not convinced? Here are three reasons why you should give these smaller Canadian IT Staffing companies a try:

Results Driven

Small IT Recruiting businesses have to deal with only a handful of internal people thereby cutting the bureaucracy, red tape and waiting time. The person the Hiring Manager deals with on the phone is almost certainly the one who sources and speaks to candidates – so your requirement is not “lost in translation”, “slipped between the cracks” or otherwise farmed out to less busy (and often less experienced) recruiters sitting in a bullpen in the basement or in one of those National offices around the country. The person you deal with “works” your requirement because their results are all that matters. There are no call metrics to deal with which take focus and attention off YOUR REQUIREMENT. Remember…IT’S ALL ABOUT YOU…THE CLIENT….and YOUR REQUIREMENT. Small shop, niche recruiters have only YOU THE CLIENT to please and not someone in a long chain of people up to head office.

Time is a very valuable resource for companies and not having to waste any means more targeted candidate submissions, more hits than misses in interviews and finally more people who are absolutely qualified and HIRABLE for YOU to extend an offer to.


Fewer layers of management and oversight mean agreements and understandings can be tailored to the demands of the client. A client must consider this as a very important factor in choosing the recruitment firm to work with. The ability to deliver according to the wishes of the client fosters great relationships. In this situation, both the client and the firm benefits.

Service-Oriented Values and Focus

Small IT Recruiting companies still strive to prove that they can deliver and this is one thing that firms searching for staff should bank on. Niche Canadian IT Staffing companies will strive to deliver its best and at the soonest possible time to earn the trust, confidence and of course repeat business from you. Big Box IT Recruiting firms rely on their “brand name” for clients to use, but it’s the small niche IT Recruiting firm whose obligation and responsibility it is to make sure clients don’t have a chance to forget us. We don’t just celebrate closing a sale, we celebrate opening a relationship. We have to EARN the right to do business with you. It’s a decision you won’t regret.

I’m Daryl Daley, and that’s how Intelligent Minds see it.

Caveat: Daryl has 20+ years in the recruiting industry and owns the small, niche, results driven and always customer focused recruiting firm of Intelligent Minds Search Consultants. When it’s time to hire….Think BIG…but start small…with Intelligent Minds.

Views: 271

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on March 5, 2014 at 7:13pm


Promotes using the poster's product or service.

Comment by Daryl Daley @IntelMinds on March 5, 2014 at 9:20pm

The Caveat was to openly show my (the author) bias.  I can edit if required.

Comment by Keith D. Halperin on March 6, 2014 at 3:48pm

Thank you, Daryl. I can't speak to policy, I'm not an editor. However, I'd prefer you just don't say in any way in the article: "Come to me/my firm for what I'm telling you should do." That's advertising.

IMHO, it would have been fine if you'd just deleted:

"I’m Daryl Daley, and that’s how Intelligent Minds see it.

Caveat: Daryl has 20+ years in the recruiting industry and owns the small, niche, results driven and always customer focused recruiting firm of Intelligent Minds Search Consultants. When it’s time to hire….Think BIG…but start small…with Intelligent Minds."


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