MAXX Potential

Building vs. Buying Talent: Which is right for you?

By The Team at MAXX

Many IT executives are routinely faced with decisions on whether to build vs. buy when it comes to critical business applications (There’s a great post on that topic here), but how can you apply this framework to your talent strategy? Should you build or buy the necessary talent to grow your team? Our take: as with enterprise software, a winning approach involves applying a strategic framework and the capacity to do both.

Is there anything more strategic than your culture and talent strategy?

It makes sense to buy talent, and by that, we mean paying market premiums for experienced professionals, when the role requires advanced skills such as prior leadership experience, industry knowledge, and a deep technical track record. When a candidate has amassed a resume of skills and experience, your investment decision is based on how they can integrate into your organization, and the immediate value they can add in terms of increased revenue or implementing cost-savings strategies.

For entry-level positions, however, turnover should be higher if you are finding capable and driven employees, and the selection process is less straightforward. You are looking for motivated individuals with the ability to become that senior professional one day. Integrating a build approach into your talent strategy is a long-term investment that will set your organization up for success and pay off well into the future.

The Unique Challenges of Entry-level Roles

Buying talent for entry-level roles can seem like a faster option initially, but it becomes more costly when you have to do it over and over again (as you should). On the surface these roles may seem less strategic, and can also consume a disproportionate amount of training time and recruiting expense to keep them staffed. Downtime for even the most junior roles is costly and presents an operational risk.

  1. Hiring
    Entry-level candidates are lacking the years of experience that are sought after for more senior roles. This makes a traditional resumé the least valuable tool in making a selection. At this stage you are looking for two things: value-alignment and aptitude. These are hard to measure, and the cost of a mistake at this stage is high.
  2. Developing
    Mentoring entry-level talent takes time and attention away from experienced employees who are already at capacity. Many organizations also lack the capacity and budget to build a custom training program that includes dedicated full-time staff who are skilled, not only in their technical craft, but in the art of mentoring.
  3. Retaining
    High-potential employees are seekers of continuous growth and learning opportunities. Building a structured process for upskilling requires far more than purchasing a library of self-study training material (Don’t we have the Internet for that?). Most savvy leaders know that investing in their team creates a culture of continuous learning and growth that people will stick around for.

MAXX Potential was built by industry leaders who experienced these challenges first-hand and created a solution. Organizations have a need to invest in entry-level recruiting in order to grow their teams without taking away from other strategic imperatives. MAXX has cultivated a strong pipeline along with a supporting infrastructure specific to entry-level enterprise technology roles. We seek out people who have the potential and desire to break into the technology industry, and work with them to develop the skills needed to thrive in your organization. Our goal is to fill entry-level technology roles with people who are worth investing in and have the capability to contribute to your organization in a way that is meaningful starting day one.

So which approach is best for me?

The short answer is, it depends. It depends on where you are at in life, your financial situation, and your learning style. These past two years have made it clear that it’s essential to take control of your journey to maximize your potential both professionally and personally. At the end of the day, success in any field requires both knowledge AND skill. It really boils down to the order in which you acquire them, and what you can afford. If you are eligible for grants, or the ability to pay, a higher education experience can add valuable credentials to your resumé. If you’re thinking about signing loan papers, however, an apprenticeship is likely to produce far greater long-term economic outcomes. Many employers offer tuition reimbursement programs should you decide to pursue a degree later. Most hiring managers in the technology field are looking for examples of your work more than anything.

Let Us Take these Entry-level Challenges Off Your Plate

While we aren’t a fit for ALL of your talent needs, what we do at MAXX Potential, we do really well. As a partner, we offer effective solutions for filling entry-level technology roles with the least amount of risk and disruption.

With guaranteed backfill of vacated roles, customized on-the-job training, ongoing mentor support and zero conversion fees to hire at any time, MAXX Potential would be an impactful addition to your overall talent strategy. Contact us today.