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Research: Channel Job Openings Rising with Business Growth

This is the second installment of a four-part series on hiring in the channel developed jointly by ChannelE2E and BDSmktg, and fielded by the researcher. We collaborated to interview 421 U.S.-based channel business owners and C-level executives.

To recap: The study’s top-level findings mirror the skills gap that besets some segments of the IT industry. Amid continued business growth, channel partners are plagued by a dearth of qualified talent, especially in technical positions — think security, data analytics, cloud migration.

Kurt Higgins

“With growth comes the challenge to recruit, train, and retain talent,” notes Kurt Higgins, VP of BDSmktg Commercial Channel. “Investing in a healthy marketing and recruiting strategy is crucial to maintain growth and prepare for the future, especially in a competitive market with low unemployment and a high demand for skilled and talented individuals.”

In our previous blog, we found that even though a sufficient number of channel partner companies are hiring, mostly for technical and sales jobs, nearly four in 10 candidates are under-qualified for the positions they seek.

What’s new? Now we’re going to look at why channel organizations are hiring, if they’re employing more new people this year than last, where they look for talent and their level of satisfaction with their recruiting sources.

There’s plenty of good news. About two-thirds of channel organizations are hiring because their businesses are expanding. That figure dwarfs the 26 percent that say their available jobs result from the combination of replacing former employees and business growth. Only about six percent of respondents say their job openings come solely from turnover while a scant 1.5 percent confess to not knowing the reasons.

That’s not the only good sign. About 65 percent of channel partners say the number of open positions at their organization has increased from last year, more than twice those who say it’s stayed about the same (28 percent) and overwhelming the six percent saying the number has dropped. Again, 1.5 percent aren’t sure or don’t know what’s up with their job opportunities.

If you’re a job seeker, you should know that channel partners appear to have a few favorite places to look for talent. Some 25 percent of the study’s respondents search online job boards to find new talent, while employee referrals and personal networks (15 percent each) are also popular. Other options include customer referrals (7.3 percent), social media and networking conferences (both at 3.1 percent), traditional media (2.1 percent) and poaching rivals’ employees (.5 percent). Nearly nine percent say they have still other places to look.

Channel partners looking for suitable job candidates say that the candidates that flow from their favorite hunting grounds are generally acceptable, with nearly 42 percent reasonably or highly satisfied with their options.

Dampening that enthusiasm are the 19 percent of channel partners dismayed by the number of potential employees that come from their primary sources. A large group (40 percent) of partners say that they’re neither satisfied nor unhappy with the flow of job candidates they get from their main hiring pipelines.

In the next edition, we’ll be talking about the role certifications play in hiring. Stay tuned.

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