Interview: Why this recruiter partnered with Lola Tech

Interview: Why this recruiter partnered with Lola Tech

We recently sat down with Suzanna Adams, owner of recruitment agency Varnium, to talk about her experience of recruiting IT talent and why she chose to partner with Lola Tech. Suzanna has been connecting her clients with our team since early 2020 when she noticed them struggling to fill IT roles in-house. What started as a stop-gap solution has become a thriving partnership, and we were keen to learn more about how it started. 

Varnium is a recruitment agency that places permanent staff, so why did you decide to partner with Lola Tech?

Right, so yes, Varnium specialises in finding permanent talent for our clients - and at the moment a lot of that is IT technical talent. However, we realised when speaking to our clients that hiring permanent staff is not always the right solution for them. Let me give you an example from the past year. There was a small London based startup that realised overnight that they needed a team of around six DevOps engineers to deliver on a project that was likely going to overrun if they didn’t immediately find this team. When they reached out to Varnium, we quickly got to work and found them a few candidates, but some lacked the very specific high-level skills the client was looking for and the others were out of budget. It took 6 weeks for the client to find the right team for the job, and then they still had to wait for their notice periods to be up and then onboard them all. It was a slow process and it cost their project dearly. I realised that it could have been so much more efficient to have had a team like Lola Tech come in and help out - ready to rock and roll, used to patching themselves into an existing structure and able to bring in any configuration of skill sets. Now, of course, Varnium would love to fill every open role. But we are here to help our clients succeed by bringing them the very best tech talent available - and sometimes Lola’s offering just works better.

Many businesses rely on IT contractors to flex their in-house capacity as and when needed, also because these individuals tend to be highly experienced not just technically but also in integrating quickly. What are your thoughts on this?

Well, I would be getting some very unhappy messages from friends and colleagues if I said anything negative about contractors! And to be honest, there is nothing negative per se about this model - it works well when it works. You mention technical expertise. That’s an important point because often Varnium is contacted for very specific software builds or projects when there is a budget in place to recruit someone in. We can help find a contractor, but they are still temporary - and with the introduction of IR35, it’s more important than ever to keep a contract temporally limited and not running indefinitely. 

There is a really high demand for IT professionals, including contractors. At the same time, many IT employees are striking out on their own during this ‘Great Resignation’ period we’re going through. How does that affect your clients?

That’s true, it is the Wild West in IT talent scouting at the moment. And because there is such high demand for contractors these days, their rates tend to reflect that. The cost of hiring someone can come as a bit of a shock to, especially, small businesses. And that’s just for one individual. Often, clients will find they need to bring in more resources, so one contractor becomes two becomes three... and suddenly you’re faced with not only the costs of hiring that many contractors; you also have onboard and coordinate them all. So, again, nothing against contractors, they do great work. But, hiring a team that can be flexed and adjusted as needed strikes me as a better option in many cases. 

Lastly, disclosure time. How did you find out about Lola Tech and how did Varnium come to partner with them?

I'd known about Lola Tech for a few years, heard good things about the work they did and liked their way of conducting business. I liked that Lola Tech hires their own people and even when a client needs more resources they bring that in from elsewhere within the company. That provides clients with a really solid and consistent experience. So when Inge and I started talking about all this, I realised that their service model could be paired very easily with the service we offer our clients - kind of a plug in and go staffing model. So that’s why! 

Got a digital project you need help with? Get in touch to find out how we can help. If you are a recruiter or hiring manager, contact us to learn more about how we can partner. Varnium places IT talent across different functions, from sales to marketing and, of course, technical. You can contact Suzanna Adams about permanent recruitment needs here.

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