What MSPs Can Expect From Working With IT Staffing Companies

By |Published On: May 2nd, 2024|

The success of MSPs hinges not only on their technological prowess but also on their ability to assemble skilled and dedicated teams. That’s why, the role of IT staffing companies is becoming more and more prominent as MSPs seek to enhance their technical capabilities and streamline their recruitment processes. These agencies specialize in talent acquisition, wielding expertise and extensive networks to identify candidates who possess the precise skills and experience demanded by MSPs.

In this article, we will shed light on the symbiotic relationship between an MSP and an IT staffing agency, exploring the ways in which such collaborations empower MSPs to thrive. From tailored recruitment strategies to meticulous candidate screening processes, you will gain insights into the entire process of working with the best IT staffing agencies and the strategic advantages afforded by the partnership.

Role of IT Staffing Agencies for MSPs

Partnering with an IT staffing agency like Scaled has become a popular option for MSPs looking to bolster their technical capabilities and deliver exceptional service to clients. And the reason for that is simple – MSPs rely on a skilled workforce to deliver IT solutions, however, sourcing, screening, and recruiting top-tier talent can be a time-consuming and resource-intensive process.

IT staffing companies specialize in talent acquisition, leveraging their expertise and networks to identify candidates with the precise skills and experience MSPs require. By partnering with an IT staffing agency, MSPs gain access to a pool of pre-vetted professionals, streamlining the recruitment process and ensuring they onboard the best-fit candidates efficiently.

Additionally, an IT staffing agency provides MSPs with the flexibility to scale their workforce up or down according to changing needs without the overhead costs and administrative burden associated with full-time hiring. Whether MSPs require short-term contract professionals for project-based assignments or long-term placements for ongoing support, they offer scalable solutions tailored to their requirements.

IT staffing services also include ensuring compliance with employment laws, industry regulations, and client-specific mandates. From conducting background checks and verifying credentials to managing payroll and benefits administration, IT staffing agencies mitigate compliance risks for MSPs, allowing them to focus on delivering value-added services to clients with confidence.

Initial Consultation and Needs Assessment

Understanding MSP Requirements

The first step in the consultation process involves a thorough understanding of the MSP’s specific needs, preferences, and strategic objectives. This includes delving into the technical skills, industry certifications, and experience levels required for various roles within the MSP’s organization. IT staffing companies engage in detailed discussions with MSP stakeholders to gain insights into the company’s service offerings, client base, project pipelines, and workforce dynamics.

During the initial consultation, an IT staffing agency may inquire about the types of IT services offered by the MSP (e.g., network management, cybersecurity, cloud computing), the specific technologies and platforms utilized (e.g., Microsoft Azure, Cisco networking), and any specialized skill sets needed for niche client industries (e.g., healthcare, finance).

Alignment of Expectations

Effective collaboration between an MSP and an IT staffing agency hinges on clear communication and alignment of expectations regarding roles, responsibilities, timelines, and outcomes. Both parties must have a shared understanding of the recruitment process, including the criteria for candidate selection, interview procedures, and onboarding protocols. Additionally, they should establish key performance indicators (KPIs) and service level agreements (SLAs) to monitor progress, evaluate performance, and address any issues promptly.

In aligning expectations, the MSP and IT staffing agency may discuss the desired timeframes for filling vacant positions, the frequency of candidate updates and progress reports, and the criteria for evaluating candidate suitability (e.g., technical skills assessments, cultural fit interviews).

Tailored Recruitment Strategy

Candidate Sourcing and Screening

To ensure a robust talent pipeline, IT staffing companies employ a variety of sourcing methods tailored to the MSP’s niche, industry focus, and technical requirements. These methods may include:

  • Proactive Candidate Search: IT staffing agencies leverage their extensive networks, online platforms, and industry connections to proactively identify potential candidates who possess the requisite technical skills and experience. This proactive approach enables them to tap into both passive and active candidate pools, thereby expanding the talent pool beyond traditional job postings.
  • Specialized Job Boards and Forums: IT staffing agencies utilize specialized job boards, forums, and online communities dedicated to IT professionals to target candidates with specific technical expertise. By posting job listings and engaging with potential candidates in these forums, they can attract candidates who are actively seeking new opportunities within the MSP’s domain.
  • Referral Programs: Leveraging referrals from existing employees, clients, and industry contacts is another effective method for sourcing qualified candidates. IT staffing agencies incentivize referrals and cultivate referral networks to tap into trusted sources and identify candidates who may not be actively searching for job openings but possess the desired skill sets.

Once candidates are sourced, the screening process begins, wherein staffing agencies meticulously assess candidates’ qualifications, experience, and suitability for the MSP’s requirements. Key components of the screening process may include:

  • Resume Review: Staffing agencies analyze candidates’ resumes to evaluate their education, certifications, employment history, technical skills, and relevant project experience. This initial screening helps filter out candidates who do not meet the MSP’s baseline criteria.
  • Technical Proficiency Assessment: Candidates undergo technical assessments tailored to the specific skills and competencies required for the role. These assessments may include coding challenges, problem-solving exercises, and scenario-based simulations to gauge candidates’ proficiency in relevant technologies and platforms.
  • Behavioral Interviews: Behavioral interviews delve into candidates’ soft skills, communication abilities, problem-solving aptitude, and alignment with the MSP’s cultural values and work environment. Through structured interviews and situational questions, staffing agencies assess candidates’ interpersonal skills, teamwork capabilities, and adaptability to client-facing roles.

Technical Assessment and Evaluation

Technical assessment and evaluation are other pivotal components of the talent recruitment process, aimed at validating candidates’ proficiency in relevant technologies and ensuring alignment with client requirements. IT staffing agencies employ various strategies to assess candidates’ technical acumen, including:

  • Technical Skills Testing: Candidates undergo comprehensive technical skills testing tailored to the specific job role and technical requirements. These tests may cover areas such as network administration, system administration, cybersecurity, cloud computing, database management, and software development, depending on the MSP’s service offerings and client needs.
  • Practical Demonstrations: In addition to standardized tests, candidates may be required to demonstrate their technical capabilities through practical exercises, simulations, or real-world scenarios. These demonstrations allow staffing agencies to assess candidates’ problem-solving skills, troubleshooting abilities, and hands-on experience in practical environments relevant to MSP operations.
  • Certifications and Credentials Verification: IT staffing agencies verify candidates’ industry certifications, credentials, and training to ensure compliance with client requirements and industry standards. This verification process validates candidates’ technical expertise and proficiency in specialized areas, providing MSPs with assurance regarding candidates’ qualifications and capabilities.

Cultural Fit and Soft Skills Evaluation

In addition to technical proficiency, cultural fit and soft skills play a pivotal role in determining candidates’ suitability for MSP roles, particularly those involving client interaction and teamwork. IT staffing companies employ various strategies to evaluate candidates’ cultural fit and soft skills, including:

  • Role-Playing Scenarios: Candidates may participate in role-playing scenarios or situational exercises that simulate real-world MSP interactions and client engagements. These exercises provide insights into candidates’ interpersonal skills, client relationship management abilities, and capacity to navigate challenging situations effectively.
  • Cultural Compatibility Interviews: Cultural compatibility interviews focus on gauging candidates’ fit within the MSP’s organizational culture, team dynamics, and client service ethos. These interviews explore candidates’ attitudes, values, and professional demeanor to assess their compatibility with the MSP’s work environment and client-focused philosophy.

Candidate Presentation and Selection

Candidate Shortlisting

Next comes candidate shortlisting – it is paramount to identifying the most suitable candidates who align with the MSP’s technical requirements and cultural dynamics:

  • Criteria Alignment: Collaborative discussions between MSP stakeholders and IT staffing agencies refine and prioritize criteria for candidate selection. This process ensures alignment with the organization’s technical needs, industry certifications, and soft skill requirements. Clear documentation of these criteria serves as a guide for evaluating candidate profiles.
  • Thorough Evaluation: A comprehensive evaluation of candidate profiles against predefined criteria is conducted. IT staffing agencies meticulously assess factors such as technical proficiency, relevant experience, cultural fit, and potential for long-term contribution to MSP projects. This evaluation involves not only scrutinizing resumes but also conducting detailed interviews and reference checks to validate candidates’ qualifications and suitability.

Interview Coordination and Feedback

The agency also performs all the interview coordination and feedback processes to facilitate effective communication and decision-making between MSPs and candidates:

  • Scheduling Efficiency: IT staffing agencies leverage advanced scheduling tools and communication platforms to coordinate interview schedules seamlessly. This optimization minimizes scheduling conflicts and maximizes the availability of MSP stakeholders and candidates, ensuring a smooth interview process. Clear communication channels are established to disseminate interview details promptly and address any logistical issues that may arise.
  • Feedback Loop: Timely collection and dissemination of feedback from MSP interviewers are paramount. IT staffing agencies actively solicit feedback following candidate interviews, capturing insights into each candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, and overall suitability for the role. This feedback loop enables agencies to refine candidate shortlisting criteria and tailor subsequent interview rounds to better align with MSP expectations. Additionally, transparent communication of feedback to candidates fosters a positive candidate experience and reinforces the MSP’s commitment to constructive dialogue.

Negotiation and Offer Management

Finally, we have negotiations and offer management that the agency also takes upon itself, including:

  • Transparent Communication: Open and transparent communication between MSPs, candidates, and IT staffing agencies is essential throughout the negotiation process. The latter serve as intermediaries, facilitating constructive dialogue and addressing any concerns or questions raised by both parties. Clear and honest communication regarding compensation, benefits, job responsibilities, and career growth opportunities fosters trust and mutual understanding.
  • Customized Offers: Tailoring compensation packages and benefits to align with candidates’ expectations and market benchmarks enhances the attractiveness of offers. IT staffing agencies leverage their knowledge of industry trends and salary data to provide insights into competitive compensation packages. Customizing offers to address candidates’ unique preferences and career aspirations demonstrates the MSP’s commitment to their professional growth and development. Additionally, flexibility in negotiating terms and conditions can help bridge any gaps between candidate expectations and MSP capabilities, leading to successful offer acceptance.

Onboarding and Integration Support

Transition Planning

Effective transition planning lays the groundwork for seamless integration of new hires into MSP teams:

  • Customized Onboarding Plans: Based on the needs assessment, IT staffing agencies develop customized onboarding plans tailored to each new hire’s role and skill set. These plans outline the onboarding timeline, training modules, mentorship opportunities, and key milestones to ensure a structured and comprehensive onboarding experience.
  • Resource Allocation: Adequate allocation of resources, including time, personnel, and training materials, is essential for successful transition planning. IT staffing agencies work closely with MSPs to allocate resources efficiently, balancing the need for individualized support with broader organizational objectives.

Continuous Support and Feedback

Additionally, ongoing support and feedback mechanisms are crucial for nurturing the growth and development of new hires within MSP environments:

  • Assigned Mentors: Assigning experienced mentors to new hires facilitates knowledge transfer, skill development, and cultural assimilation. Mentors provide guidance, answer questions, offer constructive feedback, and serve as advocates for new hires as they navigate their roles within the MSP.
  • Regular Check-ins: IT staffing agencies conduct regular check-ins with new hires to assess their progress, address any concerns or challenges, and provide additional support as needed. These check-ins serve as opportunities to solicit feedback from new hires regarding their onboarding experience and identify areas for improvement.
  • Performance Reviews: Conducting periodic performance reviews enables MSPs and IT staffing agencies to evaluate new hires’ contributions, identify strengths and areas for development, and set goals for future growth. Transparent and constructive feedback during performance reviews fosters a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Performance Monitoring and Improvement

Monitoring and improving new hires’ performance is essential for optimizing their effectiveness within MSP teams:

  • Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Establishing clear KPIs aligned with MSP objectives enables objective measurement of new hires’ performance. IT staffing agencies collaborate with MSPs to define relevant KPIs, such as client satisfaction scores, project delivery timelines, and technical proficiency benchmarks.
  • Performance Tracking Tools: Leveraging performance tracking tools and technologies facilitates real-time monitoring of new hires’ progress and achievements. These tools provide actionable insights into performance trends, identify areas for intervention, and support data-driven decision-making regarding resource allocation and training initiatives.
  • Continuous Improvement Initiatives: Based on performance data and feedback, MSPs and IT staffing agencies implement continuous improvement initiatives to enhance new hires’ effectiveness and efficiency. These initiatives may include targeted training programs, skills development workshops, and peer-to-peer knowledge sharing sessions aimed at addressing identified areas for improvement.

Long-Term Partnership

Feedback Loop and Continuous Improvement

Maintaining an effective feedback loop and continuous improvement process is essential for optimizing collaboration and driving ongoing enhancement:

  • Structured Feedback Mechanisms: MSPs and IT staffing agencies establish structured feedback mechanisms to solicit input from each other and address any concerns or challenges promptly. This may include regular meetings, surveys, and performance reviews to assess partnership dynamics, identify areas for improvement, and implement corrective actions as needed.
  • Iterative Problem-Solving: Collaboration within a long-term partnership involves iterative problem-solving to address evolving challenges and seize opportunities for improvement. MSPs and IT staffing agencies engage in open dialogue, leveraging their collective expertise and insights to develop innovative solutions and refine operational processes over time.

Value-Added Services and Industry Insights

Last but not least, providing value-added services and industry insights enhances the depth and breadth of the long-term partnership between an MSP and an agency:

  • Strategic Consultation: IT staffing agencies offer strategic consultation services to MSPs, leveraging their industry expertise and market insights to provide guidance on workforce planning, talent acquisition strategies, and emerging technology trends. By serving as trusted advisors, They help MSPs navigate complex challenges and capitalize on new opportunities for growth and innovation.
  • Training and Skills Development: Recognizing the importance of continuous learning and skills development, IT staffing agencies offer training programs and professional development opportunities to MSPs and their employees. These initiatives may include technical training workshops, certification programs, and soft skills training to enhance employee capabilities and foster career advancement.
  • Industry Benchmarking: Providing access to industry benchmarking data and best practices enables MSPs to benchmark their performance against industry peers and identify areas for differentiation and improvement. IT staffing agencies aggregate and analyze industry data, sharing actionable insights and benchmarking metrics to help MSPs optimize their operations and stay ahead of the competition.


With the help of the specialized expertise and extensive networks of IT staffing companies like Scaled, MSPs can streamline their recruitment processes and gain access to top-tier talent with precision and efficiency. This approach not only accelerates the onboarding of skilled professionals but also offers MSPs the flexibility to scale their workforce according to changing needs without the burden of administrative overheads.

By aligning expectations, optimizing interview coordination, and navigating negotiations with finesse, IT staffing agencies and MSPs can secure top talent and foster long-term partnerships that drive mutual success. Moreover, the support provided by the former extends beyond recruitment, encompassing onboarding assistance, performance monitoring, and continuous improvement initiatives that elevate MSP operations to new heights.

About the Author: Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson
Michael started his MSP, TLC Tech, in 2004 and has steadily grown and developed the company in the near two decades since. Currently employing 31 employees (including seven from South Africa), he understands the unique challenges faced by MSPs. As a founder of Scaled Inc., Michael works to assist his peers in the MSP world by streamlining the process of adding talent technicians to their teams. Connect with Michael on LinkedIn to discover how Scaled can place technical talent at your MSP.

Is this your first time visiting SCALED?


Watch our recorded training