Resourcing — a Fast-Paced and Highly Rewarding Role
When I first started working in the HR industry, I came across several different terms used to describe what I thought was recruitment. One of them was ‘resourcing.’ But after joining 10Clouds, I realised that we had both a recruitment and a resourcing team and that they perform quite different functions.
So I was very happy when I got to talk with Marzena, our Resourcing Lead, about the role she is in and the team she manages.
A brief definition of resourcing
“Back when I started, resourcing was rarely seen as specialism in itself. It was typically either a part of recruiting or project management” says Marzena.
As described by CIPD, a professional body for HR professionals in the UK, resourcing “involves the attraction and selection of individuals into the right role at the right time and cost.” But what does that mean in a software house?
A software house specialises in delivering software to clients. This means that as a business, we hire developers and designers, who then join different teams, creating code and design for companies in various industries. This complicates hiring a bit, which happens in two layers, as it were. First, you bring people on board to the company, and then you bring them on board different projects.
Assigning people to projects
On one hand, you have assignments. It’s a bit like internal recruitment, where you make sure every developer and designer is assigned to the right project. It’s not as easy as it seems, as you have to make sure that the client gets the right team in place, but you also have to take developers’ preferences into account.
“You have to keep in touch with Team Leaders regularly as they know best how employees want to develop. In an ideal scenario, you can always ensure you assign people to the projects that will allow them to work with their favourite technologies, but the tough business reality is that it’s not always possible” explains Marzena.
And then there’s another layer of complications on top of it: some projects will only require part time work from certain specialists. This means you may assign one person to two different projects. “It’s easy for everything to look right on paper, but switching between projects takes up some additional time and you have to remember the time it takes to onboard each person onto the project. Plus, you need to make sure you don’t end up giving someone too much work”.
Cross-team collaboration and reporting
On the other hand, the resourcing team works with project managers and sales to ensure that we have the right teams in place to start work on new projects. “We have to know what’s in the sales pipeline, what the start dates are for upcoming projects and whether we have developers and designers available to start,” says Marzena. “If we don’t, we work with the recruitment team to get new candidates for those projects”.
Reporting is also a huge part of the job in resourcing. It’s a very dynamic environment and you have to make sure all of your reports are updated regularly, as the data you provide will be used to drive decisions that impact the entire business.
In a complex environment like a software house, the most important skills to succeed will be your ability to react to the changes quickly. You work with different teams, different people and you have the ability to give them the peace of mind they need to do their jobs.
Getting into resourcing
If there’s a new project on the horizon that people get excited about, it is up to the resourcing team to ensure we will be able to take it on. “If you manage to get a team together quickly, you keep people excited and you make sure the client will get what they need - there’s no better feeling,” says Marzena.
Marzena’s first job was as a PMO - resourcing was just part of her responsibilities. And indeed, a lot of resourcing professionals started either in project management or in recruitment. “Both roles require a mix of analytical thinking and soft skills,” explains Marzena.
Resourcing will be a great fit for you if you like working with data and are not afraid of creating complex reports.
Attention to detail is certainly very important. But remember, this is a dynamic environment, things will change quite quickly so you have to be prepared to use that data to create different scenarios of how things can go and - in case something completely unexpected happens - to use the data to quickly come up with new solutions.
A good example of that was when the pandemic hit. All of a sudden, most companies decided to run shorter projects in order to deal with the uncertainty in their industries. This impacted software houses too, particularly the resourcing teams and assignments.
To succeed in resourcing, you need well developed communication skills too. In fact, you need to be a people person as a considerable part of the role will consist of meetings and synchronising work between different teams and departments.
See if you’ve got what it takes to start a career in resourcing
Unsure whether a career in resourcing would be right for you? Here are Marzena’s top tips:
Figure out whether you have the right skills - The role requires a perfect mixture of working both with people and data. Would you be happy liaising with colleagues across different teams on a daily basis? Are you highly organised and a master of spreadsheets? If so, this would be the perfect role for you.
Prepare for a fast changing environment - A resourcer’s role is never boring. Often, there are multiple projects to work on simultaneously, which means reallocating resources and thinking creatively. Prepare for an agile and dynamic environment.
Learn how to build teams - One of the greatest satisfactions that the role brings, is the chance to bring together effective, hard working teams filled with people who really get on with one another. If this is something that appeals to you, you’ve found the right job!