Considering a Technology Transformation Initiative? Here Are Four Approaches to Access the Specialized IT Labor Supply Chain

Brian Trout, Executive Vice President, Sales, Baer
Brian Trout
Executive Vice President, Sales
28 July 2023

Every enterprise undertaking a technology transformation initiative needs to access a broad range of specialized expertise throughout the lifecycle of the program. However, in an extremely narrow labor market finding the right expertise at the right time, for the appropriate investment is challenging, and a traditional direct placement approach is seldom a viable solution.

Although technology transformation initiatives often span multiple years, they are generally still finite in length, which is not a fit for full-time, salaried hires. In addition, most organizations have hierarchical title and salary structures that apply to FTEs: title and years of experience equate to a base salary range. When you are sourcing highly specialized IT expertise, especially around newly introduced solutions or emerging technologies, there is seldom a market option within those types of parameters.

So how, then, should an enterprise go about accessing the specialized IT labor supply chain? For companies that are partnering with a systems integrator, they often serve as the primary source for strategic leadership. Beyond that, to access a broad range of emerging and/or highly specialized skillsets, enterprises would be well served by building a relationship with an enterprise performance partner who understands the strategic directive of your initiative, has proven expertise in the types of technologies at the core of it, and can efficiently build and scale skilled teams to help you realize the full potential of your enterprise technology investment and achieve your business goals.

Every enterprise is different, as is every technology transformation initiative, but the solution will generally entail a mix of the following types of approaches:


A contract-to-hire model entails engaging a resource for a committed timeframe—essentially a trial period—with an up-front commitment to hire the resource at the end of that period or end of the engagement. Contract-to-hire can be a wise strategy for both parties as it gives them the opportunity to “try before you buy.” The company that is doing the hiring can ensure the resource has the has the necessary skills and aptitude and is a strong cultural fit who will mesh well with the existing team, before making a long-term commitment. The resource has an opportunity to showcase their abilities while ensuring that the company is a solid long-term fit professionally and culturally, that the work is compelling, and that the role is aligned with their career goals.

I would advise any organization considering this strategy to ensure they are working with an enterprise performance partner that offers favorable and flexible conversion terms, as we do at Baer, and properly vets and sets direct hire conversion expectations. Too often resources are presented that are only looking for a consulting opportunity and not a broader commitment to the company.

Contingent Labor

In a contingent labor model, a company engages with a resource or set of resources for a predetermined period or for the express purpose of undertaking a specific initiative or completing a specific project. While the resources are usually engaged full time and are fully dedicated to the company, there is not typically an expectation on either side that at the end of the project the resources will be hired as permanent employees. For most enterprises undertaking a technology transformation initiative, contingent labor will be the primary way they supplement resources supplied through their systems integrator and their own internal team.

Contingent labor is perhaps the best way to access the highly specialized expertise necessary to implement an emerging technology or new solution offering. There is typically an understanding by both parties that the engagement will be limited, and people with these specialized, in-demand expertise are willing to engage shorter term (months to a few years) before moving on to the next project where their knowledge is essential. If your enterprise performance partner clearly understands your strategic objectives and the technologies and solutions at hand, they should be able to bring to the table a working knowledge of the types of expertise you will need, when in the initiative you will need it, and for how long. This will enable them to partner more closely with you to minimize delays in finding expertise at the right time and speed time to value.

At Baer, we often work with clients who are initially seeking contingent labor, but as their initiative progresses, they realize certain skill sets will be necessary long term to support their new infrastructure, and at that point may want to convert some contingent staff to permanent roles. Again, it is a practice we encourage at Baer for the continuity it brings to your initiative post-implementation. If you foresee this possibility, it is helpful to have this discussion up front, so we can ensure critical resources are open to and appropriately geographically situated, if needed.

On-call support

Even with the best planning, there will come a time in every technology transformation initiative when an unanticipated issue emerges that necessitates a very specific set of skills to resolve, or a work stream gets behind an requires additional resources to meet a milestone. These are the types of needs on-call support is designed to meet. They are typically ad-hoc, short-term engagements. They can also be among the most challenging roles to fill because they require someone who is both willing and able, as well as available. In these circumstances, it is imperative that your enterprise performance partner not only truly understands the technology and skillsets, but they have also proactively cultivated relationships with the right types of expertise. Only then will they be able to be flexible and responsive enough to meet your needs.


Offshoring entails handing off packages of work to remote teams who agree to deliver that work at a certain cost and within a certain timeframe. While this can be a useful way to supplement a broader contingent and on-call strategy, it does make for somewhat siloed work. For this reason, it tends to be more useful for project work that can stand alone or be integrated in a straightforward manner later.

The Right People, at the Right Time

At Baer, we only staff large-scale infrastructure projects for leading enterprise technologies, so we have a deep understanding of the technologies, methodology approaches, and solutions and the types of highly specialized expertise needed throughout the lifecycle of the implementation process. This enables us to take a proactive approach to identifying people with the right qualifications and experience. We are continuously cultivating talent with the expertise to support both today’s technologies and emerging ones. In addition, our focus is on building long-term relationships with the companies we partner with—we are invested in the outcome of your initiative.

It is our mission to find the right people, at the right time, for the appropriate investment so you realize the full potential of your enterprise technology investment and achieve your business goals.

About Baer

Unlike typical technology staffing companies, Baer is a true enterprise performance partner. We have a deep understanding of the scope of enterprise technology transformation initiatives and the highly specialized skillsets you will need at different stages of the process.

To learn more about how Baer can make a positive impact on your enterprise transformation, please reach out to Brian Trout,, Executive Vice President, Sales, or John Wilson, Vice President of Strategic Accounts, at We look forward to speaking with you and learning about your specific challenges.

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