Why is it so hard to hire a person with Microsoft skills?

Posted in Office 365, by MarkJ4 View all Posts

Obtaining and maintaining relevant Microsoft skills is a tricky business. Not only are there a large number of different Microsoft products but for each one their technologies are moving on so fast that it can be tough to keep up! New releases, services, products and updates are published at an alarming rate and keeping your team up to date can require constant vigilance.

Yet they can offer so many benefits that organisations probably want to use them as soon as they are available to maintain their competitive advantage and stay ahead of their rivals. It’s a constant battle, with the 2 main options (recruit more/different staff with up to date skills or train/retrain your existing staff) both potentially requiring significant budgets! Let’s look at some of the common issues in more detail.

Recruiting Permanent Staff Members

Let’s face it, recruitment is tough and often very expensive!

That’s before considering that you may also need to wait for someone to leave or retire or worse, manage an ineffective existing staff member!

Should you promote a current member of staff into a new role, you still have to back-fill their old position, so while it’s great for the team to see hard work and dedication being rewarded with new opportunities, from a management point of view, you still have a lot of work to do!

Any recruitment process needs you to clearly specify your requirements, get them approved by management, pass the details to HR or an external agency and then wait to see who responds. This generally goes one of two ways – either no one is interested, or you get loads of applicants which then provides you with a new nightmare of sifting through their details, making a short list, inviting them to interview and trying to identify someone who will fit nicely into your team over the course of 1 hour!

Each one of those stages needs a whole load of effort! Writing a job spec. is easier if you are replacing an existing role, but what if you are creating a new one?

Getting recruitment approval depends very much on the performance of the company as a whole, and in these economically tough times, what if there is a recruitment freeze or your organisation thinks you can ‘make do’ and share the responsibilities out amongst your existing staff?

Recruitment agencies can often help (but at a considerable price) and may merely present you with the C.V.s of people on their books who happen to be already available or whose existing contracts are coming to an end; often with a long list of skills that makes you wonder whether they actually ready your job spec. in the first place and not necessarily someone who would be an excellent fit for your organisation or who has targeted your organisation as somewhere they would really love to work.

Generally, the process is worth it assuming you can find someone great who then rewards you by staying with you for several years and therefore protecting you from going through the drama all over again!

But what if you only need someone for a short period of time?

Training / Retraining Existing Staff

Training (or retraining) your current team members is great because it can reduce the need for the recruitment nightmare scenarios above; however, it is not without its own problems.

Suitable training opportunities can be hard to find, you could spend hours researching different training companies and course opportunities to eventually see a fabulous course that will fit your needs perfectly, only to realise it involves significant travel expenses or not be scheduled for another 6 months when you need a solution right now!

You may find loads of courses that could help, but nothing that addresses your specific needs or the course agenda suggests you will only get halfway there! In the back of your mind, you also know that, while a member of staff is undertaking the course, they are not able to continue with their regular duties leaving you with a backfill problem, or (more likely) stuff that won’t get done while they are away.

Before you throw in the towel…

All is not lost, here at Collab365, we have spent the last year creating a new exciting solution to these problems in the form of Collab365 MicroJobs.

MicroJobs can introduce you to a range of experienced Microsoft Professionals ready to help you meet your specific needs. If you don’t want to recruit a permanent person, you just need help for a couple of hours to get you past a roadblock or want someone to train your team as soon as possible & once you’ve solved the problem you will be back on track then read on!

How MicroJobs can help

  • Freelancers are willing to help you for as long as you need – from a quick 15-minute phone call to an hour online meeting to a few days training or providing expert technical help.
  • Many of our Freelancers are Microsoft MVP’s – they know their stuff and have insight into new Microsoft releases in advance so are ready to cascade their knowledge as soon as it is released publicly.
  • If your specific requirements are not entirely met by the Freelancer (let’s face it if they offered every combination of services up front you would be bombarded with detail) so we’ve designed an option for you to contact them directly to tailor a job to your needs so you can be sure to receive precisely what you need, when you need it.
  • The MicroJobs service is free to use for Collab365 Community members & we are onboarding more and more Freelancers every day so keep checking back to see what’s new.

How to use the Collab365 MicroJobs platform

You can browse the available MicroJobs here. If you’d like to proceed and purchase one you will need to set yourself (or your company) up as a buyer – this isn’t us being overly protective, it’s a requirement for financial regulations and also means that if you want to contact a buyer, they can reach back to you with ease! You can register in 3 steps & it only takes a minute. The process is as follows..

1 – Sign up…

Click the ‘Sign Up’ button at the top right-hand corner of the screen to begin.

2 – Add your details.

You can use existing social profiles or create new ones specifically for MicroJobs (this may be preferable if you are going to sign up as a company and use a generic log on for all IT teams to use to purchase MicroJobs).


3 – Create your MicroJobs Account.

Please choose your Username carefully as it will be seen publicly on your profile and can’t be changed later. Also let us know if you would like to be added to the newsletters we issue. Click on the links provided to see examples of what you will receive and don’t worry – you can unsubscribe to these at a later stage. If you find the content useful – let your team members know so they can benefit as well 🙂 . Finally (as with all online systems) please ensure you are happy with our T&C’s…

Using the MicroJobs platform

Once you have signed up and are logged in you can contact Freelancers and purchase MicroJobs..

You can search for the skills you need, use the menu items to narrow your search or use the “Request a Service” option on the left to ask for something specific (more details about this in another blog)


Clicking on one of the jobs will take you into the description screen where the Freelancer will explain in more details what they will deliver as part of the deal. Keep a look out for any extras they may offer in relation to their service (they may not be relevant to you but allow the Freelancer to offer a more flexible and complete service.)

Once you find the item you need, click on the buy now button..

You will then arrive at the following screen to confirm your purchase..

This is like an online ‘basket’ and confirms exactly what you are purchasing. Payment is made using the Stripe Connect system which holds your payment securely until the work is completed (the Freelancer only gets paid after the job is marked as complete giving you extra reassurance that they will do a good job!)

Check the total (to make sure you have added any required extras) and click ‘PayNow’..

Add your card details then click ‘Confirm & Pay’..

Note the ‘Useful Links’ that are provided under the ‘Confirm & Pay’ section, these help explain what happens next and any other questions you may have.

I hope this helps – don’t forget the MicroJobs service is free to use and we are onboarding more and more Freelancers every day so keep checking back to see what’s new.

Are you looking to hire a Office 365 professional like MarkJ4?

Post a job below (even if it's just a 15-minute Skype call), enter a few details and we will get to work on finding you some online help. Alternatively, you can also browse some existing MicroJobs.

Check out some of my MicroJobs...

I will publish a blog post about your Microsoft product or service to Collab365 Community I will publish a blog post about your Microsoft product or service to Collab365 Community
I will publish a blog post about your Microsoft product or...
5.0 (2)
200.00 USD

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