SharePoint Consultant/Developer Required….No!

At WorkShares and with my wider work with others, I often get enquires from recruitment agencies either pushing the CV of an ‘experienced SharePoint Developer/Consultant’ they have or asking if they can provide me with an exclusive contract to supply such resources to my business. Similarly, a quick review of the job sites out there also advertise such roles and confirms my suspicions.

I am unsure whether this is because businesses are demanding such roles due to budget constraints or is it more likely that agencies are advising that the two roles can/should be combined and this is what they need…

The former I can understand, the latter is nothing short of bad advice/bad practice and speaks of a complete lack of understanding about the skill sets required and demands placed upon the different roles that should make up a SharePoint project team.

Recruiters  have no, I repeat, NO real world experience of the skills and experience need to  design, build implement and support SharePoint projects. So why trust them when they push critical roles combined into one person on a project that is typically high profile within businesses? On what basis can you trust their advice?

Bluntly, they get paid put bodies on seats, which just so happens to be a SharePoint project but could easily be an Exchange migration or network upgrade project. To them, it seems to matter little in terms of the way they are recruited. Simplistic, ‘ticks in boxes’ is a term often that springs to mind when I think about the methods I am sure many agencies employ to source and push CVs to businesses. Though it has to be said a smaller minority are somewhat more sophisticated in their approach to vetting and promote individuals.

This is still however a growing concern for someone like me whom has been involved with SharePoint since 2001 when the product was first released and have since been involved in over 130 SharePoint projects to date. Microsoft SharePoint related deployments are growing, but the availability of good resources and critically the quality of the approach to resourcing of such projects seem to be in decline and isn’t meeting the demands needed by such projects.

For example. If you’re about to attempt a house build, you wouldn’t in your dreams get a brick layer to do the electrics, or a plumber to architect the plans for the house! You would end up with a disaster on your hands, with poor quality build, budget overruns and a project delivered late which completely misses it’s objectives and expectations from the business users. You would end up with a house with no windows, core supporting architecture made of MDF wood, 6 bathrooms, 1 bedroom, no lounge and a roof which leaked and electrics/plumbing which were not built as you ran out of money!

My advice to recruiters is that you have a responsibility to advise your clients of the correct mix of skills they require and to not try and push such critical roles combined into one. It’s in your interest to do this because a successful project will lead to more business…the wrong resource on a project will lead to a less successful project and arguably this will reflect on your organisation from providing the resource.

My advice to organisations about to embark on SharePoint project is to form your team carefully, budget appropriately and manage expectations with the business from day 1. If you seek external resources via recruitment agencies, choose them careful and to challenge them about such combined roles. Those that push Developer/Consultant combination CVs will bring an incredibly high risk to your project deliverables and you should plan, plan and plan again the design and importantly the resourcing of your projects carefully.


Andrew Walmsley

Managing Director

WorkShares Limited

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One Response to “SharePoint Consultant/Developer Required….No!”

  1. Choosing the right SharePoint resources | WorkShares Blog Says:

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