OST launches division to recruit IT professionals

OST launches division to recruit IT professionals

Open Systems Technologies is recognized as a leader in amenities for staff. Now it will use those human resources skills to attract talent for clients. Courtesy OST

Based on the growing difficulty of finding the right talent for IT positions and client feedback, Grand Rapids-based Open Systems Technologies is launching a formal recruiting division.

OST, a $160 million information technology company at 605 Seward Ave. NW in Grand Rapids, announced July 27 the launch of its latest business practice: OST Recruiting Solutions.

OST launched the recruiting division based on client feedback and its experience in finding talent in the highly competitive IT sector in recent years, as evidenced by its estimated 30 percent annual growth. It will provide recruiting solutions and services to companies seeking talented IT professionals for contract, contract-to-hire and direct-hire positions.

Meredith Bronk, president and CEO, said the combination of OST’s experience in contracting, its entrepreneurial spirit and some nudging from clients, the company decided to launch the division.

“OST has a long history of contracting with clients to place our information technology professionals in temporary and contract positions, so we have a solid track record in identifying IT talent,” said Bronk. “Companies can benefit from our experienced talent recruitment team.”

OST Recruiting Solutions will focus on identifying talent in Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, Detroit, Minneapolis, Chicago and London markets for positions such as application developers, project and program managers, technical lead, network and systems administrators, quality assurance testers and developers, business analysts, data center resources and technical writers.

The recruiting division currently is comprised of four members, with two focusing on sales and identifying opportunities and two focused on recruitment functions.

OST is also actively looking for a recruiting position for the southeast Michigan area, according to Mike Lomonaco, director of marketing and communications at OST.

OST Recruiting Solutions’ team is led by Beth VanSlyke, who joined OST in 2012 and has more than 15 years of experience in recruiting. In her leadership role, VanSlyke will oversee the formal launch of OST Recruiting Solutions and provide strategic direction, serve clients and build long-term relationships.

With encouragement from companies such as Spectrum Health, VanSlyke said the development of the division really was prompted by client feedback.

“They see on a regular basis the great talent that comes out of OST who are providing professional services, and on an ongoing basis they see we are able to identify excellent talent,” she said.

Brian Krajewski, director of the enterprise portfolio and management office at Spectrum Health, said OST continues to deliver great talent when and where the health system needs it in the current environment of resource scarcity and increased development velocity.

“I have been extremely pleased with the performance of OST’s recruiting solutions team. Their professionalism, attention to detail, communication skills, industry knowledge and dedication to the job has helped us deliver a number of challenging IT projects with excellent outcomes,” said Krajewski. “OST and their team will continue to be an integral part of our resourcing plan and play a vital role in how we can continue to deliver solutions that improve our patient, consumer and customer experiences.”

As OST has grown since its establishment in 1997 to have a current value of roughly $160 million, Lomonaco said the company’s ability to develop new lines of practice and service offerings really speaks to the company’s core values at a broader level.

“Even as we have grown from a relatively small company to pretty intense growth, one of our core values is honoring innovation and entrepreneurialism. It takes shape in our employees coming to us saying we can drive a business offering and customers asking for it,” said Lomonaco. “In our industry, we are reinventing ourselves every six to 12 months as a company, always evaluating what we are offering — what’s going on in the world of technology, and, certainly, the people piece is the key part.”

While the unemployment rate in the Midwest dropped to approximately 5 percent, seasonally adjusted, for June 2015, the unemployment rate for computer and mathematical occupations hit 2.5 percent for both men and women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics U.S. Department of Labor. Computer and mathematical occupations include positions such as computer system analysts, software developers, database administrators and computer programmers.

VanSlyke said there are several factors differentiating OST Recruiting Solutions.

“We are not résumé pushers. We really take the time to understand what our clients’ needs are on a case-by-case basis and, in addition to that, leverage our technical delivery team to help us vet candidates before we put them in front of our clients,” said VanSlyke.

OST also can draw on its 180 employees’ individual networks to help identify potential candidates, which is a contributing factor to OST’s success and key to its strategy, according to VanSlyke.

As the company launches its new division, OST is providing a “First 40 on Us” initiative: The first 40 hours of a contract engagement are free if a company hires an OST contract consultant for the first time.

“If they have not used our recruiting solutions and contract resources in the past, we are offering the first 40 hours for free,” said VanSlyke. “We are doing that really as a way to showcase our abilities in the recruiting and contracting space.”

OST also provides solutions in areas such as data center, managed services, health care process management, enterprise transformation and application development. From a company standpoint, Lomonaco said OST is beyond excited about the opportunity to launch Recruiting Solutions.

“We truly do feel and believe our recruiting solutions practice has the ability to be one of those next areas around OST where we have considerable growth, and really positions us at a national level,” said Lomonaco.

“Beth and her team are poised to put OST on the map again with the boutique approach to filling the IT needs of our customers. It is no big secret the demand for talent is just intense right now.”

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