Published July 20, 2010
Volume 18, Number 7

Staffing Solutions Provider COMSYS Sees Vibrant Market for IT Professionals         
Software Development for Mobile Apps, Other Initiatives Help Drive Demand

Dave Williams acts as managing director of COMSYS.

By Nicole Zaro Stahl

There is good news coming out of at least one pocket of the economy: the job market for IT professionals in the Bay Area is “pretty vibrant.” That assessment comes directly from industry insider Dave Williams, a managing director with COMSYS, a Manpower company, which specializes in IT staffing and solutions.

Williams spearheaded the opening of the new COMSYS office at 4733 Chabot Drive in Hacienda this past March. Already operating in San Francisco and San Jose, the firm was ready to expand its presence into the East Bay. The Hacienda site is a logical progression along the company’s steady trajectory of growth. From its early roots as a regional IT staffing provider in the 1970s, Houston-based COMSYS has matured into a full-fledged professional services firm with international reach. As a publicly traded company it reported $700 million in annual revenue last year from roughly 50 locations nationwide and offices in Canada, Puerto Rico, and the U.K.

The upward path continues with its acquisition by long-term staffing powerhouse Manpower Inc., announced on April 5. Together, they form a global entity with 25,000 professional consultants on assignment, 400 professional staffing services offices worldwide, and total revenues of $2.5 billion.

Locally, Williams has seen client activity pick up considerably over the past year. “Up until mid-2009, the markets were still feeling the impact of the recession, but then things began to open up,” he relates. “IT budgets are getting approved, and contractor headcounts are going up. This is definitely not a bad time to be making a move if you are an IT professional.”

Just what is driving this demand? First of all, “we live in the tech hub of the world,” Williams reminds us. “With internal IT initiatives and product-specific R&D, several companies are hiring aggressively right now.”

Specifically, software development is very hot. Software companies are generating new releases, and mobile applications have become “huge.” Just consider the game-changing Apple iPhone and Google’s Android operating system, he notes. 

Internal IT initiatives are proceeding apace. Businesses looking to streamline operations and boost productivity are busy extending their reliance on enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management systems to handle back-office tasks and tie the entire enterprise together. For a large company with thousands of employees, the upgrade or migration to a new platform is a major undertaking that requires a lot of planning, customization, and personnel.

Web development is also in the forefront, especially when it comes to enhancing customer- facing aspects. “Businesses want to keep their web presence fresh and reflective of the best they have to offer,” Williams says. Often, the initiative involves modifying the content for a global operation so it speaks to the local audience, whether in China, India, or France.

The specialized recruiters at COMSYS pay particular attention to relationship-building. “We get to know our consultants and often act as a career advisory, so hopefully we are the first place they go when looking to take on another contract,” Williams observes. “We understand the marketplace where their skills are relevant and work to keep them gainfully employed in jobs they are happy doing.”   

For more information, visit www.comsys.com.

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