In this episode, Richard talks to Daniel Welling, of Welling MSP, based in Marlowe, London, about why using a specialist third party can help MSPs find the right staff and grow their businesses.
An Interview with Daniel Welling
Who is Daniel Welling?
Daniel started in a sales role in 1995, selling IT products such as NetWare servers and Windows over the phone. He really enjoyed his work, but decided he wanted to be a business owner. In 2002, he joined with his neighbour and customer, who was working as an IT manager. They decided to combine their technical and sales knowledge and found a business.
In 2014 they sold their company in a trade sale, and Daniel had a break from the industry. He then went back to work for the acquirer of his business as a director and consultant. At that point, he became aware of the wider IT community and their needs, so he started looking for ways he could support them.
Why Daniel Recommends User Group Meetings
Daniel thinks MSPs don’t attend user meetings for a number of reasons. Firstly, it’s hard to take time out of your business when you could be working in it or meeting with clients. Second, many assume they’re going to be giving away their trade secrets to the competition.
Thirdly, Daniel says MSPs just aren’t aware of what’s out there, and even if they do hear about a meeting, forget to go. As the business grows, he says it’s important for the owners to change their ideas on what to spend time on.
He recommends attending user meetings because the other MSPs will be a lot more approachable than you think. There will also be a lot of vendors in attendance, allowing you to keep abreast of market developments. You can do a comparison of different vendors while you’re in the room with them.
There is also the support you get from your fellow business owners. Daniel says: “There’s a sense that you’re not in it alone, as it can be lonely at the top.” User groups let you get an outside perspective on your business.
Why Daniel Set up an MSP Recruitment Company
Although no longer running an MSP business, Daniel wanted to continue working with MSPs to solve their problems. He feels that the two things that hold back MSP business growth is a need for more customers and more staff.
He says that: “Fundamentally what MSPs sell is the relationship between them and the customer, and it’s people that provide that.” He found plenty of IT recruiters, but nobody who specialised in recruiting for the MSP space and finding people with the skillset needed.
Some people thrive on the diversity of an MSP environment and others struggle, so the key is to match the person to the workplace, and Daniel felt there was a gap that needed to be filled.
How Welling MSP Differs from Other Recruitment Companies
Daniel admits that there isn’t a great perception of recruitment agencies. MSPs are often put off working with them by the commercial implication of the fee structure and the risk balance, where they have to pay a percentage of the salary as a fee. The fee structure is also the opposite of most MSPs’ cashflow profiles.
Instead, Welling MSP take smaller amounts of money month to month. The commercial model it uses matches the MSPs’ cashflow requirements and risk profile. This means the owner can decide if the employee is right for the business with a much lower risk and cost implication.
When MSPs try to recruit themselves, the process often takes a lot longer and can cost more money, particularly if it takes them a lot of time to find, employ and train the right person. Using a specialist recruiter saves time and reassures the MSP that its requirements are understood.
Mentioned in This Episode
- IT Trade Association: CompTIA
- Peer Group: The Network Group
- Documentation Service: IT Glue
- Daniel’s Business: Welling MSP
- Daniel Welling on LinkedIn