TriCom Technical Services

Archive for the ‘staffing/consulting’ Category

TriCom is Top-Ranked in KC Area Staffing Services

In IT, IT news, IT/IS, Kansas City, Kansas City Business Journal, KCBJ, performance, staffing/consulting, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on October 3, 2012 at 8:48 am

TriCom is excited to announce our rankings in the latest Top Area Staffing Services as listed by the Kansas City Business Journal.

In this week’s Kansas City Business Journal (September 28 – October 4), TriCom Technical Services was ranked the #1 IT-specialized firm placing local W2 employees in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

We also placed seventh in over-all staffing agencies in the number of W-2 forms issued to locally placed workers in 2011, tenth in area staffing services ranked by hours billed in 2011, and twenty-first in top area staffing services ranked by number of Kansas City area employees providing placement services.

Thanks to all for working with us – we certainly look forward to continuing the tradition and ranking well next year!


TriCom Appreciation Happy Hour – Take 2!

In Contracting, coworkers, Events, happy hour, Kansas City, KS, staffing/consulting, summer, TASTE, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on August 5, 2011 at 11:07 am

Last night we held our second Appreciation Happy Hour in homage of our candidates, consultants, and clients at TASTE in Overland Park, KS. We had a great turnout! A big thanks to all those who attended – we look forward to seeing you all at our next event!

25 Hilarious Exit Interview Questions

In Advice, Contracting, Events, exit, exit interview, fun, hilarious, Interview, Interviewing, IT, IT/IS, jobs, staffing/consulting on June 2, 2011 at 3:14 pm

Whether you’re leaving your position on a good or bad note, if you’ve been respectful enough to give two weeks’ notice, you should be respectful enough to complete an exit interview.

Besides, you can use the opportunity to indicate any office issues, compliment your coworkers and continue building a bridge, or just plain burn any bridges you may have built with that employer.

Thanks to managementguru, we now present you with the 25 hilarious ways to answer those exit interview questions (though we don’t recommend following suit unless you really want to burn that bridge)

1. What is your primary reason for leaving?
I hate every job after 10 months.  Leaving ensures that I always have a job that I will not hate for at least 10 months.

2. Did anything trigger your decision to leave?
Nope…completely spontaneous.  I just woke up one day and BAM!

3. What was most satisfying about your job?
Sneaking out at 3pm.

4. What was least satisfying about your job?
Every Sunday evening when I started to think about having to come into work on Monday.  It was the anticipation that killed me.

5. What would you change about your job?
I would be interested in making it better — all around.  More pay, less responsibilities…that type of thing.

6. Did your job duties turn out to be as you expected?
I expect the worst and hope for the best.  So, yes…yes it did.

7. Did you receive enough training to do your job effectively?
If being really good at avoiding sexual harassment and being diverse encompass everything that should make me effective at my job…yes.  Yes I did.

8. Did you receive adequate support to do your job?
My chair could have been much more comfortable and you could purchase softer toilet paper.  Charmin might be more expensive but Charmin reduces overall sick days…look it up.  The extra expense is really an investment in the health of your employees.

9. Did you receive sufficient feedback about your performance between merit reviews?
I received ample amounts of feedback on how good I am at “commitment to company mission” and “ethical decision making”.

10. Were you satisfied with this company’s merit review process?
If mothers adopted your merit review process, children would die of starvation but cabinets and cupboards would be clean and organized.  Not sure if that answers your question.

11. Did this company help you to fulfill your career goals?
If I actually had career goals I would have to assume that this job fell far short of fulfilling those non-existent goals.  But I guess we’ll never know, will we?

12. Do you have any tips to help us find your replacement?
Oh, thanks…I’m blushing.  As if you really need to replace me.

13. What would you improve to make our workplace better?
I would make almost everything optional.  It’s good to have options.

14. Were you happy with your pay, benefits and other incentives?
Yes.  I love health insurance premiums that rise faster than my pay.  I like health insurance deductibles that break my bank, and I enjoy the fact that you stopped matching on 401k.  Most of all, I enjoy the discount we can get from GM for employee pricing on new vehicles.  How exclusive!

15. What was the quality of the supervision you received?
I had problems with the quality, but it was more of a quantity problem.

16. What could your immediate supervisor do to improve his or her management style?
It isn’t so much a question of how to improve.  It’s a question of how and when to replace.

17. Based on your experience with us, what do you think it takes to succeed at this company?
From what I could see, and this is coming from someone who didn’t succeed, it is mostly about repeating what other people say, scheduling a lot of meetings, and being very social with people that you’d usually want to punch in the face.

18. Did any company policies or procedures (or any other obstacles) make your job more difficult?
1. The bathroom was way too far away from my cubicle.  I had several photo finishes.
2. Your IT staff uninstalled my Google Earth program.  I enjoy that particular piece of software.
3. The bureaucratic process of this company eventually destroyed my will to do anything productive.  At first it was kind of awesome but then it got really boring.

19. Would you consider working again for this company in the future?
Probably, because as an external candidate I’m much more appealing to you and I will make more money.

20. Would you recommend working for this company to your family and friends?
I would recommend the company to family and friends if you gave me referral money.

21. How do you generally feel about this company?
General disgust.

22. What did you like most about this company?
It’s kind of like a casino that has a nice location on the strip.  It’s not so much about the casino you’re in, it’s about the proximity to other good stuff.  There are a lot of places to eat around here.

23. What did you like least about this company?
Everything else.

24. What does your new company offer that this company doesn’t?
First off, they have Kohler toilets which are far superior to the American Standard toilets you have here.  Secondly, they offer a clean slate.  They have absolutely no idea how ineffective I am as an employee.

25. Can this company do anything to encourage you to stay?
If you could erase everything you know about me, pay me more money, and shorten my hours, I might reconsider.


TriCom Appreciation Happy Hour

In AMC, appreciation, Contracting, Events, fun, happy hour, IT, IT/IS, Kansas City, staffing/consulting, The Marquee, The Marquee Lounge, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on April 22, 2011 at 11:01 am

Wednesday night we held an Appreciation Happy Hour for our candidates, consultants, and clients at the Marquee Lounge at the AMC in downtown Kansas City. It was a blast! Thanks to all of you who made it out, and we look forward to seeing you all at our next event!

For even more pictures, visit us on Facebook.



In Advice, Contracting, electronics, help, IT, IT news, IT/IS, jobs, resumes, staffing/consulting, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services, Unemployed, writing resumes on March 18, 2011 at 10:43 am

We can’t always help every person who comes to us looking for an IT job. In the past, we’d collect their information and keep them informed should a position arise that would be a good fit.

Now, along with this process, we can direct those candidates to our new career portal solely dedicated to people actively seeking new employment –

This portal will be a one-stop-shop for those who need help finding new employment. Now, every person TriCom can’t fit into one of our current needs will have a place to go and have access to over 1000 different job boards, weekly free job-seeker webinars, videos, a web-library full of articles on job hunting, as well as have a free, comprehensive, and personal resume review.


TriCom’s “very unscientific but interesting” I.T. trends survey for the Kansas City marketplace

In IT, IT news, IT/IS, Kansas City, staffing/consulting, Surveys, trends, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on March 9, 2011 at 8:33 am

Here are the “take-aways” from January’s “Trends” survey:

Male dominated?

Still tough out there!

  • 17% of the responders were currently unemployed, 60% were in full time employees, 21% were either in contract or contract-for-hire engagements, and 2.5% were part-time employees.

Higher Ed Degree’s the norm

  • 76% of the responders had a Bachelor’s degree equivalent or higher

A mixed bag when it comes to “certifications”

  • 46% of the total number of responders had some form of certification within Information Technology. The most common certification being that of a Microsoft Certified Professional (21%), followed by some form of Network-related certifications at 13%, MCSE at 11% and PMP certified responders were 9% of the total group.

Most in K.C. are working in the private sector

Still A LOT of “fluidity” in the I.T. marketplace

  • Only 60% of responders were in the SAME job a year before, 40% in a different job than one year prior
  • Most answered “how long in current job” question in MONTHS – only 6% responded in “years”


  • 38% of responders are making the same as last year
  • 62% are making different money – and 64% of those folks are making more money than last year, 36% are making less money than last year
  • Median income of responders who were employed was $75k – $80k


Note – 99% of the unemployed responders either skipped this question entirely or answered “extremely dissatisfied” (for obvious reasons). Almost all of those answering “Extremely dissatisfied” were unemployed responders.

How likely are you to leave your current job?

Over half of responders indicated they are at least likely, if not very or extremely likely to leave their current position in the next year.

To find more results from our survey, click here.


It’s Tough Out There…

In Contracting, help, IT, Kansas City, staffing/consulting, Talent, TriCom, TriCom Technical Services on February 24, 2011 at 9:41 am

The following guest post is authored by Matt Sharples, Owner and CEO of TriCom Technical Services

It’s tough out there…

One of the most difficult things about TriCom’s staffing/consulting business is that we simply can’t help the great majority of people who come to us for help in finding Information Technology (I.T.) work. It’s heart wrenching at times, there are so many good people out there who are still unemployed and have been for some time now.

The main issue we run into is this; when any organization comes to TriCom for help in staffing a future, or ongoing I.T. project, they almost always need someone that can come in and “hit the ground running”. Mostly though, the specific I.T. skills this Consultant needs to “hit the ground running” with, are almost always at the very elite of the skill-set hierarchy (.Net, Java, Oracle, etc). So any organization that is going to pay an hourly contract fee to TriCom, is going to demand that any professional who’s engaged from TriCom, already has an extensive background in the technical skill they are being contracted-in to perform. So there’s simply no “learning curve” expected or granted. On top of that, the person with the hiring authority for these organizations typically expects to see demonstrated past experience with the given I.T. skill they’re seeking. When a hiring authority first glances at a resume, the immediate place their eyes go is to what this person has been doing for the last few months and years. If the most recent couple projects an I.T. person lists on their resume doesn’t precisely reflect the exact skill with demonstrated “hands on” work, the resume usually goes to the bottom of the pile. As unfair as that may sound to some, that’s just the way it is today’s world of I.T. staffing and consulting.

So, many times here at TriCom, we find ourselves in candid conversations that are difficult. Having to tell the vast of majority of I.T. people who we genuinely WANT to help, that we simply can’t place them with the current job orders we’ve been engaged to fill by our corporate clients.

“…be helpful, that’s the mission!”

Having said all this, back in October of last year, I went to a conference put on by the American Staffing Association in Las Vegas and the very first session I attended really made me stop and reflect.

It was a session put on by Eric Gregg of Inavero (, a customer survey, research, and satisfaction firm that had done extensive research with both organizations that hire staffing firms like mine and with what Eric termed “the talent” (meaning the general population of I.T. candidates we talk to and try to help).

The session, called “Marketing and Sales Metrics: How Does Your Firm Match Up?” relayed some hard-hitting and pretty sobering facts about how our corporate clients and candidates (talent) view staffing and consulting firms today.

Inavero research showed:

  • 27% of client organizations can only name their primary staffing firm
  • 35% of talent can’t name a single staffing firm
  • Most staffing firms are failing to engage both client organizations and talent with social media efforts
  • Clients differentiate between staffing firms using three main criteria; past experiences, quality of candidates, and reputation and focus less on bill rates, relationship with sales representative, or referrals.
  • “Talent” is looking for two main differentiators when deciding which, if any, staffing firms to work with – reputation in the industry, and helpfulness in overall job search.

Towards the end of the presentation, Eric talked about “dissatisfies, satisfiers, and exciters” and he went on to say that it’s not enough to stop at “satisfiers”. To go beyond to “exciters”, and then he said something that I scribbled at the very top of my legal pad. I don’t remember his exact words, but I do remember him blurting out this specifically: “Be Helpful – that’s the mission!”

As I sat there in this enormous and fancy meeting room at The Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, I reflected back to when I first started this little company called “TriCom Technical Services” out of my one bedroom, studio apartment (circa 1994).  I vividly remember one of the things I always tried to do is just keep things very simple. Back then, there was an acronym about being in sales called “K.I.S.S.” which stood for “Keep It Simple Stupid!” I already had the stupid part down pat (and probably still do today) and perhaps it’s my grade school understanding of the world, or perhaps it was something else, but I always felt that at the end of the day, it was about “being helpful”. So Eric’s words rang in my head for the next few days and I thought about all the people we don’t help: The I.T. folks that don’t have the top-tier technical skills, the unemployed, the people just getting started out in Information Technology.  I then thought about all the “talent” that is currently on our staff, or have been on our staff in the past, I thought about our customers, past and present, and what would really, truly “help” them…

Next steps

Once I returned to Kansas City, and after just pulled through one of the worst economic recessions ever, and finishing 2010 with growth over 50% and things beginning to thaw out somewhat, I decided that I wanted to make “being helpful” matter more at TriCom. As we put together our business plan for 2011, there was a very strong emphasis on finding ways to help people on both sides of our service transaction.  So, we have decided to take some active steps this year to provide better care for all those who TriCom “touches”, just to help people, whether they make us money or not!

Below are just some of those “next steps” we are taking:

1)      We are currently in the process of rolling out an eTimesheet system that will dramatically improve our current consultants’ hassle of dealing with physical timesheets, as well as our current customer’s ease of approving of those timesheets. It’s also the “green” thing to do!

2)      We hired a Social Media Marketing Manager earlier last year, Jennifer Kurzava, who you probably know by now if you’re reading this. She has been diligently building TriCom’s online presence through the various social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc). We task Jennifer daily with finding “helpful” articles, surveys, and information for anyone who happens upon our website or reads one of our monthly newsletters, or this blog.

3)      We will soon roll out a career portal on our website called which is a portal solely dedicated to people actively seeking new employment. This portal will be a one-stop-shop for those who need help finding new employment. Now, every person TriCom can’t fit into one of our current needs will have a place to go and have access to over 1000 different job boards, weekly free job-seeker webinars, videos, a web-library full of articles on job hunting, as well as have a free, comprehensive, and personal resume review.

4)      We will provide our own, TriCom based research of the Kansas City I.T. marketplace to our corporate clients and candidates. We initiated our first survey last month, and while it definitely wasn’t perfect, we did gain some insights that we think will be helpful to share with talent and clients alike. Next month, we will present some of our findings

5)      Last, but definitely not least, a week ago we hired a “Customer Care Manager”, Lindsey Blakeman who used to work at TriCom a few years ago. Lindsey will be the dedicated point person for all our current consulting staff. She will handle all issues related to someone’s employment and satisfaction with TriCom, including on-boarding, timesheets, benefits questions, exit interviews, etc. Her sole focus will be on “being helpful”. We think keeping our current consulting staff happy will not only add to their experience but also make them more productive for our client organizations.

There is more (“happy hours!”) but that’s most of it. In general, I’ve always felt a deep need to be of help, especially today, when you see so many people who are really struggling. I know quite a bit about struggling myself… it brings out the best and the worst in life, so starting this year, I want it to bring out what’s best about TriCom.

My most favorite fortune I ever got from a fortune cookie that I still keep in my desk today reads “The best times in your life have not yet been lived”. I know that’s true for me – I truly hope this for you too, but mostly, I hope we can be of some help to you.