(This detailing of
SMCI's process is organized into four major sections:
Screening and Qualifying,
While all four sections
relate to our provision of Contract/Consultant and Contract-for-Hire
(Temp-to-Perm) staffing solutions, only the
Screening and Qualifying
section relates to the
Direct-Hire services we also make available to our clients.)
contract/consultant staffing support to our clients, SMCI utilizes the
resources of project specific hourly and salaried employees drawn from an
extensive active database of Information Technology professionals. By employing a project-specific approach to
providing solutions we are able to quickly and professionally respond
to diverse requirements with superior candidates over a broad range of position
types and skill sets.
Because our approach to providing contract resources is not
dependent upon whether we have appropriate resources "on the bench",
we are able to provide our clients with the contract support they require in a
timely manner and on a cost-competitive basis.
In that a high proportion of our consulting requirements are met on an ad
hoc recruitment basis, training for new technologies is rarely an issue. Candidates with appropriate expertise are
identified based on the nature of an individual assignment. This flexible approach is particularly well
suited to these times of rapidly emerging technological change.
SMCI maintains IT resource databases in Arizona, California,
and North Carolina that contain in excess of 60,000 IT professionals. To date, approximately 18,000 of these
professionals have been through our screening process and we currently screen
new potential resources at the rate of 2,000 per year. The following criteria are used in selecting
candidates for screening:
skills and applications backgrounds that are currently prevalent in the
commercial data processing marketplace.
technologies that are gaining acceptance.
specific to the installations of existing clients and organizations with which
we are attempting to form business relationships.
result of this approach has been the development of a significant pool of
qualified resources whose skill sets and applications backgrounds encompass
those areas of expertise that are significant to the IT organizations of major
commercial enterprises which form our client base. Because this pool of resources is our main source of candidates
for client requisitions, we maintain extensive data that relates to
appropriateness for placement in addition to the data that relates to the
individuals professional skills and background. This includes:
Results. This is information
pertaining to the results of the screening that is described elsewhere in this
document (e.g. interviews, technical testing, etc.).
Information (in the case of consultants who have performed contract
assignments for SMCI or whose performance SMCI's technical managers have had an
opportunity to observe first hand).
Placement Suitability Information.
This is information which concerns a consultant's suitability for
placement at a particular client site (e.g. the consultant will only accept
assignments at client sites with flexible work schedules or only wants
placements within a certain driving radius of home, etc.).
information also pertains to a consultant's suitability for particular types of
assignments (e.g. poor oral or written communication skills might disqualify an
otherwise technically qualified candidate from placement when the position
involves extensive user interface and the development of a user requirements
When a client provides a requirement, we turn first to a
search of this pool of resources to locate appropriate individuals. Within this context, we maintain frequent
contact with screened candidates to track current and future availability. Because of the large number of qualified candidates
in our system with whom we maintain contact and who have completed our
screening process, we usually are able to satisfy a client's requirement from
this pool of resources.
we are not able to identify appropriate candidates from these resource pools,
we work with our extensive network of referral relationships and, lastly, we
work with candidates we find through our sponsorship of user groups,
professional organizations and Internet postings/searches. Within the context of Internet postings we
utilize DICE, Computerjobs.com, Hotjobs.com, and numerous specialized posting
sites for client specific requirements and to ensure a stream of new resources
to keep our resource databases fresh.
business approach is to understand a client's business, technical and cultural
environments so that we can fully appreciate its staffing requirements. Our goal is to identify and present only
those candidates who are appropriate for each client requirement.
believe that it is our job to find the best candidate for the job based on a
solid understanding of the client's environment and a strong sense of the type
of person who fits well into its culture.
With this perspective in mind SMCI typically only presents one or two
candidates for any given client requirement.
Screening and Qualification
screening process for Consultant, Contract-for-Hire and Direct-Hire candidates
to meet our client's staffing requirement consists of the following four
qualification steps: A) Personal
Technical Qualification; C) Previous Assignment Reference Checking; and D)
Background Screening and Drug Testing as appropriate to a client's
1) Personal Interview by an SMCI
Information Technology Recruitment Specialist.
The personal interview is a one to one and one-half hour in-depth
interview with the applicant which focuses on the following areas:
|| Applicant experiences
|| Communication skills
|| Professional interest
|| Personal strengths
|| Level of professional expertise and ability
|| Educational background
|| Employment history
|| Professional demeanor
2) Technical Interviews, as appropriate to
the position, are performed once a candidate has successfully completed their
personal interview. SMCI utilizes two
approaches to verify technical competencies.
Our primary approach is an in-depth technical interview by a member of
SMCI's Technical Staff. Each SMCI
technical staff member specializes in technical interviews that are consistent
with their background and current responsibilities.
than employing a textbook question/answer methodology, we employ a
conversational approach which enables us to determine the depth of the
candidates general IT knowledge and ability, as well as their level of
knowledge in those areas of expertise that bear on a client's particular
requirements. These interviews
generally last between 45 minutes to hour.
This primary approach is utilized for most technical interviews.
secondary approach is used in those instances where our primary interviewers
are overbooked or when the skill being tested is not a part of their
expertise. This secondary approach uses
TeckChek (primary) and Brain Bench (secondary) web-based testing. TeckChek is nationally recognized for its
validity in technical screening. SMCI
has been using TeckChek for several years and has found it to be valid in
measuring technical knowledge and ability across a wide range of technical
skills. We use Brain Bench for those
technical areas not covered by TeckChek.
3) Employment reference checks from the candidate's
previous managers. The employment
reference checks consist of two to four conversations with the applicant's
previous and current managers discussing the following areas:
|| Technical skills
|| Analytical skills
|| Writing skills
|| Communication skills
|| Professional demeanor
|| Interpersonal skills
|| Attendance and punctuality
|| Observance of company rules
|| Observance of dress codes
|| Work ethic
|| Work quality and performance levels
4) Background Checks and Drug Testing. Once a consulting candidate has been
accepted for assignment with a client, SMCI utilizes the services of a
professional background check service to perform those specific checks required
by the client. These may include
educational verification, credit history, DMV checks and checks for criminal
history as well as client-specified drug screening.
is important to note that consultant resources that are obtained by SMCI from
third party business partners on a sub-contract basis are screened by SMCI
applying the same screening approach used for SMCI-recruited resources.
provided to SMCI by our clients on a payrolling service basis are not screened
by SMCI unless we are specifically requested to do so by the client. (It is not uncommon for our clients to ask
us to technically qualify these resources.)
However, SMCI will perform background checks and drug screening for
these resources according to the client's requirements.
SMCI actually carries out the level of
screening that we commit to. It has
become “standard” in the industry to detail the extent of screening done. However, reality often does not comport with
the promises articulated. SMCI is
willing to document its adherence to its articulated screening practices.
SMCI provides a complete orientation (or “onboarding”)
program for all its consulting placements.
This program is not dependent on the length of an assignment and it is
provided, completely at SMCI expense, for all SMCI consulting staff assigned to
a client. These orientation services
are provided for all SMCI resources regardless of whether they were recruited
by SMCI, provided to SMCI via a sub-contract arrangement with a SMCI third
party business partner, or are a resource for which we are providing payrolling
services for our client.
plan covers general topics relating to employment as a contract professional as
well as topics that are tailored to each individual client. SMCI account executives work with a client's
contract management and IT Departments to develop orientation topics specific
to the client's needs and requirements.
At a minimum, these would include the client's regulations
regarding smoking, alcohol consumption and illicit drug usage while on
assignment. Other client specific
topics are developed as the business relationship matures with individual
client departments and organizations (e.g. topics specific to remote client
SMCI orientation takes place between the time of offer
acceptance and the start date. This
orientation for contract professionals provided to our clients consists, at a
minimum, of the following topics:
Appropriate professional behavior while on assignment
at a client site: e.g. issues regarding
attendance, punctuality, professional demeanor, avoidance of local politics,
topics as outlined above.
details, e.g. record keeping, payroll reporting, parking, work hours, reporting
location, start date and time, etc.
or concerns related to individual project assignments as set out by the hiring
client related issues such as particulars in the work environment, dress code,
rules and regulations, travel and expense reimbursement.
Our clients frequently ask if payrolled consultants are
treated in the same manner as consultants recruited and provided by SMCI. Yes - payrolled employees are in all
respects treated the same as other SMCI employees and within this context are
provided with the same client orientation at the beginning of an assignment.
At the Beginning of an Assignment
During the first week of an assignment, the SMCI account
executive responsible for a particular resource, confers with both the SMCI
contract resource and the client manager to ensure that the placement has
gotten off to a successful start and to identify and resolve any issues that
might later interfere with the successful completion of the assignment;
During the Term of an Assignment
The SMCI account executive(s) meet or speak with all consultants and
managers (if allowed by the client's vendor policies) at least once every two
weeks. We seek ongoing feedback so that
any problems that arise are addressed early to ensure the continuity of the
As deemed necessary, we address any issues regarding: attitude, punctuality, personnel and
During the assignment our account executives and recruiters maintain
regular contact with all SMCI resources on client assignment. We regularly visit our consultants, listen
to them, stop by with small ad hoc gifts, provide them with gifts and “awards”
on their birthdays and various employment anniversaries, take them out to
lunch, and participate with them at after hours gatherings. Open communication and sincere appreciation
encourages our employees to satisfy their commitment, accept assignment
extensions as offered by the clients, and seek our assistance for their next
And again, we believe that
it is of significance that we do not distinguish between SMCI recruited resources,
client payrolled resources or resources provided to us on a sub-contract basis
by third party SMCI business partners in the maintenance of these
Problem resolution and escalation procedures
One of the main
values in this ongoing monitoring approach to ensuring the continued quality of
the placement is the opportunity identifying and resolving potential issues
before they actually manifest themselves.
Of course, when the
client articulates specific concerns they must be immediately addressed with an
appropriate resolution that meets with the client's expectations. This resolution and follow through are
primarily the responsibility of the account executive for the client. However, there may be issues which are
outside the scope of these responsibilities, instances in which the client is
not satisfied with the resolution carried out by the account executive.
To address these
instances SMCI maintains a formal escalation process to ensure that the client
is aware of the appropriate avenues available it for problem resolution. The following is a statement of this
SMCI's escalation process is
single tier, with immediate access to the President and CEO of SMCI, two
tiered, or three tiered, depending on the nature of the issue.
For issues involving a breach of
SMCI's Code of Ethics, business
practices of questionable ethics or legality, or operation of a regional office
with respect to professionalism, escalation is directly to Spencer L. Karpf, President and CEO. Mr. Karpf can be reached at SMCI's corporate
office in Glendale, CA. His contact
x213 (24-hour paging)
For issues involving SMCI
consultants' performance or behavior, escalation is three tiered.
First line of response should come
from the Sr. Account Executive assigned to the account.
the account executive is not available because of scheduled holidays, vacations
or unscheduled illness, another senior member of the regional office team will
be informed regarding management of the account and will function in the
primary account executives absence.
Second-tier response, in the event
that the client's management personnel are not satisfied with the response of
the account executive to the issue raised, is to the Regional Office
Manager. The individual with this responsibility is:
Robert Maltzman, Vice President, Business Development
Tel: 818.240.3177, x214
Elizabeth Shober, Vice President, Business Development
Tel: 415.433.1333, x206
Deborah House, Vice President, Business Development
Tel: 602.230.5100, x14
Jeff Whitesides, Vice President, Business Development
Tel: 704.588.8011, x14
Third-tier response, in the event
that the client's management personnel continue to be dissatisfied with the
resolution of the issue they have raised, is directly to the President and CEO,
as detailed above.
involving the behavior of the SMCI Account Executive assigned to the client
account, the escalation process is two tiered with the initial contact directed
to the Regional Manager and then to the President and CEO as described above.
At the end of the assignment
executives meet or speak with the resource's client manager to discuss the
consultant's assignment and get any feedback on the consultant's level of
We also ask the manager to provide us with formal
feedback by of filling out an “SMCI Consultant Evaluation” form at the end of
an assignment. This evaluation becomes
part of the consultant's permanent record and contributes to a determination of
whether and in what circumstances we will utilize the consultant's services in