5 Challenges Hiring Workday Talent That Can Sabotage Your Candidate Search Before It Starts


10.12.2022 | Staffing Services


Though just about anyone hiring technical talent today feels like they’re repeatedly pushing a boulder up a hill, seeking out Workday talent presents a whole other level of difficulty. The growth spurt in usage of this enterprise-level cloud provider has contributed to an imbalance in supply and demand that most companies acutely feel. Yet if you’re going to overcome the challenges to hiring Workday professionals, you’ll need to understand the underlying causes.

From what we’ve seen, these are the most common explanations of the current talent crunch—and the ways Workday staffing agencies like Agilysis can reduce headaches and accelerate hiring timelines.

Compensation Needs to Catch Up Across the Board

As the average tech salary has gone up by 6.9% between 2020 and 2021, we’ve seen Workday salaries keep pace as well. In fact, the rise in compensation has translated to greater disputes about earnings overall.

Let’s say that a company is setting out to hire a Workday expert with manager-level expertise. In the current market, that person can easily command a six-figure salary. Now, imagine trying to justify that expense to the potential new hire’s manager, who would make less than their direct report. It’s a hard sell to stakeholders up the chain of command.

It’s these current limitations in corporate pay structures that are handicapping their ability to keep pace with the marketplace. Scaling up isn’t always an option either. Where some technologies allow you to hire a junior person to grow into a role, Workday isn’t quite the same. Typically, people who specialize in this enterprise suite of cloud products work solo or are part of a smaller team. There are fewer people from them to learn alongside, so there’s less chance to adjust on-the-job without major knowledge gaps taking place (more on that later).

Workday Implementors Have Locked Down Talent

The Workday space consists of a finite and close-knit group of people. If you browse through the employers of potential candidates on LinkedIn, you may see a repeated list of 15 to 20 firms, those organizations which have earned the designation of implementors from the enterprise cloud provider. Large segments of the workforce make their home in these businesses for two key reasons:

  1. These organizations treat Workday as their core expertise and can justify allocating more resources to hiring a wide spectrum of Finance, HCM, and other module specialists.
  2. Any Workday consultant who chooses to work for these organizations has the benefit of engaging in different projects, often across industries and clients. There’s no shortage of variety and that keeps plenty content in their roles.

Most of the time when organizations can coax these niche professionals out of their metaphorical cave, it isn’t through a job posting or a direct call to the candidate. It’s by working with a staffing firm that has put the time into building relationships in the space. Over weeks, months, or even years, recruiters will have built the connection so that when the time is right, they can say “Here’s an opportunity we know you’ve been craving at a price point you want.” That’s what will get Workday professionals in these companies to move.

Remote Operations Increased Competition

Even before the pandemic, there were segments of the workforce that were decentralized, working outside the office. However, shifting mentalities have convinced more organizations that they can function without bringing their team into the office—especially in the IT sector. Now that remote work is normalized, many organizations in need of niche talent like Workday expertise are finding their own recruiting engine can’t attract the people they need.

Here’s a hypothetical situation. In the past, there may have been a regional surplus of Workday talent, let’s say in a metropolitan area like Atlanta. Companies based in the ATL historically could have kept to recruiting from the local talent pool and been mostly successful from a logistical standpoint. With virtual operations now in vogue, it’s like the local talent pool, once isolated, has opened to a larger ocean of enterprise. From L.A. and New York to Chicago and Houston, corporations with larger recruiting engines can leverage their oversized resources to outcompete smaller companies.

If you don’t have a gargantuan recruitment budget, then you alone will struggle to juggle the relationship building efforts that national corporations can achieve with ease. In fact, working with a specialized staffing firm is one of the primary ways to avoid getting muscled out of the race by bigger dogs in the now expanded talent pool.

Singular Skillsets Are Still Hard to Find

If you’ve been paying attention to the evolution of Workday solutions, you’re probably aware that some emerging modules have been harder to hire for than others. Think front runners like Finance, Extend, and Prism. When there were a smaller number of early adopters, the size of that workforce was commensurate to the demand, but the workforce has failed to scale alongside the trio’s meteoric rise in popularity. 

The expanded adoption of the above modules retreads the exact same territory and problems as the HCM side as it scaled up: there’s not enough qualified talent to satisfy open requirements. As a result, there’s been a modification to the way some Workday professionals approach employment.

One way is double-dipping. Consultants will take a part-time position with one company and part-time position with another company, doubling up to make serious bank. It’s a practice that’s great for Workday professionals who want to maximize their earning power, but not for organizations that want on-demand personnel to address the wide spectrum of issues they encounter.

Though hiring these specialists isn’t impossible, organizations need to have a good sense of competitive compensation, respect the growing preference for hybrid or remote work, and offer appealing benefits. Otherwise, Workday talent will continue to take contract jobs that let them have their cake and eat it too.

Jack-Of-All-Trade Candidates Are Scarce

Workday is its own beast in terms of the coding and the language. As a result, there isn’t always a whole lot of versatile candidates swimming around for you to scoop them up from the talent pool. Typically, a Workday consultant will exert the effort to build proficiency around one module and do so as quickly as possible. From there, they’ll expand into another and another, creating a piecemeal method of building up their Workday knowledge base—one that must contend with an ever-expanding product list.

Finding someone who is balanced is a difficult prospect for that very reason. Most organizations want someone who possesses a multifaceted knowledge of various modules, keeping labor costs low to manage a wide variety of issues. The way things are right now, you might have to hire one or two people if you attempt your search on your own. Again, the right staffing firm can help to find the big fish hiding in other ponds, but only because they’ve done the upfront work to spot and track them.

Simplifying Your Search with Workday Recruiters

In some cases, organizations can find seasoned people on their own, but I will say that the odds decrease if you are attempting to find someone within less than a six-month period. If your leadership team has accounted for market conditions down the road and you have a roadmap to build relationships with existing talent, you can overcome these hurdles. Otherwise, you likely don’t want to wait that long to fill a job.  

On the other hand, Agilysis has skillful recruiters who know the marketplace, understand where scarcities exist, and grasp what’s competitive from a compensation standpoint. Plus, they’ve put in the hard work to cultivate connections with top talent throughout the industry. And if you are unable to find a permanent hire immediately, we also can provide everything from application management services to Workday stabilization to support your operations. No matter the need, we can take the boulder off your hands and make your search a breeze.

Ready to reduce your challenges hiring Workday talent? Our experienced team of recruiters can take charge of your next search and bring full-time technical experts into your organization.

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