7 Tips for building your NetSuite talent pipeline

By Megan-Louise Burnham

Finding NetSuite talent is trickier than ever. A spike in the adoption of cloud ERP products means more businesses are looking for administrators, developers, and other professionals who can help them make the most of their tech investments. But supply is struggling to keep pace with demand, leaving a growing throng of NetSuite customers competing over the market’s limited talent pool. 

If companies want to operate, enhance, and develop their NetSuite platform in line with business objectives (both now and in the future), they need to think about their NetSuite talent pipeline. 

Building a pipeline of NetSuite talent means you’ll have pre-qualified candidates ready to step up and fill roles as and when you need them. That way, if your ERP needs change, your business grows, or you lose employees to competitors in this turbulent hiring landscape, you’ll have a pool of suitable professionals you can tap into—reducing time-to-hire and lost productivity in the process. 

Obstacles to building your NetSuite talent pipeline

Of course, creating an orderly queue of qualified NetSuite professionals in a skill-scarce market that’s short on candidates isn’t easy. According to our latest survey of NetSuite professionals, 50% of hiring managers believe there’s a tech skills gap in the NetSuite community, and 56% of them say that the skills gap has increased in the last 12 months. 

The tech talent shortage is a complex issue that requires a multifaceted solution. We asked NetSuite hiring managers what their most pressing tech staffing concerns were and what they felt would be the most challenging aspects to tackle in the coming year. 

What are the biggest staffing challenges facing NetSuite hiring managers in the next 12 months?

  • Increased competition for talent (46%) 
  • Talent retention (34%) 
  • Talent attraction (30%) 
  • Lack of skills and experience in the market (28%) 
  • Difficulty paying the market rate for candidates (23%) 

With many compounding issues at play, building a robust and sustainable talent pipeline means thinking outside of the box and employing various hiring and talent creation strategies.  

How to build your NetSuite talent pipeline

There are a few routes available when it’s time to start building your pipeline; which one is best for your business depends on your situation, size, and how much resource (whether that’s time or money) you have to work with. Let’s take a look at a few options. 

DIY hiring

If you have an in-house recruitment team, or a hiring manager willing to undertake the search themselves, then you can take the classic route of putting out job ads and looking for candidates that fit the bill.  

The downside is that it’ll take you a considerable amount of time to source suitable candidates given how tight the talent market is right now. Hiring managers tell us that it takes, on average, four months to find a new NetSuite hire—with 38% looking to hire a NetSuite professional in the next 12 months. 

Plus, if the person doing the hiring isn’t particularly knowledgeable about NetSuite, they might struggle to size up an applicant’s technical skills.  

You can up your chances of landing the right candidate (and cut down on hiring costs) by finding online spaces where potential candidates might spend time and by taking advantage of social media.  

Consider a mix of permanent and contract staff

When candidates with the right skills are in short supply, it’s not always possible to stock your team with permanent, full-time professionals. Nor is it always necessary; NetSuite projects will come and go, requirements will change, and you might occasionally need extra resource to help you achieve your ERP goals.  

With 39% of NetSuite users stating that attracting candidates with the right skills for their industry is difficult, adding contract or freelance talent to your pipeline will help you plug skills and experience gaps when the need arises.   

Review your offering

Demand for talent is driving up salaries, but that doesn’t mean that the company with the deepest pockets will automatically win the best talent. The way we work, and the things we want from our careers, have changed enormously in the past few years.  

That shift presents businesses of all sizes with an opportunity to investigate candidates’ priorities, invest in your employer brand, and create a benefits package and an employee experience that will make great talent want to work for you.  

Flexibility, autonomy, trust, and purpose are all key drivers for tech professionals in the market today, so think bigger and consider what you can offer candidates that sets you apart from your peers.  

Want to know what NetSuite professionals want from their job roles today? We asked them. Check out our blog post to find out how to attract and keep the best talent.   

Upskill existing employees

Almost two-thirds (63%) of NetSuite hiring managers believe there is a lack of qualified and experienced candidates in the marketplace, and (46%) believe there is too much competition for talent. If you’re struggling to find the right candidate on the open market, you could look at upskilling existing staff members. 

Best suited to large organizations that already have a pool of NetSuite users, this tactic entails scoping out ‘super users’ within your workforce—that’s staff who’ve shown a particular aptitude or enthusiasm for working with NetSuite in the course of their non-IT roles. 

Once you’ve honed in on an employee with the ability and drive to move into a NetSuite-focused role, invest in training and certification to build their knowledge of the platform and create your very own NetSuite talent in-house.  

You can always bring in a NetSuite training provider to help you with this task and make sure your budding NetSuite professionals are on the right track, and learning exactly the skills you need on your team.  

Faced with a scant candidate market in the face of growing client demand, some NetSuite partners have started their own internal programs. Many now offer structured training schemes that guide participants from a NetSuite Support role to a career in NetSuite Consultancy, enabling them to develop talent and build a pipeline of professionals who’ll grow with the business.  

A quick note: upskilling is usually more appropriate for filling functional roles like Administrator; expecting Sam from Accounts to become a NetSuite Developer over the summer is a bit of a big ask.  

Engage with schools, colleges, and community organizations

At the very root of the tech talent shortage is a lack of new blood. To bolster talent pipelines of the future, businesses need to go to the source, and do their part to encourage more people to start a career in the tech space.  

The issue with traditional education when it comes to tech subjects is that things move too fast for schools and colleges to keep up. By the time something makes it onto the curriculum and students hit the jobs market, the technologies employers are using and the skills they want have changed.  

Businesses can help bridge this gap between education and commercial needs by partnering with institutions to impart valuable skills before students enter the workforce. Apprenticeships and graduate programs that give young professionals real-world experience and practical skills are also massively useful for passing on knowledge.  

Match up existing tech professionals with new employees, create mentorship programs, and immediately infuse junior employees with on-the-job systems knowledge that will build on their theoretical education. Investing in graduates is an effective way to mould budding tech professionals, cultivate in-house skills, and develop talent that will grow with your business. 

Focus on inclusivity

Though better aligning education with current demand for skills is crucial to feed the tech talent pipeline, don’t restrict your search on traditional learning pathways.  

More and more tech professionals are coming into the industry from non-standard backgrounds—54% of the NetSuite professionals we surveyed do not believe that you need a degree to work with NetSuite. Clearly, the potential of self-taught technologists should not be overlooked. Online learning resources and growing access to cloud tech are making it easier than ever for those interested in tech to build valuable, practical skills on their own time.  

Focusing on inclusivity and casting a wide net will help you build a team of diverse tech professionals, and source talent that may otherwise be overlooked.  

Using specialist recruiters

Finally, enlist the help of specialist recruiters. Though often more costly than recruiting in-house, a NetSuite staffing expert that knows the technology and the market can make short work of sourcing great candidates, even in a skill-scarce market. Plus, the fee you pay for staffing consultation services may well end up being less than the cost of the time and productivity lost to taking on the challenge yourself.  

Looking to expand your team?

We are dedicated to providing the best NetSuite professionals to our customers, with 2,000+ newNetSuite pros added to our database every year.

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