MSP Solutions To Building A Diverse Talent Pipeline

Let’s explore how a focus on equity and inclusion not only addresses the evolving needs of the workforce but also provides solutions to hiring and retaining top talent.


The job market is evolving and changing within our IT channel ecosystem. Layoffs and downsizing occur as a new generation of Gen Z employees enters the workforce. In our sector, innovation is constant, and change is inevitable. Increasing technical advancements abound within the space of AI, cloud, data storage and IoT, to name a few.

Likewise, the methods of hiring and retaining talent face unprecedented challenges. Economic uncertainties further exacerbate this issue, urging us to rethink our employee recruitment, retention and engagement strategies.

Half of the IT channel community is grappling with this very issue. As an inclusive business leader, you are not alone.

“I see the biggest challenge to our managed services business in 2024 is employee retention,” said Corey Kirkendoll, CEO of 5K Technical Services. According to the Plano, Texas-based MSP, “It’s hard to find the right training, work-balance that works for both me and my employees.”

Kirkendoll continued: “Trying to keep them engaged from a personal and professional level is a continued challenge.”

Embracing Change Amid Economic Uncertainty

During times of economic uncertainty, it is tempting to stick to what some would consider the tried-and-true talent acquisition methods. Relying on platforms like LinkedIn and word-of-mouth has indeed proven effective in the past. However, the workforce dynamics are evolving rapidly, with a significant shift toward a younger demographic. The generational shift demands a re-evaluation of where and how MSPs seek talent.

A younger workforce is inherently diverse and seeks workplaces that prioritize inclusion. Traditional methods might not be the best approach to attract and retain this new wave of talent. By expanding your talent search to platforms that align with these values, such as industry-specific forums, diversity-focused job boards and community networks, you open the door to a more inclusive and dynamic pool of candidates.

Bridging The Gap: Attracting Entry-Level Talent

Inclusion and business development run parallel, addressing the challenge of building a skilled pipeline. The younger generation seeks workplaces that reflect their values and offer growth opportunities for all backgrounds. By creating an environment that fosters collaboration and values diverse perspectives, you not only attract top entry-level talent but also provide them with a sense of belonging. This nurturing environment is essential for retaining talent and fostering long-term loyalty.

Adapting To New Resources And Tools

The evolving workforce demands untapped resources, tools and talent sources. You are at the forefront of this transformation. Recognizing the need for change is the first step toward revolutionizing your approach to talent acquisition.

Investing in tools that facilitate unbiased recruitment, such as blind resume screening and diverse interview panels, helps to remove unconscious biases from the hiring process. Furthermore, partnering with organizations that specialize in providing diverse talent, like minority-focused colleges and organizations, broadens your access to a rich pool of potential hires. Your unique perspective allows you to integrate these resources seamlessly and drive change within your organization.

One Solution: Per Scholas

Don’t worry—I am not leaving you with all the hypotheticals and no solutions. I would not be me if I did not offer at least one solution.

Per Scholas, a nongovernmental agency and not-for-profit with 20 U.S. locations, presents a promising solution to MSP hiring and retention challenges. Per Scholas is a nationwide IT talent training school offering a comprehensive approach to training your future employees. Its mission is to close the tech skills divide, pairing graduates with future employees like 5K Technical Solutions.

By tapping into its resources, Kirkendoll and others find new talent pipelines as well as curriculum to upskill and reskill his existing team.

Shaping The Future Together

As an inclusive MSP leader in the IT channel, you hold the power to drive transformation within your organization. Embracing diversity, exploring new talent sources and investing in unbiased recruitment tools will lead your company to a brighter future. Together, we can catalyze change, foster innovation and ensure your organization’s success in an ever-evolving landscape.

Per Scholas National Operations Director Debbie Roman, Kirkendoll and CRN Columnist Cass Cooper shared their expertise and experience with CRN parent company The Channel Company via an online seminar. You can watch the full presentation above.

Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash