Back in September, I pondered whether there was really a shortage of consultants to work on LabWare projects in this post: Shortages of LabWare Consultants?

The Current Situation
At that time, whether or not LabWare, itself, had shortages, there did seem to be people generally available in the marketplace. At this point, I think they’ve been snapped-up. This seems to be a strong year for that product. In fact, other products seem to be doing well this year, too. While I’m certain there are people out there still looking for projects, not quite finding the right fit for their skills, I don’t happen to know of any in the LabWare space and only a handful in other spaces, as well.

It Doesn’t Hurt to Look, But…
If you have a new block of work, it certainly doesn’t hurt to start looking. After all, it is possible that someone might just happen to have some time they can give to your project and/or be just the right fit for what you need.

On the other hand, a lot of the projects that are looking seem to be those that were looking in December and just still calling all the same people constantly asking, “Are you sure you’re not interested? Are you sure? Are you certain? Please reconsider? Please just think about it. Please end us your resume because we don’t have any to give to our customer!” Look at it, this way – back in December, when contracts were still being finalized for 2016 projects, if you didn’t find someone, you’re extremely less likely to find someone, now, when the year has turned out to be so busy. Having your recruiters call the same list of people over and over just wastes our time, basically.

So, What Can You Do if You Waited Too Long?
As someone (possibly Benjamin Franklin) said, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” So, if you’re finding that you’re calling all the same people and getting the same lack of interest, try doing something different.

If you’re not yet at the point where the request is so old that the budget has disappeared then you might want to consider handing the work out in pieces. Instead of trying to get someone to come and do indefinite work, group the work in blocks. As you have your recruiters call people, have them ask if the person could commit to do what might be 40 hours of work in the next month or so. Prioritize the work to make sure you get the most important work done in the timeframe you need and let your project manager handle the timing with that person. You might even need several people, depending how soon the work must be done and how many hours resources can commit within your required timeframe.

On the other hand, some of you aren’t finding people because your projects have a bad reputation. Consultants talk. Most of the industry knows which projects are “problems” and that can be difficult to get around.

Even if you do find people, you need to find someone who will actually finish and do a proper job of it for you. You need to find people with a good track record of working with others and working remotely. One way to find them is to ask around. All those people you met at the last user group meeting or industry conference can help. If you’re not already linked with them in places like LinkedIn, just ask them to link. Ask others to help you link with them. I find that people are pretty helpful in this regard.

What not to do: I will reiterate that I’m too busy to keep getting phone calls and e-mails about what comes down to the same handful of projects that no-one seems to want to take. We’re all busy, myself included. Please be respectful of that and let the rest of us focus on the work we already have and the upcoming projects we might commit to.

Gloria Metrick
GeoMetrick Enterprises

One Thought to “If You Waited Too Long for LabWare and Other Consultants”

  1. The shortage of qualified LIMS Engineers and Developers is real. We are finding it difficult to hire qualified resources. I do not see any end in site for quite a while. It is not acceptable to sit by and say, “Well, that is the way it is and I guess we will have to live with it and adapt to it.” We are working on a more long term approach to the situation by building two Free and Open resources. One is and the other is The two sites go hand-in-hand. We have our non-profit company setup to promote and manage both of these properties in order to build up skilled labor and to find jobs for them. The sites are both currently under development but will be released in about a months time. The sites will be free and open to everyone without exception.

    All of the vendors, clients and consultants in our community need skilled, trained, qualified labor and we need a place to easily find that labor and promote our job opportunities. We want this to go beyond just LIMS to include nearly all labor needs for the laboratory. Expanding the scope to cover lab professionals will provide the momentum needed to build these resources faster. I just hope this initiative helps to solve the longer term problem.

Do you agree? Disagree? Have something to Add? Here's your chance - make a comment!