Case Studies / Merge IT

Merge IT scales diverse hiring with STARs.

About Merge IT

Merge IT, a staffing and solutions firm, helps 300 global companies build out their IT teams by placing talented professionals in open positions. Merge IT has provided top talent to Fortune 500 companies for over a decade. To date, they have placed more than 7,000 IT workers.

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Merge IT searches for qualified STARs.

Since its founding in 2015, Merge IT has fostered a deep commitment to creating opportunities for job candidates who are Skilled Through Alternative Routes (STARs) rather than through a bachelor’s degree. In a hiring environment where many employers are struggling to fill roles, STARs often go overlooked. But Merge IT recognizes that STARs have the skills that employers are looking for and can be the solution to perceived “skill gaps.”

Many of Merge IT’s clients find little success filling roles using traditional job boards and recruiting methods that focus on degree-based accomplishments rather than skills. STARs account for over half of the US workforce, and Merge IT knew they could tap into this pool of talent to meet the requirements of their clients’ open jobs.

However, initially, Merge IT wasn’t able to meet their clients’ expectations with STARs. Part of the challenge was time. Merge IT’s clients count on them to fill numerous roles every day; the success of their business depends on filling those roles quickly.

“When we’re trying to fill these roles, the clock is ticking,” says Misty Smith, a resource manager for Merge IT. “And searching for STARs added many hours to my day.”

Steve Masterson, Merge IT’s Global Talent Acquisition Director, concurs. “It took a lot of time to find STARs because we had to reach out to individual organizations committed to helping place STARs directly and build those relationships one-by-one,” he says. “It was like finding a needle in a haystack.”

Merge IT also lacked a way to ensure that the STARs they did find had the specific skills that matched the roles their clients were looking to fill. They needed a way to validate STARs’ skills earned through alternative routes in a comparable way to how they might validate those earned via a degree.

Merge IT was motivated to solve this problem; they recognized that STARs could be a valuable complement to their own sourcing pipeline and an important addition to their clients’ workforces.

Our clients want to hire somebody that is eager to learn, ready to grow, is polished and prepared,” says Masterson. “We know the candidates we find through Stellarworx check all of those boxes.”

— Steve Masterson, Merge IT’s Global Talent Acquisition Director
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Stellarworx is a “one-stop shop” for qualified STARs.

When Merge IT found Stellarworx, they knew immediately they had found a true partner to help them meet their clients’ needs and fulfill their commitment to placing STARs in the right roles.

“Our mission is to find the most talented people for our clients,” says Smith. “We like to place people from non-traditional backgrounds because we believe that a lot of the skillsets they’ve gained in other positions can carry over to IT with a little training. Stellarworx makes it easy.”

Stellarworx offers Merge IT access to many STARs in one place, so their team can quickly search for and identify qualified talent. Processes that used to take weeks have been dramatically streamlined: Merge IT can now start interviewing qualified STARs within 24-48 hours.

Merge IT has greater confidence that the STARs they’re recruiting are ready for placement. Here’s why: Stellarworx was built to incorporate the integral role that talent developers play in providing pathways for STARs. Merge IT knows when they are searching for STARs on Stellarworx that the candidate profiles have been verified by talent developers and reflect the proficiency in skills employers are looking for. Additionally, Stellarworx’s AI-based skills matching makes it easy for Merge IT to see which candidates have the greatest potential for the positions their clients have available.

“Our clients want to hire somebody that is eager to learn, ready to grow, is polished and prepared,” says Masterson. “We know the candidates we find through Stellarworx check all of those boxes.”

Stellarworx is a genius program. They take all the guesswork out of hiring because we know their candidates have been fully vetted and trained, so they come in ready to contribute on day one.”

— Steve Masterson, Merge IT’s Global Talent Acquisition Director
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STARs deliver results beyond the bottom line.

Since Merge IT works with so many global companies, they’ve seen firsthand the positive shift in their clients’ mindset about hiring STARs. Their clients realize the value STARs bring to both their corporate culture and their bottom line. This value is backed up by research: recent studies prove that diverse teams perform better, are more innovative, and bring in more revenue for their companies.*

With Stellarworx, Merge IT has built an excellent track record of placing STARs with enterprise-level companies as contract workers who have gone on to be hired full-time — and promoted. “Every STAR I’ve found through Stellarworx is the best of the best,” says Masterson.

And Merge IT knows that their commitment to STARs is making an impact beyond their own company. In helping to bring talented, diverse candidates to some of the country’s largest employers, their work is having a ripple effect.

“The college-educated people out there are getting called by a thousand other recruiters; they have plenty of options,” says Masterson. “We believe that people without college degrees should have access to the same opportunities as others…it’s good for the workers, for the business, and for society.”

By placing STARs within their clients’ organizations, Merge IT helps bring diverse perspectives to business strategies so that their clients better reflect the customers they serve. “Working with Merge IT has been a wonderful experience because their mission aligns with our own,” says Stellarworx Client Success Associate, Nilla Oyunchuluun, who is a STAR herself. “They really understand how important it is to open up the market to place more STARs.”

Our clients are asking for STARs, and we’re delivering,” says Masterson. “And when we place STARs we find through Stellarworx, we know we’re doing something bigger and better for the world.

Merge IT's Journey

Merge IT could not find STARs fast enough to fill their clients’ demands for talent

Merge IT joins Stellarworx

Merge IT reduces STARs recruiting time from weeks to days

Merge IT increases their commitment to placing STARs through their partnership with Stellarworx

*SOURCES:
“Diversity wins: How inclusion matters” report by McKinsey, May 2020.
“Drive Results Through Workforce Diversity” white paper by Gartner.
Research from Opportunity @Work
Blue-Collar Workers Make the Leap to Tech Jobs – No Degree Necessary www.wsj.com/articles/tech-jobs-no-college-degree-necessary-11649371535
Companies are ditching degree requirements, but what about their hiring software? www.marketplace.org/2022/11/28/hiring-software-college-degree-bias-vs-skills

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