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Tech Staffing: Why It's Harder Than Ever

Posted by Jeff Pelliccio on Apr 28, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In ICS insights

IT staffing continues to provide challenges for multiple industries: The positions are more important than ever, but changes in expectations and technology are making talent acquisition more of a challenge. Here are several of those challenges, how they are affecting the market, and how hiring strategies can take advantage of the current changes!

Continuing Challenges for Cyber Security 

Cybersecurity, much to the annoyance of CIOs, isn't getting any easier. Mobile threats continue to proliferate, and modern security answers to data vulnerabilities require frequent, company-wide changes. It's clear that the challenges of cybersecurity won't be disappearing anytime soon. 

This puts a lot of pressure on hiring managers, who need to find the right hires to important (and stressful) positions with requirements that tend to shift whenever a new problem emerges. Specialists are in high demand. The key here is immediacy: The ability to react immediately to security threats and pivot your talent acquisition strategy as needed. 

Training Lag vs. Current Necessities 

Reports show that even though tech hiring is expected to keep pace in coming months compared to last year, one of the biggest expected problems according to CIOs is recruiting – specifically, it's getting harder to find skilled professionals in the IT field. To break it down by area, database management, desktop support, network administration, and cyber security positions are getting harder to fill: Since this covers most of the current IT responsibilities, hiring managers have their work cut out! 

What we're seeing here is a training lag throughout the information industry. Schools are working to ramp up their training programs and IT graduates are expected to increase over time, but the current skills gap still exists in IT staffing, and it takes time for education to meet that demand. 

Companies struggling to recruit external IT talent should consider internal data training and continuing education opportunities to help foster the right certifications within the company. 

Talent Migration 

A popular field with skills in high demand tends to see greater migration as employees seek higher wages and growth opportunities by relocating. This tends to push IT skills to high-population areas. Illinois, for example, tends to get most immediate Midwest IT talent, but outside of that area, it loses most talent to the West Coast and Texas. This push toward cities can make it more difficult for companies to find the specific skills they need, especially if they are not located in a major metropolitan area. 

The solution is straightforward: Expand the range of staffing solutions and focus on unique company benefits to regain lost talent. 

Identifying Salary Ranges for Top Talent 

IT employee salaries are in a tricky spot right now. The expectation is that salaries will adjust away from exiting demand. According to 63% of IT leaders, salaries are expected to remain stagnant for the foreseeable future. 

The problem is that demand does still exist, and IT employees are used to high demand pushing higher salaries. This puts greater pressure on the hiring process to provide a reasonable package that reflects both market forces and the need to retain vital talent when other opportunities may surface elsewhere. It's also an opportunity for HR departments to attract new talent with compensation packages that break the current norms. 

Greater Demands for Data Analytics 

The shift of data analytics into a necessary position has also had an important impact on the IT talent market. More and more frequently, companies are identifying analytics as a specialty requiring a full-time employee to manage. Training for these full-time positions, however, is still catching up. 

The gap is creating a new crunch for many hiring managers now tasked with hiring a specialist in such a young, evolving field. Fortunately, this can also create opportunities for new in-house training and education support initiatives to elevate current data skills: Part-time data analysts and those with data skills in the company can be trained to cover demand if talent acquisition appears particularly difficult. 

The Advent of New Tech Fields Increases Hiring Competition 

We mentioned the expected growth of IT graduates in the coming years, which should help meet hiring demands. However, there will be increased competition for these hires. 

A strong example this year is automation. As automation grows rapidly in manufacturing and service marketers, it will require more data and software technicians as well as traditional engineering positions. But how much will this demand grow, and when will it happen? Time will tell, but for now, this corner of the market could siphon away talent from other industries if growth is high. 

The same is true of alternative energy, AR/VR, medical tech, and other growing fields, which are beginning to compete more directly for necessary talent. IT graduates, spoiled for choice, are likely to look beyond compensation when making decisions between these new fields. 

Are you looking for staffing solutions to deal with IT and data shortages? Find talent now at the right time contacting ICS and letting us know what talent your company needs – right away.