Survey Says: Hiring Hurdles Abound

Feb. 27, 2008
Recruiting skilled IT workers a challenge for many CIOs

Locating experienced people tops the list of staffing concerns for technology executives today, a new survey shows. Nearly one in four (24 percent) chief information officers (CIOs) polled said finding skilled information technology (IT) professionals is their greatest staffing challenge. Providing employees with adequate skills training ranked a close second, cited by 23 percent of respondents.

According to the Robert Half survey, CIOs were asked, "Of the following staffing issues within the IT department, which do you consider to be your greatest challenge as a CIO?"

  • Finding skilled technology professionals 24%
  • Providing staff with adequate professional development resources to keep skills current 23%
  • Keeping employees productive 17%
  • Dealing with personality conflicts between employees 11%
  • Developing defined career paths for IT staff members 10%
  • Other 5%
  • None/dont know 10%

"The need for experienced IT staff has grown in recent years as a result of increased investments by companies in new and updated systems and software," said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. "In areas such as web development, database management, wireless networking and applications engineering, the supply of qualified professionals has not kept pace with the demand, leading to multiple job offers for candidates with the right mix of skills and experience."

CIOs at the largest firms (1,000+ employees) are having the greatest difficulty locating IT talent: 27 percent of IT executives from big companies named this their top staffing challenge. At smaller-sized companies, skills development is a greater concern than hiring. Twenty-six percent of CIOs at small companies (100 to 249 employees) said providing adequate training is their biggest concern, above finding qualified IT professionals (22 percent).

Lee noted that while companies with less staff may lack the budget for formal, in-house training or tuition reimbursement programs, their employees dont have to forego technical education. "Smaller firms often rely on affordable external training providers or Web-based resources that can help employees keep their skills current or earn valuable technical accreditations," Lee said.

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