Home Enterprise Staff Finding, retaining new staff a daunting task for CIOs

Finding, retaining new staff a daunting task for CIOs

Finding new staff and retaining them is still a significant challenge for Australia’s ICT companies, even in a “prosperous” market, according to a newly released survey of the technology sector employment market.

The survey, by IT recruitment firm Robert Half, reveals that 91% of Aussie chief information officers say it is “challenging” to source qualified IT professionals – a concern particularly prevalent in mid-sized companies.

And, losing their top IT employees to competitors is a continuing problem for ICT companies — also most prevalent in mid-sized firms with 84% expressing concern about the problem.

Robert Half senior managing director David Jones says “employers today are faced with a dual challenge”.

“It’s not only important to find the right employees, but it is equally important to keep them on board. Both staff acquisition and retention are top priorities for today’s tech leaders.”

But, Jones says, the survey shows that achieving the right mix of skills is not always without challenges.

The survey found that the overwhelming majority of employers (91%) say it is very (29%) or somewhat (62%) challenging to find qualified IT professionals.

And, in comparison to company size, 98% of small companies judge the sourcing of IT talent as challenging, compared to 88% of large companies and 87% of mid-sized companies.

“The demand for IT professionals with niche, specialist skills is a growing market, and companies are placing an increasing focus on sourcing the right talent that can provide the company with a competitive edge,” Jones says.

“Increased investment and further initiatives in both technology and non-technology businesses have, however, compounded a talent shortage, leaving companies vying for top IT talent.”

“Today’s top IT professionals often receive multiple job offers. Companies therefore need to act fast if they find a candidate with the right skill set, while at the same time ensuring remuneration is competitive,” Jones suggests.

And, Jones notes that demand for skilled IT talent doesn’t only highlight the need to have a strong recruitment strategy in place, but that increased candidate confidence and mobility make effective staff retention policies a top priority as well.

According to the survey, more than eight in ten (84%) IT leaders are concerned about losing their top performers to a competing organisation with medium-sized companies (88%) being more concerned than small (80%) and large companies (82%).

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).