There’s been a lot of fierce debate over an IT skills shortage that many have contended is more artificial in nature than it is based on actual fact. And yet, a new analysis of labor data released by the IT industry association CompTIA would suggest that demand for people with IT skills is not only way up, but more of those jobs are actually being filled.
Overall, the CompTIA report finds that 70,500 new IT jobs were added in the first half of 2015 with the IT services sector leading the charge with of a 2.4 percent growth in terms of the number of jobs created.
Job growth for IT professionals
As evidenced by the wild fluctuations in the global stock market, the economy as a whole is still pretty fragile. But the report also suggests that demand for IT professionals is not slackening. CompTIA reports that job postings for IT occupations increased 20 percent during Q2 2015 compared to the previous quarter. Cybersecurity jobs, software developers, data scientists, web developers, and network architects showed the largest increases.
Given that number of job postings it’s clear that IT services firms are going to be challenged on the hiring front for some time to come. After all, not only do they have to compete with one another for talent—most of the customers they service want to hire that same talent as well.
For that reason, IT services firms need to pay more attention to talent management. Rather than thinking of human resources as the department that’s in charge of filling out government forms, companies that depend on IT especially for the lifeblood of their operations are implementing much more sophisticated systems for recruiting talent.
By applying analytics to social networking feeds, for example, they know who is exercising the most amount of influence on a particular subject in any given region. Rather than waiting for a bunch of resumes to show up in response to an online job posting, companies with talent management systems are reaching out to IT professionals that clearly demonstrate expertise and have a significant following. The latter is critical because, to the employer, it suggest that IT professional has the potential to generate new business opportunities.
IT services firms looking to retain talent
Conversely, the IT professional services firms with the best talent are going to extra lengths to make sure they retain that talent. The IT recruitment firm Robert Half Technology suggests that means not only providing competitive salaries, but also paying extra attention to work-life balance issues that typically make employees more loyal to one organization versus another. That doesn’t necessarily mean that people will work for less, but it does mean that all things being equal they are less likely to respond to an inquiry from a recruiter.
The quality of a firm's IT services personnel directly equates to customer satisfaction, which in turn directly equates to contract renewals and additional business. Put in that context, it suddenly becomes quite clear that the quality of the personnel a firm can recruit is the center of the IT services universe on which every other activity completely depends.