The IT Labor Challenge

I read an interesting article the other day regarding IT recruiting and retention. The key fact I saw right up front that was in May, the unemployment rate for IT professionals was at 3.8% against the national overall average of 9.1% and the IT labor market was HEATING up from there through the summer. That number includes all levels of IT experience including college grads. It went on to talk about the real key skills required for IT current IT projects and initiatives are typically held by employees with 5-10 years experience, who are, therefore, even more in demand.

And the net/net of all of this is a talent war in the IT hiring space.

And making it all worse, employees are seeking to move to places where they can see more new technology and take part in more exciting projects, driving turnover, and driving wage rates up. For the average corporate IT group, this is a real challenge.

I don't like to advertise too much on the blog, but we are seeing the same thing, but we have an advantage. Our employees get to see that broad range of technology, doing new things on a nearly daily basis across a broad range of clients. When your core business IS IT, you have an edge in recruiting over the corporate IT space where IT is an expense center, and where specialization is the norm. These types of market behaviors only make local outsourcing more valuable. Why chase increasing labor costs when you don't even know if the skill set you are hiring is the one you will need in a years time? Why deal with the turn over and management headaches?

The fact is, for the majority of small to mid sized businesses, outsourcing is not only sensible, but likely the only way you will find and retain the level of talent you desire. The best and brightest (which is what you want around when your server is down, or you are deploying a new solution) are not going to stay motivated and excited in a limited environment. Although YOU may find them valuable enough to pay the high salary to have them around when you need them, they are going to be increasingly driven to find ways to increase their skills and be challenged, and a single small business environment may not provide that challenge.

The more volatile the labor market, the more changing the technology space, the more valuable having a flexible approach to obtaining and retaining IT talent is.

After all, it is all about maintaining consistent quality and service to ensure you can experience Happy Computing.
 -Richard Brunke

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