Increasing IT Skills Gap Makes Retention a CIO Goal for 2014

Generic Smiley FaceWith the ever-evolving world of information technology, a new year often brings a wave of change. As many chief information officers know, 2014 is not expected to be an exception. CIOs are gearing up to hire employees with more specialized skills, and with this recruiting trend, the very structure of IT departments is predicted to undergo some shifts in power.

Many tech executives who have been actively trying to recruit new IT talent are aware of the growing skills crisis that is throwing this field for a loop. As more and more companies become reliant on IT functions, they require employees with a more expansive wealth of knowledge. Additionally, because the technological solutions that businesses want to implement are becoming increasingly advanced, CIOs are probably finding that they have to track down candidates that are capable of handling these more niche tools.

It is difficult for recruiters to find ideal prospects to fill their available positions and help meet the rising tech demands that their companies are encountering. In the end, some IT executives may feel as if they were chasing after unicorns, as a number of their jobs remain vacant despite so many people looking for work due to the bar being set too high.

Advancements to blame for growing skills gap
What exactly is keeping IT executives from taking on many of the tech applicants who are currently searching for a job? Well, in recent years, CIOs have found that their businesses expect everything from increased mobility to expanded use of big data resources. As a result, they have had to build up their teams so that they are completely capable of developing and maneuvering all the tools that are associated with successfully adopting these technologies.

With these more sophisticated, narrower needs articulated by their businesses, CIOs have had little choice but to hold out on their hiring initiatives. Instead of recruiting available candidates who may not boast every desirable tech talent they are looking for, they are inclined to attempt to pin down applicants with all the necessary skills, of whom there are few and far between.

Even though there are some 2013 tech trends and demand for skills affiliated with these fads that will spill over into the coming year, there are others that are only now making an appearance. Fierce CIO stated that the most important technology dictating hiring habits during 2014 is mobility.

IT executives will be looking for applicants who can develop and refine the use of mobile solutions, which is a skill set that a scarce number of IT professionals have acquired. This is mainly the case because these innovations are still relatively new, which means that the training and certification resources available to tech specialists are not abundant at this point in time. For this reason, a significant number of CIOs are anticipated to enlist the help of contracted professionals who may be skilled in certain areas, having them complete definite projects they are qualified to handle, but limiting their employment only to that area of expertise for a designated amount of time.

What to do with IT talent on staff
It’s another story for CIOs who do succeed in recruiting full-time employees demonstrating all the IT competencies needed to deal with the most recent technological solutions. Forbes explained that businesses employing these select professionals can expect there to be a shift in focus.

Because employees boasting refined IT skills in the latest fields are so difficult to track down, CIOs who manage to hire them cannot afford to lose them. Top IT professionals are not completely unaware of their value. As they are in such high demand and there are so few of them compared to the vast pool of potential applicants out there, these experts know that they have some leverage. Consequently, CIOs have to make an effort to keep talented personnel on staff and satisfied with their jobs so that they can ensure better retention of these precious employees.

The best way for businesses to improve retention of IT representatives is to engage them. CIOs are encouraged to target their overall work environment for employees. By ensuring that there are ample resources in terms of benefits, career development and positive management practices, then they are more likely to keep the tech talent they need content with their jobs.

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