IT outsourcing can be damaging to U.S. economy

typing laptopIn addition to ramping up the tech infrastructure at their companies, today’s chief information officers are also charged with the task of improving their IT personnel. Savvy CIOs must have optimal plans for recruiting, interviewing, hiring and onboarding new workers who will fit well into their IT teams. There’s a lot of dissension out there among CIOs about how best to do this. What’s the best strategy for finding highly qualified IT workers?

It depends what you value. You might be a principled IT leader who makes hiring decisions based solely on merit. Your objective is to find the best candidates possible and reel them in, no matter how difficult or expensive it might be.

You might value – well, value. If your philosophy is to find labor as cheaply as possible, that’s certainly one valid approach. By going after young workers who are just out of college and looking to land their first serious jobs, you can often find talent that’s less expensive and still effective.

There’s a third value, though, and it’s one that’s flown under the radar for years – CIOs should also think about the effect of their hiring decisions on the economy in the United States. IT outsourcing has become a major concern – companies have begun hiring workers from outside the U.S. because they’re cheaper or have specialized skills, and these¬†decisions are having a deleterious effect stateside. More outsourcing abroad means more unemployment here, which means economic turmoil for all.

The effects of outsourcing are felt by workers everywhere. According to UPI, it’s become common for senior tech professionals to lose out on job opportunities to young recruits in India. One woman in the design field has 12 years of experience and extensive qualifications, but she’s been repeatedly passed over for jobs. The designer declined to give her name for fear of damaging her candidacy for employment, but she opened up to the news source about her struggles.

“I hope to get a job soon, as recently I had got a few offers,” she said. “But, unfortunately, later they did not materialize.”

Everyone loses out on jobs sometimes. But for senior workers who consider themselves highly qualified for the positions out there, it can be maddening to miss opportunities because younger, less experienced, cheaper workers get all the breaks.

“The people within the company who hire such people don’t know the importance of hiring a person with a qualified designing background,” the worker said, “and also that such people can’t deliver a great, quality design, whereas an experienced designer can deliver a great, quality design.”

CIOs today need to reexamine their hiring choices. Are they passing over qualified applicants like this one? If so, why?

Jobs are out there
The good news is that there’s currently no shortage of jobs out there in information technology. The majority of companies are hiring, in fact. Robert Half Technology recently conducted an extensive study on the hiring plans of tech corporations in 2013, and the firm projected that 63 percent of CIOs were hiring for open roles during the second quarter. Furthermore, 14 percent are adding new staff members to their IT departments.

“We continue to see strong demand for IT workers as companies increase their investment in technology initiatives, including security, data mining and mobile,” said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half.

The jobs are out there – that’s no longer the problem. Robert Half also revealed, though, that 70 percent of CIOs find it “somewhat challenging” or “very challenging” to find talented people to find them.

If you’re a CIO, where do you look? Have you been forced to search overseas, or do you still believe in the talent of the American workforce?

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