Every time we ask IT executives about recruiting and retaining IT talent, they tell us it's becoming more difficult--and more confusing. Despite outsourcing, are companies still committed to their employees' career growth and development? Are employers still recruiting IT college graduates? To shed light on these issues, we devoted this year's survey on IT organizations to recruiting, retention and development.
It turns out many companies regard their IT staffs as a resource, and have made investing in that resource the foundation of their IT human resources strategy. Others focus on providing work/life balance to retain employees. Both strategies help firms do a better job of filling openings than strategies based primarily on compensation. High-paying companies may be able to hire top technical talent, but they risk losing these skilled employees to companies that offer more money or sexier projects. Even CIOs who can't offer long-term job stability should consider offering career security--benefits such as training, retirement packages and flexible work schedules that let IT professionals and managers stay in IT, save for retirement and balance work and family.
This year's survey also presents a challenge to the academic community. Half of IT executives say today's college graduates are not well equipped for the work world. That means they need substantial training to get up to speed. But will large companies, which do the lion's share of college IT recruiting, be willing to invest in new graduates at a time when so many are relying on outsourcers and contractors?