When it comes to IT hiring, you might get less than you bargained

When it comes to IT hiring, you might get less than you bargained

Summary: New research from CompTIA suggests that 8 out of 10 businesses are feeling the strain of IT skills gaps, as new technology priorities evolve quickly.

TOPICS: SMBs, CXO, IT Employment

Whether your small business is seeking to add an IT person to its internal team or it is looking to contract with an external reason, new research from technology industry association CompTIA suggests you might want to be more selective about who you hire. And, if you're not in a position to add more bodies, you might want reconsider the skills of your existing team -- internal or external.

That study, called State of the IT Skills Gap, suggests that eight out of 10 companies are feeling the strain of IT skills gaps.

"Even as the importance of technology to business success grows exponentially, few organizations are exactly where they want to be with technology utilization and staff skill levels," said Terry Erdle, executive vice president of skills certification for CompTIA, in a statement. "These gaps are hampering business success."

The data reflect the mindsets of approximately 500 IT and business managers responsible for technology at their companies.

These gaps could have an impact on the bottom line, the research suggests. CompTIA reported that 23 percent of the smaller companies surveyed reported this effect, compared with 15 percent of large and midsize companies.

Mind you, a big part of CompTIA's mission in life is to promote training and certification. So keep that in mind when you think about the motives behind this study.

Still, this is worth thinking about, especially since the sorts of technologies that small and midsize businesses need to move into the future are changing, fast and furious.

If your company's strategy is to hold the line on hiring until the economy looks a bit brighter, your IT management team might want to consider reassessing the skills sets of its technology resources -- especially with respect to security, data archiving and backup, business intelligence, mobility, virtualization and process automation. Are you covered in these areas? If not, what is your plan for making sure you are covered.

If you don't intend to hire new people -- on staff or as a consultant -- to help with these things, it could be time for some training or those gaps could eventually put a strain on your company's bottom line.

Topics: SMBs, CXO, IT Employment

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  • One aspect missing?

    While there are a lot of folks out there with the skill sets, in general the wages offered are in the lower side. In this arena, you file these as a last or next to last resort.
    Then there is the group that elects to contract out its' needs. Unfortunately they frequently get what they pay for when going with the lower bids.

    In the end you get what you are willing to pay for - none or limited.
    • You could also argue that those with IT skill sets have an

      overinflated sense of their worth. You see, it goes both ways.
    • Mark 'em down, move 'em out

      [ul][i]While there are a lot of folks out there with the skill sets, in general the wages offered are in the lower side.[/i][/ul]Those two things do sort of go together, don't they? If all you remembered from Econ 101 was "supply and demand," you would have seen that coming.
      Robert Hahn
  • Companies are misguided

    Reality is that there are MANY individuals with good IT skills out here. Companies are looking for VERY specific skills used within last 18 months that they can get at an entry level price. They want to fill a slot for maybe 2 years at most. After that point, it does not matter whether they stay or not. Job will be done. They prefer staff to go because IT career folks expect benefits, which cost.

    Training to keep staff current is expensive and rare to find companies that will put out the expense due to fear of staff leaving. So, cheaper to just fill the immediate need and don't worry about long term. Therefore, is it not hard to understand why they say there is a shortage? Its just a shortage of "short timers" in the IT field.
    • Translation

      I demand a company hire me regardless of my skills, and train me at their expense to keep me current, and if I get a better offer, I can leave when I want, and they should just suck it up. Otherwise they are greedy.
      • Works both ways

        I demand a plentiful supply of workers willing to work for no more than they need to survive, trained either at their own expense or the taxpayers', but absolutely not mine. If I can't find them here then I have the right to import them from whereever I can find them and the government has to make sure they stay loyal to me (on pain of deportation).

        Supply and demand have to work both ways, if they're to work at all.


        Old fashioned conservatives abhorred subsidies. The new-fangled ones seem to demand them, but only when they work in favor of employers and vendors (not consumers or workers).
        John L. Ries
  • There is no skills gap

    Over the last decade or so, companies have collapsed their IT staffs to ridiculously small size. Even as technology has gotten more complicated, individual staffers are expected to be subject matter experts in more and more fields. It's insane to see how many companies out there think managing Active Directory, Group Policy Objects, Exchange Server, BES, SQL Server, SharePoint, VMWare, Citrix, Cisco switch and router infrastructure, WiFi and firewalls is ONE F---ING JOB! And they want to pay you at most $75K/year to do all that.

    So, they wind up with either competent overworked people who can't possibly succeed and are looking to quit as soon as possible. Or they get dirt cheap overseas laborers (or H1Bers) that are terrible in just about every measurable way possible except cost.
  • Too many keyperson vulnerability issues

    With the progressive making do with less, and just-in-time hiring of skills, too many businesses have keyperson vulnerability in their BAU staff.

    That is, critical support staff become more critical because they do not have the time to pass on their knowledge to others or to get it written down.

    And with being overworked, they gather more skills while their fellow staff drop further out of the loop and get lower skills competency and more fractured knowledge. Their productivity, and those of those around them steadily drops as they work longer hours to make up time.
  • There's no skills gap

    I agree with everything posted, and wait until I post the reply I sent to the author of the article----what freeking planet is she on? Employers want prospective employees gift wrapped, being able to do everything under the sun ( as stated above ) and not pay them----
    Dave Howard
  • IT is a thankless job that "protects" the bottom line but does not make it

    Companiess ultimately want to make money. IT departments don't make money. They protect the money that is already there. Risk versus profit. If profit weighs more than the risk, the risk is worth taking. Thus IT department funds and personel are usually first on the cutting block.

    The size of a company and it's trade dictate it's need for technology. The bigger and complex a company gets the more it needs to spend on IT and security. But just remember that if given the option to save money and gain more profit, it's a no brainer.
  • Offer good wages and training, and the jobs can be filled.

    No more days of getting people cheap on contract work.