IT staff are among the most difficult jobs for employers to fill, according to the ninth annual Talent Shortage Survey by ManpowerGroup.
Some 47 percent of the employers surveyed said those hiring difficulties stemmed from candidates’ lack of technical competencies; a shortage of “soft skills” also topped the list. Other cited factors included an absence of applicants, candidates wanting more money than the job offered and a lack of experience.
For employers, the inability to find job candidates is bad news. A lack of adequate talent can translate into a reduced ability to serve clients, lowered productivity and morale, increased turnover and higher costs related to compensation and severance.
IT staff didn’t top ManpowerGroup’s list, however. The survey’s 10 most difficult jobs for employers to fill, in descending order: skilled trade workers, restaurant and hotel staff, sales representatives, teachers, drivers, accounting and finance staff, laborers, IT staff, engineers and nurses.
If truly representative of a broader societal trend, the survey’s findings about IT staff aren’t surprising. Given the speed at which the technology industry evolves, workers—whether support staff, software developers, architects, engineers or leads—must constantly keep their knowledge and skills up-to-date. Finding IT staff with a necessary degree of specialization can often evolve into a trying task for even the most skilled HR pro; a rising number of startups, combined with more established companies looking to fill out their ranks of IT workers, further drains the pool of available talent.
That demand for tech workers has driven cities and companies across the company to offer some pretty nice incentive packages. Meanwhile, the number of technology professionals earning six-figure salaries continues to increase, with 32 percent of full-time tech pros collecting $100,000 or more in 2013, according to Dice (independent IT contractors did even better, with 54 percent of them surpassing the $100k mark). That’s a lot of reasons to keep one’s technical skills polished—and optimism high.
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