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B.Y.O.D.: Choices create IT staffing challenges

Many of the sessions at Interop Las Vegas will focus on mobility and the issues surrounding mobile IT applications on a variety of platforms and devices. For example, the idea of bring your own device (B.Y.O.D.) appeals to me, but if I was in IT or recruiting for an IT department, I’d be a little worried.

Choices. That’s what it’s all about. Everyone wants choices. But what people really want is to choose from their choices. In other words, people want to choose the exact thing they want, which is why bring your own bottle (B.Y.O.B.) is great when you eat out. Not only do you pay about half of the menu price for a bottle of wine, you also get to drink your wine of choice.

Enter the concept of B.Y.O.D., with more workers taking their own devices to work and consumers accessing information on a variety of platforms. All of these choices -- the different devices, applications, and platforms -- will create challenges for IT hiring managers and those supporting IT staffing. While there will be some constant needs, IT departments will look for a wide variety of specialists as well as people who can bring it all together.

From B.Y.O.D. to unified networking to big data, success will depend on skilled IT professionals and the companies that can find those professionals. Here are a few tips for people in IT staffing and recruiting on how to work with IT in this new, dynamic environment.

  • Stay up on IT plans. Plug into your IT department’s objectives for the next six months to a year, as well as its three- to five-year plans. Find a way to continually be in the loop on what’s on the department’s plate and the issues it is dealing with. You will gather valuable clues on how you should prioritize your staffing resources.

  • Evaluate the impact on IT staffing resources. IT departments often work on a lot of big projects that can affect many different areas, creating a number of smaller projects. Work with IT to figure out the skills and the number of workers that the smaller projects require. Balance the requirements against the resources you have and use today to find the necessary workers.

  • Create contingency plans and line up resources. Once you know what skills and positions you will likely need, evaluate the needs against your IT staffing resources and their ability to actually deliver those types of workers. You might need to expand your vendor population, outsource some positions or areas, institute a bigger effort such as recruitment process outsourcing (RPO), or engage a managed services provider (MSP). Whatever you do, be honest. If your depleted HR or recruiting staffs can’t find these workers, what will you do? Start planning now.

You’ll notice that these tips are about forecasting rather than reacting to open jobs right now. Forecasting is crucial to avoid an ongoing talent deficit, or a situation in which you can’t fill jobs month after month and some positions never get filled. Working with IT and other departments on their talent acquisition needs must involve some type of forecasting to avoid creating or adding to a talent deficit.

Trends like B.Y.O.D. will continue and IT will play a big part in how companies effectively deal with these issues. But the people involved with IT staffing will play a bigger part. If a company can’t find the IT people they need to run the business, forget B.Y.O.D. The company might be S.O.L. (which stands for sooner or later -- as in, sooner or later they’ll be out of business, of course). What did you think I meant?


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