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Instant Gratification? Not with IT Skills Unless…

Instant_GratificationWe live in a world of instant gratification and while it would be great to have our need for IT skills always filled immediately, all the time, the reality is much different. As with many things in life, luck favors the prepared.

In early March, Careerbuilder released a report, Companies Losing Money to the Skills Gap, According to CareerBuilder Study, noting how the “skills gap” is costing companies money every month a position stays unfilled. The average: $14,000 for three months of vacancy, up to a high of $25,000 for some companies. The sad part of that statistic is that most companies probably consider that “soft” costs, not actual dollars. It also impacts the entire environment at work.

But I’m guessing that IT accounts for a number of those types of jobs. Why? Because the report also mentions that the number one area that companies have the toughest time filling: Computer and mathematical jobs. Yup, basically IT.

So one of the messages (other than the money thing), is that if you release an IT job and expect it to get filled in a week or two, then have them start a few weeks later, you’re probably being a little too optimistic. That means, best case is a month, worst case is three months and $25,000 lost (and that’s probably not the worst).

There are things you can do to help speed up the process and prepare for the worst or even make your IT staffing program a little closer to instant gratification:

  • Identify/Prioritize – Have a sense for the IT positions you know you will need and make them a priority all year long. Work with leaders to help them understand that reactive recruiting costs money and proactive recruiting saves money (again, see the money thing above).
  • Network, Network, Network – Especially for certain skills. Have your employees talk about your company with others they know. Make it easy for IT professionals to find your company and read about the great things you are doing. Make sure everyone knows that recruiting is part of their jobs (like they say about sales in some organizations).
  • Monitor Supply and Demand – Understand the flow of IT individuals in and out of your organization and your competitors. There is a flow and it either favors your company or is hurting your company. Big players like Google and Facebook watch things like this and adjust recruiting accordingly (or in some cases, they are so big, they don’t have to). For most of us, it’s good to know where IT workers are going and why.

But that’s just the beginning, because most organizations rely on a staffing supply chain for some or all of their IT staffing needs. This means that along with the steps above, you’ll need to prepare you IT staffing supply chain for what’s coming up, or, assess your suppliers to make sure that they are aligned with your IT needs.

In either case, it’s a matter of communicating your needs proactively and managing your supply chain effectively. The short answer for doing this is to add the phrase “Find IT Staffing Partners Who Can…” to the three bullets above. See, now wasn’t that easy?


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