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IT Talent Health Check: Does Your IT Talent Pipeline Measure Up?

skeleton_booksAre you part of the 36% of IT employers that worry about talent retention? Take the IT Health Check to determine whether your IT Talent Pipeline is rock solid or ready to crumble.

All is not well with IT staffing today. At least that’s the findings of a recent Careerbuilder and survey. In fact, many IT hiring managers basically feel like we’re still in the throngs of the recession.

Ouch – that’s rough. But it does beg the question for anyone looking for IT staff: Is it getting easier or harder?

According to the Employer’s top 10 Staffing Challenges survey, it’s getting harder, much harder. Of the top concerns voiced by IT hiring managers and HR professionals, “retaining top talent” was at the top of the list, while not far behind was “recruiting highly skilled applicants.” That’s quite a bind to be in; you can’t keep them and you can’t find them.

So how’s the health of your IT talent pipeline? Here are some questions to ask and some things to think about.

  1. How long does a job go unfilled? When jobs go unfilled month to month, or your organization can’t make decisions on candidates quickly and efficiently, the jobs begin to pile up. Many companies never get ahead.
  1. Are you retaining IT workers for the duration of their projects? This could be an indication of quality and/or what you are paying for key skills. There’s a lot of competition out there.
  1. Do you have a good mix of employees and non-employees to get things done? You can’t hire everyone directly. Contract labor and independent contractors are good, but they need to be managed.
  1. Are you covering your legacy skills as well as your newer, in-demand skills? The network needs to be up and you need those great mobile apps to run on it. What’s more important, to be on the cutting edge or just running efficiently?

Those are the great questions, but what about the answers?

First, assess where you are with these issues. The most important part is to understand what your needs are and where your priorities are. Look at what you have and where you have holes.

Next, look at your company’s talent strategy for IT staffing. Let’s face it: Most IT departments use some type of staffing suppliers or outside help. So, are you relying too heavily on smaller suppliers, niche suppliers, large generalist suppliers or an unmanaged supply chain? Are your suppliers matched to your needs and your priorities?

Lastly, how are you measuring success? What do your internal customers (the hiring managers) have to say about the company’s IT staffing performance? Are you measuring the performance of your IT suppliers (or even your internal resources)?

The key here is to continually assess your readiness to bring on IT talent to get your projects done. Today is not the same as yesterday and tomorrow will be different. We may be out of the recession technically speaking, but according to the survey, it still feels pretty bad out there.

By the way, 27% of those surveyed also said that “providing competitive compensation” was a major challenge and “cutting down on cost per hire” was at the bottom at 16%. This means that you’ll still have to compete on salary and benefits – if you weren’t already.


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