Technology trends: Talent shortages and other CIO challenges for 2017

Technology trends: Talent shortages and other CIO challenges for 2017

Chief Information Officers are getting increasingly frustrated with the lack of talent available to them in the marketplace.

As Head of Recruitment Sales for Crimson, the UK’s leading IT recruitment services provider, I speak to a lot of IT leaders and they’re all telling me that they’re struggling to find talented people with both technical and business facing skills. Such talents traits include;

1. The ability to think strategically, take proactive role to understand the market, and have a good knowledge of where the business is positioned commercially.

2. The desire to embrace and drive change, and know how to improve organisations.

3. The personality to inspire and motivate others, including customers, peers, colleagues, and themselves.

In Crimson’s IT Salary Survey 2017, we reported that most CIOs (27% of participants) identified that there also is a technical skills shortage. They said this was the biggest obstacle preventing them from achieving their strategic goals. This issue topped the list of major challenges for CIOs, followed by lack of budget and difficulty getting ‘buy-in’ from stakeholders.

Uncertainty also increased in the market place in 2016 due to the emergence of as new specialist ‘digital’ job titles, like Chief Digital Officer (CDO). These new positions have blurred lines and made some employees feel uneasy in their role.

This skills and talent shortage is not a new problem but our IT recruitment specialists are reporting that companies trying to find new ways to solve it. Many organisations are becoming more creative in an attempt to retain, incentivise, and attract the best employees.

In addition to the traditional pension, healthcare, car/car allowance benefits, companies are looking at alternatives they can offer to the base salary. The flexible benefits option is becoming more common. Flexible benefits give employees a choice of a range of perks, allowing them to select the benefits of most value to them. Organisations are now offering benefits like cycle-to-work schemes, child care vouchers, gym memberships, and the like.

Some of our clients are offering alternative benefits such as relocation packages, to attract candidates from outside of their local area, and annual training budgets, to enable employees’ continual skills development.

Organisations are recognising the importance of ‘work life balance’ providing opportunities for flexitime, the option to buy additional days’ annual leave (also sell any unused annual leave). Some of our clients are offering part-time and specialist interim contracts to candidates, so they can create a work timetable that suits their lifestyles.

Some companies are introducing Employee Value programmes to ensure staff feel appreciated, increase loyalty, and provide career and skills development. These schemes are designed to inform employees about up-dates to their job role, company culture, pay, benefits and career development. Staff can also gain feedback as to what the company is like to work for; to ensure there is a positive perception of the company in the current competitive market.

To view the salary bands of all UK IT employees and for further insights into CIOs priorities for 2017, click here to download Crimson’s salary survey.

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