Although the recession ended over five years ago, many companies report that they're still feeling as if they are caught inside of a recession of their own. Learn about the top 10 challenges that IT hiring managers are still facing in this post.
Of the 161 IT hiring managers and human resource professionals who participated in a recent survey, one third (32%) said their company is struggling to recover from the recession, and 34% say their staff is still smaller than before the recession. Here's what those IT hiring managers said were their biggest staffing challenges:
1. Retaining Top Talent is IT's Biggest Staffing Challenge
In previous years, a person would stay with a company through retirement. This is no longer true. There are many reasons for employees departing. These reasons range from better pay, to a closer job, to not enjoying their existing work environment. The best way to retain your talent is by creating an environment in which they feel important.
2. Lifting Employee Morale in the IT Department
It's a proven fact that employees with lower morale won't put as much effort into their job as those that are boosted. They often feel underappreciated and overworked. Common challenges of IT staffing are causes of low morale are misunderstood expectations, feeling intimidated by managers and higher, and feeling underappreciated. Be sure to be friendly and approachable to your employees. It'll go a long way.
There is such a great demand for great IT talent that candidates are able to pick and choose where they want to go, rather than take an offer for a position that may not have all of the benefits as the company across the street. In order to recruit top talent, you need to make sure that you have a company that they want to work in. Ensure that the culture is suited to their needs.
It's hard to find people with the right mix of experience along with the skills." - Matt Rivera, Director of Customer Solutions, Yoh
4. Providing Competitive Compensation
This goes hand in hand with number 3. It's rare for an employee to leave a company for a lower-paying job. More often, they'll discuss how George from accounting is making twice as much at his new job. They typically look for a strict dollar amount, not always taking into account the other benefits (like your generous time off policy and your 24/7 gym access) when comparing other companies. Make sure your employees know what benefits are available to them.
5. The Challenge of IT Worker Burnout
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical fatigue caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. Over time you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place. When not kept in check, your productivity drops and you can begin to feel helpless, cynical, and hopeless.
If you feel like your employee(s) are experiencing worker burnout, talk to them. Hold regular meetings to see what you can do to alleviate their stress. Emphasize their successes and recognize their work.
6. Maintaining Productivity Levels in IT
Low productivity is a killer in any industry. There are many reasons that an employee may be disengaged and thus not being as productive as they could be, or wish to be. A few examples of the reasons:
- Poor management
- Outdated systems
- Employee dissatisfaction
- The employee is going through some personal problems
To help prevent the issue from recurring, be available to your employees. Make them feel valued. Also importantly, ensure they have clear expectations lined out of what their job entails, explaining the rules and regulations of the company.
7. Managing IT Department Organizational Changes
Organizational change is a process in which an organization changes their overall goals or position at a company-wide level. If an organization's underlying strategy and logic are not supported by employees on all levels, the project will be confronted by resistance, refusal, criticism and non-compliance. It's only natural for people to resist change.
To help smooth over a transition as easily as possible, be completely transparent. Answer any questions that your employees may have in regards to the change with full disclosure.
8. Successful IT Staffing Requires Providing Competitive Benefits
Benefits are a key driver in recruitment and job satisfaction. If a company's benefits package fails to meet its employees’ health and financial expectations, it risks losing its best players to organizations with more of an in-depth package.
Benefits don't always have to be expensive, though; consider allowing employees to wear (nice) jeans to work or offer free light breakfasts on Tuesdays. Look outside the norm to make your company stand out.
9. Providing Upward Mobility
Sometimes referred to as the "dead-end job", companies can sometimes lack room for their employees to grow. Perhaps turnover is very low, or maybe there just isn't a position for their employees to fill. Regardless, their concerns are that their employees will grow stagnant.
If you aren't able to promote your employees, find another way to recognize them for their worth. Offers can range from quarterly awards to monthly luncheons with the top performers.
10. Cutting Down on Cost-Per-Hire
It's no secret that cost-per-hire can be very, very expensive for companies. There are often times where companies can spend upwards of $5,000 (or more!) just in costs to employ a new hire. These costs range from job postings, to recruiting fees, to time spent in the interview, and cost to train up the new employee.
To help ease some of the financial burdens of hiring a new employee, implement some new policies on hiring. Do preliminary screening of candidates to avoid wasting any time on candidates that don't fit your needs.