IT Talent Shortage – How to Solve it?

IT Talent Shortage – a critical problem

The shortage of high-quality specialists in the field of information technologies has reached a critical level in just a few years. The search for IT personnel can be described as “they are hard to find, easy to lose, and impossible to replace.” Despite the profession’s growing popularity, there is a shortage of professionals in the market.

IT specialists are expensive and hard-to-replace personnel for the company, so employers need to attract the right specialist to the team and maintain his loyalty to the company.

IT specialists are wanted and are looked for everything — from retail, to large product IT companies, from small web studios to the public sector. And often the employers can’t find IT personnel. According to the American consulting company Frost & Sullivan, 62% of HR departments of large IT companies report a lack of specialists in one area of information security. “There is a shortage of more than three million employees in the field of cybersecurity in the world” – giants, including Cisco, Symantec, Cybersecurity Ventures, ISACA, and Intel, express concern (this is noted in the report Cybersecurity Ventures – Cybersecurity Jobs Report 2018−2021).

If taken on average, about 45% of companies worldwide experience a shortage of IT specialists. Currently, specialists in such areas as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, big data, etc., are in demand. In addition, there is an extreme shortage of developers at all stages of product creation (full stack developer, frontend developer, backend developer, solution architect), and IT business analysts.

And this is not a temporary phenomenon. Yes, the transition of companies online has exacerbated the already high demand for programmers, information security specialists, analysts, and representatives of other fields. But there has been an IT personnel shortage for many years, which is still growing. This trend will continue for the next 3-5 years. For this time, the global deficit in IT can reach the level of 5-6 million specialists.

In the new decade, digitization is taking over industrial enterprises, and they need, or will soon need, IT teams to implement digital transformation projects and create applied services.

We add a shortage of personnel, not IT-specialized, but with a good knowledge of technologies and productions. For example, product managers with knowledge of IT and production processes (Product Managers) and engineers ready to take on large-scale industrial robotics projects (for example, an unmanned quarry).

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But the problem is not only to find the right specialist – it is necessary to keep the ego. Since demand is high, competitors can lure employees. If it is a high-class specialist, then, as a rule, the financial factor will not play a serious role here. By default, it is assumed that the salary level is sufficiently high, regardless of the specific company. Therefore, it is essential to offer exciting tasks, create a favorable atmosphere in companies, give work social significance, and so on.

The same is essential not only for already established specialists but also for graduates. While the salary difference factor plays a more prominent role here, graduates also look at employers’ corporate values, reputation, and the leader’s personality. Employers need to be ready to offer a specialist something other than a high salary.

At the same time, the salary expectations of applicants in this area are increasing yearly. It isn’t easy to replace an IT specialist with unique knowledge of the company’s technologies. The salary of senior specialists is usually unlimited. It is assumed that specialists of this level have developed soft skills; they can combine a performer’s work with mentoring, architecture design, engage in code reviews and constantly improve systems performance.

According to a recent Gartner survey, a lack of IT talent is the main obstacle to adopting new technologies. This factor interferes with companies even more than the cost of implementing solutions and security risks.

Some measures for solving the problem of IT-specialists shortage

Material compensation is not the only thing that motivates an IT specialist to choose a particular employer. Moreover, just a high salary is no longer enough to attract specialists. Several factors influence their choice.

How companies can attract young professionals

Many employers, when looking for professionals in IT, note that there are very few intelligent specialists on the market. Therefore, some companies opt for young personnel who can become their loyal employees in the future.

According to the study results, the main requirement for the first job for IT specialists was the opportunity to practice and study a particular set of technologies and tools.

Requirements of experienced professionals: it’s not just about salary

The top three criteria for choosing a current job for the interviewed IT specialists are the level of wages, the technologies owned by the company, and the office’s location. The choice of an employee of the current place of work was also influenced by the convenience of the schedule, a competent leader, the ability to use a foreign language, career growth, the company’s product and projects, brand, and if their friends work for the same company.

Whatever is said, financial motivation is the factor of most significant importance. Most employees say that a salary increase can keep them in their current position when they receive an offer from another company. Promotion and the opportunity to implement your project will be why you stay in the company.

Inspire your team with exciting tasks and a clear career track

Tasks for the IT team should focus not only on technological support but also on improving the product’s business logic. Usually, IT professionals alike in their profession the type of activity, the ability to create products, participate in the development of the company and communicate with prominent professionals.

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Another critical factor for IT specialists is the transparency of developments in the companies. Coming to a particular position, they must understand what tasks they must solve and when they will be able to take the next career step, which is necessary for this.

Invest in the professional growth of the team

Companies interested in attracting highly qualified IT personnel prioritize developing employees’ professional skills instead of expanding the company’s social package. Therefore, more and more employers are returning to KPI with monthly payments instead of daily breakfasts, which does not guarantee the stable desire of specialists to develop with the company. It is essential for specialists to exchange knowledge and skills and for companies to communicate with the IT community constantly.

Remote work format

Other things being equal, candidates prefer vacancies and companies where it is possible to work remotely or mix formats: work from the office or home. For employers, this expands the circle of potential candidates: choosing a specialist from another region or country is possible.

Social package and well-being programs

The social package includes compensation for paying for the Internet, arranging workplaces, technicians, co-working spaces, medical services, etc. These programs include a variety of options, from corporate psychotherapist and personal finance counseling to involvement in wellness and philanthropy. The IT specialists are engaged in intense mental work, and to avoid burnout, it is necessary to maintain a work-life balance. That’s why companies develop well-being programs, helping to build such a balance.

Training and education

Employees must be constantly trained and developed to maintain demand and professionalism. In addition, IT is a relatively young industry. And new generations of specialists have managed to absorb the concept of lifelong learning. Moreover, employees want to develop not only narrow professional skills (hard skills) but also “soft” ones (soft skills). Such as an example, how to work in a team or emotional intelligence.

Free corporate schools

Considering the fierce competition for qualified specialists, large companies are starting to prepare them themselves. For this, they create their sites with free training.

Work with universities

This is a standard tool for large employers, and now they are trying to deepen and develop the format, for example, by creating their departments on a university site.

To attract students for internships, companies give them actual work tasks. And after three or four months, they select the best and offer them a permanent job.

Referral programs

As part of such programs, an employee can recommend his friends, acquaintances, and former colleagues for a vacancy. If a candidate passes the probationary period, the recommender receives a reward.

Employees of companies are brand ambassadors. Recommending their acquaintances, they conduct preliminary work with candidates, increasing the chances of attracting a good specialist.

Outstaffing as a possible solution to IT specialists shortage

Outstaffing is the rental of a specialist working in a contractor company (outstaffer) to work on a project in a customer company. The specialist is part of the client’s team and other team members, and the management team regulates his work. At the same time, the client pays the contractor for outstaffing services under the contract, and he, in turn, pays the salary to the specialist.

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How does the outstaffing of IT specialists works?

A customer company needs qualified IT specialists to complete the project. There is also a contractor company that hired such employees. She pays the last salary and makes tax deductions.

The customer company turns to the contractor with a request to provide a staff of IT specialists. An agreement is concluded, and the amount to be paid by the customer is indicated. At the same time, he does not need to register these employees in his staff, make a social package, or pay taxes. He uses the service provided by the contractor.

Some situations when the need for outstaffing of developers and other IT specialists arises is when professionals already working for the customer are on vacation, on a business trip, or sick leave. There is a need to urgently replace them with other specialists so that the pace of work on the project does not sag.

Advantages of outstaffing of IT specialists

  1. The personnel department of the customer company does not experience additional loads;
  2. In terms of tax expenses, it is possible to optimize payments (it will keep them at about the same level since the staff is not increasing);
  3. The cost of maintaining personnel is reduced (for the organization of the workplace, for the purchase of equipment and related items);
  4. All possible risks are minimized (hired specialists perform the assigned tasks with high quality and bring the project to completion);
  5. Fully delegated responsibility for the implementation of the project;
  6. Eliminates labor disputes – when an employee concludes an employment contract with an outstaffing company and not with a customer, this excludes the customer from participating in labor disputes that relate to this employee and liability for violation of the law to him;
  7. Simplifies HR management – the outstaffing company issues vacations and sick days. As a result, this reduces the burden on the client’s accounting department and eliminates the need to provide separate social guarantees. The outstaffer also maintains personnel records, administers business trips, draws up advance reports, and provides the necessary information to employees.

Disadvantages of outstaffing of IT specialists

  1. Financial losses due to cooperation with an unscrupulous agency – this can be avoided if the customer chooses a reliable contractor who has the legal rights to provide such services;
  2. Outstaffing can slow down job closures – not all new employees are ready to work on outstaff. This can slow down the employment of new employees in the company. Candidates with potential may “fall out of the race,” and the rate of vacancy closure may decrease.

Passion4tech as the right partner for outstaffing services

If you need a reliable and correct outstaffing IT company, can you find the right experts for your project in Passion4Tech? Our outstaffing services give you access to the best developers and IT experts with rich background and skills in the latest software technologies.

What we offer is not just cost optimization for your business. We are giving you access to some of the most qualified IT specialists and software developers who work to bring the highest possible value to your investment and projects. We work with a high level of expertise, rich technical background, motivation, and passion for making an impact on your business.

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