Job Growth Anemic for IT professionals
- Job Growth Anemic for IT professionals
- Keeping Your Best Performers
- Hiring the Right Staff - Best Practices
- Interviewing Best Practices
Job Growth Anemic for IT professionals
Merky IT job picture grows more so as fewer than 2,600 jobs added in February
The February 2011 U.S. Department of Labor National Employment Report shows sluggish growth in the Information Technology job market. Janco Associates has analyzed the data and finds a net gain of only 2,600 seasonally adjusted jobs in February for the IT sector. In addition, for the last three months (December 2010 through February 2011) there has only been an increase of 5,300 seasonally adjusted number of jobs. In the last 12 months the total number of jobs has gone from 2,729,300 to 2,736,600 - an increase of 7,300 (7,900 unadjusted) jobs. The unadjusted number of jobs shows a loss of 10,400 jobs.
The CEO of Janco, Victor Janulaitis said, “While the report that was published paints a much more positive picture, the data for the IT sector shows continued stress in Telecommunications with a loss of 43,700 jobs in the past twelve months which is countered with a growth of 48,500 jobs in Computer System Design and Related Services.” He added, “The overall growth of the 7,300 jobs is not enough to cover the recent college graduates and does not bode well for the Class of 2011.”
Janco feels that the recovery has not taken hold and the IT job market will be soft for at least one more quarter. Janco predicts there will be more churn in IT staff as CIOs accelerate their move to more flexible staffing models. CIOs are outsourcing more technical work, including managed IP services such as VoIP and VPNs. They are hiring more contractors for desktop and security services, and they are putting more applications such as remote backup in the cloud. At the same time, they are looking to hire IT people with business and analytical skills, such as risk management and project management. CIOs report that they're having trouble hiring IT people because either they can't find IT professionals with the right business skills or they can't afford them. All of this means more turnover in IT departments.
Keeping Your Best Performers
Do you know who the employees are that you must keep at all cost?
With the current business environment, there are some things managers should consider to improve morale and keep their most valuable assets - good staff. They are:
- Take care of your "A" players - Do not project the attitude that "you are lucky to have a job". The best players are hardest to come by and will always have career options. IT organizations feel this more than others. A CIO's "A" players will always be sought by their competitors and the same players know they can be successful at any company.
- It is the wrong time to make cutbacks in your incentive compensation plans Many IT stars are motivated by money; do not make major changes to their compensation plans or their projects unless it only benefits them. Top IT professionals want to do develop their skills, work on key projects, and be recognized for their contribution. Almost any change can be viewed negatively.
- At all costs, avoid across the board layoffs or restructuring -If necessary, make cutbacks based solely upon performance. It is a good time to look at your "C " players and work them out of the business, with the intention of finding an "A " player as their replacement. Another benefit to this type of employment action is that you give your competitors less chance to tell your clients that your business is struggling and it was necessary to resort to layoffs.
- Start planning for the future by acting now - Many companies are limiting hiring in response to the unknown certainty of our economy and future business climate. Use your "A" players in planning for the future, do not keep your plans a secret. If you best performers see they have future with you they are more likely to stay.
Simplify Recruiting - Making Sure You Hire the Right Staff
The recession has been a big challenge for HR departments, as key IT professionals worry about working with reduced staff and tenuous job security. But amid that urgent pressure,CIO and IT managers need to make sure their HR strategy is looking long term as well, and to make sure HR, IT, and business unit leaders are driving change together.
It's a good time for CIO and IT managers to pressure HR to have a bigger impact. There's an expanding tool set today for doing interactive performance tracking and getting deeper insight into your company's talent pool, while also wringing more efficiency out of automation. HR and IT teams working together should be able to get results.
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Interviewing Best Practices
Hiring is the most critical aspect of a CIO's role. For a CIO it can be fatal of they hire a new employee find out there is a mismatch.
Background screening is a critical part of the hiring process for the majority of organizations today, but it is even more essential in the current economy for several reasons. eJobDescription.com has found that a shortage of key skills is the number one challenge facing CIOs and IT functions. This may seem counter-intuitive at first given the news of continued high levels of unemployment and a "jobless" economic recovery. However coupled with many interviews with CIOs and HR professionals in end-user organizations, confirms that finding the right talent - the talent with the right mix of skills, behaviors and values to fit with the organization - is still a challenge. In fact, more applicants in the pool makes filtering and screening even more critical to ensure that time isn't wasted on candidates who aren't a good fit or who might not be qualified for the position.
Hiring managers understand that an interviewee's capability does not necessarily equal that they are a good fit. Capability refers to the skills, tools and experience that a person needs to successfully perform a job. It is no secret that most candidates exaggerate their abilities on their resumes and job applications. Things to look for are:
- Skills Definition - Good Job Descriptions - Do you know what skills are needed to perform the job and whether the employee possesses those skills? If they do not possess the necessary skills, how will the CIO help them to acquire them, and how long do you expect that process to take? It is in everyone's best interest for the CIO to set appropriate expectations for the employee from the beginning. This is especially true if the job requires special technical capabilities.
- Tools Definition - Good IT Infrastructure - Even if an individual has the skills and experience to do the job, do they have the tools to deliver peak performance? For example, a highly skilled and experienced web designer cannot build a website without adequate computer hardware and software. The tools do not have to be the most up-to-date, but a system that crashes can be incredibly frustrating and unproductive, even to the best performer.
- Experience - Just because an employee has the skills to do a job does not mean that they has the experience to apply those skills in his specific position. This is especially true for recent graduates, outside hires from different industries and internal hires from different departments. While the required skills may be similar from one job to the next, differing applications and terminology may require that the new hire take time to learn the nuances of his new position.