Recruiting Skilled IT Workers a Challenge for Many CIOs, Survey Shows

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<p><strong>Menlo Park, Calif.</strong><br />Locating experienced people tops the list of staffing concerns for technology executives today, a new survey shows. Nearly one in four (24 percent) chief information officers (CIOs) polled said finding skilled information technology (IT) professionals is their greatest staffing challenge. Providing employees with adequate skills training ranked a close second, cited by 23 percent of respondents.<br /><br />The study, developed by Robert Half Technology &mdash; a provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis &mdash; and conducted by an independent research firm, is based on telephone interviews with 1,400 CIOs across the United States.<br /><br />CIOs were asked, &ldquo;Of the following staffing issues within the IT department, which do you consider to be your greatest challenge as a CIO?"<br /> </p><ul><li>Finding skilled technology professionals: 24 percent</li><li>Providing staff with adequate professional development resources to keep skills current: 23 percent</li><li>Keeping employees productive: 17 percent</li><li>Dealing with personality conflicts between employees: 11 percent</li><li>Developing defined career paths for IT staff members: 10 percent</li><li>Other: 5 percent</li><li>None/don&rsquo;t know: 10 percent</li></ul><p><br />&ldquo;The need for experienced IT staff has grown in recent years as a result of increased investments by companies in new and updated systems and software,&rdquo; said Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology. &ldquo;In areas such as Web development, database management, wireless networking and applications engineering, the supply of qualified professionals has not kept pace with the demand, leading to multiple job offers for candidates with the right mix of skills and experience.&rdquo;<br /> <br />CIOs at the largest firms (1,000-plus employees) are having the greatest difficulty locating IT talent: 27 percent of IT executives from big companies named this their top staffing challenge. At smaller-sized companies, skills development is a greater concern than hiring. Twenty-six percent of CIOs at small companies (100 to 249 employees) said providing adequate training is their biggest concern, above finding qualified IT professionals (22 percent).<br /> <br />Lee noted that while companies with less staff may lack the budget for formal, in-house training or tuition reimbursement programs, their employees don&rsquo;t have to forego technical education. &ldquo;Smaller firms often rely on affordable external training providers or Web-based resources that can help employees keep their skills current or earn valuable technical accreditations,&rdquo; Lee said. </p>

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