IT industry in danger of skills crisis recruitment firm warns

Companies are facing a recruitment crisis as they are struggling to train staff and hire new talent, according to Modis.

Modis International carried out a poll of senior IT leaders and the results suggest that ongoing economic uncertainties and departmental cuts are changing the IT recruitment landscape.

Over a third of companies (36 per cent) are struggling to implement IT strategies due to concerns over staff capabilities, and at same time ongoing budget restrictions are hampering their ability to address skills gaps.

Last year 71 per cent planned to provide training and development to upskill their workforce, but this has fallen to 29 per cent this year.

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of IT leaders said they plan to recruit specialist temporary contractors to provide the necessary expertise.

Sourcing quality candidates is a challenge for 27 per cent of respondents, rising to 44 per cent in larger companies, as they increasingly look for strategic and commercial skills alongside technical abilities.

“The IT industry is in danger of a skills crisis,” said Jim Albert, Managing Director of Modis.

“When the economy inevitably heats up, the war for talent – already being seen in the market – will heighten.

“Contractors are an ideal resource for short-term projects to provide specific expertise, but upskilling permanent staff remains important for the long-term outlook of any business – and indeed of the industry as a whole.” 

Albert added that ongoing training was vital to both ensure staff keep pace with changing technology as well as boosting employee retention, which was cited as a major challenge by 20 per cent of respondents.

“Our recommendation is that employers seek to harness the skills of existing staff and create internal training sessions to build greater capacity within their IT teams,” he said.

“As best practice some companies are using recruiters to jointly train their contract and permanent staff to build a high performance team with strong project delivery skills, alongside technical skills.”

The findings are from the State of the IT Market Report 2011, a survey of 250 senior IT decision makers including directors and IT heads from UK businesses of varying sizes and from a range of sectors.

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