by Mark Chillingworth

CIOs fear losing top management talent

May 10, 2010
CareersIT Leadership

Research carried out by CIO UK and global IT recruitment providers Harvey Nash reveals that IT leaders are becoming concerned that their talent pools will be depleted as the economy recovers.

The CIO UK Harvey Nash research reveals that CIOs are “seriously worried” that their key staff that act as relationship managers and bridged between IT and the business are potentially going to leave the company. The main reason for this is that their CIO peers are looking out for business liaison and project management leaders. One fifth of the CIOs surveyed said they were concerned that business analysts, project leaders and senior managers would be offered positions elsewhere. Harvey Nash advises CIOs to “wary” of losing top members of their teams in the upturn.

One respondent to the survey said, “The most important factor in retention is a clear and credible company direction and an understanding of the part IT can play in contributing to that.”

Albert Ellis, Harvey Nash chief executive said of the survey results, “One thing is for sure, the talent strategies IT departments put in place over the next 12 months will be key to their future.”

One of the most startling facts from this research is that increasing pay and reward is not a high priority for CIOs. Of those polled, 74 per cent believe that the best way to retain top talent is to ensure they are offering interesting and challenging project work. A pay increase was believed to be the best retention tool by just 29 per cent of those surveyed, well below topics such as the CIO being a strong leader and role model, offering career development and the IT department being a fun place to work.

In the last year CIOs have gone from shedding staff, with Harvey Nash reporting that one in ten IT jobs were lost in 2009 to CIOs now worrying about losing key personal. Although the London based specialists warns that although CIOs will be hiring again, they don’t expect to see IT employment recover by any more than one per cent.

“CIOs have used the recession to streamline their operations and focus on the core value they add to the business,” is the summary of the employment market at present. But the CIOs responding to this research overwhelmingly reported that they believe their departments are better placed to be responsive to business needs than before the credit crisis began.

To download the full CIO UK Harvey Nash report click here.