by CIO Staff

IT Departments Find Creative Solutions to Staffing Shortages

May 15, 20012 mins
IT Leadership

Most companies are experiencing a major IT staffing problem that has more to do with a skills shortage than a lack of bodies, according to CIO?s Staffing Survey. Seventy-seven percent of respondents said they were having hiring difficulties, while 54 percent were battling to keep current employees from leaving for more lucrative jobs or more interesting projects. Many respondents commented that there are plenty of IT people out there; the challenge is finding the right skills for the job and improving retention.

So how are companies coping? By offering training, both to improve skills and to attract or keep staff. Almost half of respondents have increased their training budget in the past year by an average of 27 percent. Additionally, respondents indicated that on average, 25 percent of their IT staff had been retrained for a new job or new function within the IT department. Whether this will be enough to close the skills gap that companies say is their biggest bugbear still remains to be seen.

Methodology: 366 IT professionals responded to the IT staffing survey posted at from Nov. 20 through Nov. 29. Thirty-nine percent of respondents were employed in organizations with 5,000 employees or more, 20 percent work in organizations with 1,000 to 4,999 employees, and 41 percent were in organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees. Of respondents, 28 percent held senior management titles (CIO, CTO or vice president of IT), 25 percent held director titles, 37 percent were managers or supervisors, and 11 percent were IT staff.

Is there an IT staffing crisis or a skills crisis?

49% – skills crisis

6% – staffing crisis

33% – both

11% – neither

What is the primary reason cited by staff for leaving the company?

54% – salary/compensation/stock options

21% – type of work/more interesting projects

7% – dissatisfaction with the company?s overall performance

6% – dissatisfaction with manager

11% – other

What benefits have you added to help attract or retain staff?

61% – training

54% – flex time/flexible work hours

28% – hiring bonuses

What kind of training do you make available?

93% – IT training

54% – management/leadership

53% – professional development (such as public speaking or time management training)

7% – other