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IT Leaders and Professionals Agree the IT Skills Gap is Real

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People are at the heart of every successful business initiative. At TEKsystems, we understand people. Every year we deploy more than 80,000 IT professionals at 6,000 client sites across North America, Europe and Asia. Our deep insights into IT human capital management enable us to help our clients achieve their business goals–while optimizing their IT workforce strategies. We provide IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services to help our clients plan, build and run their critical business initiatives. Through our range of quality-focused delivery models, we meet our clients where they are, and take them where they want to go, the way they want to get there.

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Hanover, Md. – June 30, 2015 – TEKsystems®, a leading provider of IT staffing solutions, IT talent management expertise and IT services, today released the results of its IT Skills Gap Survey. The survey explores IT leaders’ and IT professionals’ beliefs in the existence of an IT skills gap, its causes and its implications, and how organizations are working to address the problem. Overall, the results indicate there is a real skills gap that is significantly impacting IT operations in the majority of respondents’ organizations.

The findings represent the views of more than 1,300 IT leaders and IT professionals. See the full results here.

Key highlights from the survey include:

Both IT Leaders and Professionals Agree the IT Skills Gap Is Real; Disagree on Impact

  • The vast majority of IT leaders (80 percent) and IT professionals (78 percent) believe the IT skills gap is real. Only about one-third of IT leaders (32 percent) and IT professionals (33 percent) believe their organization has the skills in-house to address their needs. In terms of organizational impact, a significantly higher percentage of IT leaders believe the IT skills gap moderately to severely impacts their organization as compared to IT professionals (60 and 45 percent respectively).
  • TEKsystems’ Take: IT leaders are much more sensitive to the impact of the IT skills gap because they have a significantly broader view of the organization’s operations. Both groups are aligned in terms of the reality of a skills gap and the organizations’ inability to address the skills shortage with current staff.

IT Leaders and IT Professionals Disagree on the Reasons Behind Unfilled Positions and Resulting Organizational Skills Gap

  • Seventy percent of IT leaders view a lack of skills to be the biggest issue when seeking quality candidates, compared to just 25 percent of IT professionals. Professionals cite a mismatch in experience or education (63 percent) much more heavily than IT leaders (20 percent). 
IT Leaders: Which of the following candidate issues best describe why finding quality candidates is difficult?
IT Professionals: Which of the following best describes why you were not offered a position for which you were considered?
 Skills  IT Leaders  IT Professionals
 Lack of preferred technical skills  49%  20%
 Lack of preferred soft skills  21%  5%
 Experience    
 Unqualified / lack experience  13%  19%
 Overqualified / possess too much experience  3%  26%
 Education  
 Lack preferred educational background  4%   18%
 Company Culture    
 Not the right cultural fit  10%  12%

  • IT leaders report an unqualified candidate pool and mismatch of skills as overriding challenges to filling open positions, while IT professionals cite unrealistic technical requirements as the biggest challenge to finding a job.
  • Additionally, 36 percent of IT professionals say they were never given a reason why they were not offered a position for which they were considered.
  • TEKsystems’ Take: Disagreement over the major factors that prevent successful recruitment for a position indicates a serious skills assessment is necessary from both IT leaders and IT professionals. While IT leaders may need to temper unrealistic expectations for a successful hire’s required skills, IT professionals should also be wary of underestimating what capabilities are needed. Both parties should work to foster a more thorough dialogue about the qualifications vital for success.

Difficulties and Delays Lead to Organizational Inefficiencies

  • Eighty-one percent of IT leaders indicate it is extremely or moderately difficult to find quality candidates and 73 percent of IT professionals say it is extremely or moderately difficult to find positions for which they are qualified. With these findings, it is not surprising that approximately half of both groups rarely expect to fill a position within the anticipated time frame. IT leaders report decreased operational efficiency (i.e., other employees performing unfamiliar jobs or duties) as the No. 1 impact that hiring delays have on the organization.
  • TEKsystems’ Take: The negative effects of the IT skills gap and unfilled positions can erode an organization from the inside, causing a decrease in employee morale and efficiency, elevated levels of stress and higher turnover. Organizations need to be cognizant of the consequences of not filling jobs effectively and in a timely manner.

Most Organizations Lack a Strategic Workforce Plan to Address Hiring Challenges

  • While 60 percent of IT leaders believe the skills gap moderately to severely impacts their organization, nearly the same number (63 percent) indicate their organization either lacks or has uncertainty around their strategic workforce planning initiatives. 
  • TEKsystems’ Take: With a large majority reporting their organization has no clarity around strategic workforce plans, these companies will continue to miss out on qualified potential employees. Additionally, they run the risk of losing the talent they already have due to current employees feeling overworked as they pick up the slack for delayed hires.

“There shouldn’t be any doubt that the IT skills gap is real and is having a significant impact on organizations’ abilities to be successful—it can lead to a vicious cycle of lower employee morale, inefficiency and attrition,” said TEKsystems Research Manager Jason Hayman. “The cycle can only be broken by deliberate, careful analysis of the skills needed to achieve organizational goals. A well-defined workforce strategy is by far the most effective weapon organizations can deploy to combat the IT skills gap.”

 

For additional results from the survey, including methods IT leaders are currently applying to counter the IT skills gap, click here. TEKsystems’ Jason Hayman is also available for additional commentary. To schedule an interview, please contact Rick McLaughlin at TEKsystems@daviesmurphy.com.