How to cope with the IT labour shortage

August 24, 2022

It's becoming increasingly difficult to find and retain IT services personnel due to the ongoing labour crisis.

According to the Global Talent Crunch report, the global workforce will be 85.2 million workers short by 2030, a labour deficit that could cost $8.452 trillion in unrealized revenue. By the same calculations, the IT industry will face a shortage of 4.3 million workers. In a recent Gartner survey, IT executives said labour shortage was the biggest obstacle in adopting emerging technologies, mainly cloud computing, IT automation, networking, digital security, data management, and virtual workspaces. The top 10 most in-demand tech jobs revolve around those technologies.

So, what's causing this labour crisis, and when will it end? The talent shortage is quite complex, but it largely stems from the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic, drastic shifts in workplace culture, a mismatch between IT labour supply and demand, widening IT skill gaps, and high employee expectations. As for when it will end, nobody really knows. But in the meantime, here are some valuable tips for surviving the IT labour shortage:

Put your company in a better hiring position

First things first — make your company as attractive as possible to IT job seekers. To do that, you must know exactly what an IT worker looks for in an employer. Generally, most employees are after generous compensation and perks. But nowadays, a high salary is not enough to lure job candidates. Employees in tech-based roles also demand workplace flexibility and opportunities to learn and grow.

In addition to competitive pay, ensure your workplace supports hybrid collaborations and encourages creativity, learning, and professional development. Such employment perks appeal to a large audience of IT experts.

Invest in employee retention

You certainly can't afford to lose employees amid the labour crisis. A high employee turnover rate not only robs you of much-needed and scarce IT talent; it is also a painfully expensive problem. On average, employee turnover costs Canadian companies about $22,000 in lost output and recruitment costs every year, with some companies losing over $50,000 annually. On top of that, whenever one employee quits, the remaining workers have to fill in for them, increasing the risk of burnout and even more turnover.

Minimizing turnover revolves around enhancing employee experience and satisfaction. Turn the workplace into a conducive, comfortable, and meaningful environment for your staff. Be sure to keep an open line of communication, recognize and reward hard work, and maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Upskill your IT staff

The tech industry never stands still; it evolves rapidly, leaving a wake of obsolete skills and technologies. Upskilling is a great way to keep your IT team relevant in advancing fields without hiring more workers. According to the 23rd Annual Global CEO Survey, a majority of CEOs are keen on retraining and upskilling their staff, and many are confident in achieving the expected results.

Develop an effective upskilling program to bridge any technical skill gaps in your team. Upskilling is much cheaper and less of a hassle than trying to hire new workers. But it usually takes time, and there's always the risk that upskilled employees could still leave your company at any time.

Consider outsourcing your IT services

Outsourcing IT is by far the most practical and economical alternative to hiring. Rather than taking your chances with shrinking IT labour pools, why not contract a professional managed IT services provider? A managed IT provider costs much less than an in-house team, comes equipped with all the necessary tech expertise and tools, and you never have to worry about turnover. A single contract can essentially solve all your IT labour problems.

But you have to partner with the right service provider. Highway 99 is that partner. We offer managed and break-fix IT support, data backup and disaster recovery services, and support for special tech-based projects. Let's discuss your IT labour needs — call us at 604-262-2999 or book a no-obligation consultation.

Featured image credit: Image by ArthurHidden on Freepik

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