Retention and Outsourcing: Two Responses to a Tight IT Job Market
Talk to just about anybody in the recruitment game and you’ll hear the same story: It’s getting harder and harder to recruit and retain skilled IT workers.
It’s not just anecdotal. Data from the New Zealand job search platform Seek shows that job listings in the wake of the Covid lockdowns are way up from their 2019 levels. Here are some of the most in-demand jobs, along with the percentage increase in listings for each category. Read and weep:
- Business Analyst: + 33%
- Full Stack Developer: + 49%
- Software Developer: + 105%
- Developer: + 3%
- Java Developer: + 5%
- Software Engineer: + 141%
- Systems Engineer: + 52%
The shortfall is global but it’s felt particularly keenly in New Zealand, which has traditionally relied on overseas workers to fill long-term skill shortages. And it is having all sorts of flow-on effects.
One of them is the increasing role of specialised IT recruitment services, both in-house and in agency. It’s a response to the emergence of new technologies and role types, and the arrival of international companies chasing the same talent pool. You’d be naïve to think that these specialised recruiters won’t be coming after your people.
In this environment, retention is an employer’s most useful tool. Don’t imagine that remote and flexible working is sufficient on its own to keep people, especially in IT jobs. It was a huge benefit two or three years ago but is now a minimum expectation in the market. Likewise, money on its own will get employers only so far.
The question now is: What else can employers do to show staff that they care about their wellbeing, development, and their personal and professional goals and values? That is the only way companies will be able to retain top-performing employees.
The skills shortage has also accelerated a reassessment of outsourcing solutions that has been underway for some time. We’re seeing the emergence of very professional BPO and outsourcing networks and plenty of new stories about businesses that have turned to outsourcing, sometimes to the point of establishing their own presence in markets like the Philippines, and met with great results.
The result is that executives who previously ruled out outsourcing services are starting to think that perhaps it can be done, and “done well”. If you’re in this category, you may well dip a toe in the water by outsourcing less critical functions for the short term. In our experience, you’ll quickly see how it gets you out of a bind and before long you will be treating outsourcing as a sustainable, long-term option.
This is of course music to the ears of the DSS team. We’re outsourcing specialists and we’ve introduced companies big and small to the benefits of solutions that, to many, were initially mysteries. If you’ve got more questions about outsourcing than answers, we’re the right place to start. Drop me a line any time at [email protected].
By Kane Landers, Director of Talent