Is retention on your radar yet?

By admin, November 30, 2009 8:02 am

It probably seems premature to some people to be talking about IT staff retention while there are still vast pools of laid-off techie talent out there to draw on and while budgets remain tight in many organizations. Further, if you buy in to the idea that utility computing models are going to continue to reduce the overall staffing requirements for IT departments and that there will not be a hiring spree even going into the recovery, you might not see any urgency to developing strategies to hold on to your existing staff… there will be more out there, after all.

Savvy CIOs understand that it’s not as simple as plugging in bodies and that now, in fact, can be the most dangerous time for losing valuable staff. At the tail end of a recession that has put a lot of stress on techs to do more with less, the job market may not be exploding but it only has to open up a little for the most talented staff to start seeing opportunities on the other side of the fence. The grass is going to look greener to many of them who have been subject to pay rate freezes, asked to perform miracles with little assistance and few resources, and may feel threatened by other cost-saving measures taken in their companies. Given the opportunity, they may start to bolt.

Even if other excellent candidates are available in the job pool to take their places, churn is bad. Moreover, just because staff may be less numerous in the IT department of the future, they are not less important; quite the contrary, in fact. Running IT in a cloud-based world requires imaginative, flexible staff who can understand and communicate well with other business units, skills that are still unfortunately undervalued and unusual in IT workers.

A survey published recently in CIOZone shows that many CIOs are well aware of the issue and already making plans to deal with it. If you aren’t one of them, why not?

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