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Tips for Hiring and Retaining Quality Information Technology Professionals

Updated on June 5, 2012

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If your company hires Information Technology professionals, you know how hard it can be to find people with the skills you need, but even harder to keep them. In today's business climate, there are many more IT positions than there are qualified people to fill them. Computer Science and other technology degrees have continued to decline in this country while the need for technology has increased exponentially. As our personal use of technology has increased, the speed and expectations of the internal and external business customers has grown as well.

The need for a frequently updated website, efficient back office functions, ease of access to customer data, as well as the every increasing need to protect and secure your systems from external threats have made the need for hiring and retaining top notch IT professionals a non-negotiable part of doing business.

  • Creativity and Value Add - While a lot of people think of the IT staff as the 'fix-its', in reality, this talented group of people is a very creative bunch. They typically enjoy creating new software as well as solving problems. If your business outsources all of its software and there is no opportunity for your ITers to develop new things, the good ones won't stay around very long - if they come on board at all. There needs to be enough new in-house work to keep the team challenged and growing. Access to new technologies - including the tools provided for the employees - is important. Does your company use technology to allow for remote work and/or the ability to collaborate on solutions without physically sitting next to someone in a conference room? Is there access to technical training that allows the employee to stay current on their skills without having to leave the company to do so? Your IT team understands the need to support existing tools but will really shine with the ability to create new business value for the company.
  • Opportunity to learn the business - Some companies keep their IT staff stashed away under lock and key and believe that the only skills and knowledge they need are technical in nature. The more this group knows and understands the business, the better equipped they are to provide solutions that are useful - and timely - to serve the needs of the company and its customers. Give them a seat at the table when business issues are discussed and allow them to have input on the solution - regardless of whether it's a technical solution or not.
  • Career growth - Is there a defined career path for technology employees? Do they know what it takes to get promoted into the next skill level or into a supervisory role if they so choose? At larger companies, is there a way to achieve something like a technology fellowship or contribute to patents on behalf of the company? Is there a career growth path that allows an IT staffer to work in another of the company if they'd like to do so? An employee with a technology background AND business knowledge is a powerful combination.

This typically well educated and intelligent part of your company's staff can be tapped into for even greater company value add. If they are only used as 'Mr/Ms Fix-its', the good ones probably won't stay with you for very long. Give them the opportunity to learn, grow, and contribute. - you won't be disappointed!


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