C-Suite anxious over IT talent shortage

Technology personnel are in high demand across most industry categories, but corporations fear they won’t be able to find the people they need due to a shortage —either perceived or real — of experienced tech pros.

That’s what a survey of more than 1,700 C-Suite corporate executives turned up when a new partnership between a pair of tech industry trade groups took a look at hiring needs and trends within its community. The organizations, Technology Councils of North America and the Computing Technology Industry Association, conducted the research in September, gathering information from small, medium and enterprise-size company executives.

Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed intend to hire new tech staff over the next 12 months. The need is greatest among the smallest companies, with 74 percent of those identifying such a hire as a top priority. Slightly fewer medium-sized firms (72 percent) also said they were on the hunt for tech support.

But will they be able to find the people to fill the bill? Some 69 percent of all those surveyed pointed to a perceived shortage of talent. They felt the pool was too shallow both in terms of quantity and quality of tech talent available to them. One-quarter called the shortage “significant.”

“Companies are feeling better about business conditions, but the talent shortage issue has the potential to sidetrack growth,” said Steven G. Zylstra, TECNA chairman and president and chief executive officer of the Arizona Technology Council.

Here’s the regional breakdown of this perceived talent shortfall:

  • Midwest: 72 percent
  • West: 72 percent
  • Northeast: 67 percent
  • South: 65 percent

Other key findings:

  • 57 percent of companies say they are planning to increase staff levels in technology.
  • Only 4 percent plan to decrease the size of their tech staff.
  • 51 percent are planning to increase their tech budget — the same percentage that say they will increase marketing and advertising spending.
  • 70 percent of respondents in the IT sector say they will increase tech staffing.
  • 52 percent of those companies say they will increase tech spending, just slightly more than non-tech sector responses (50 percent).
  • 73 percent of IT respondents said they perceive either a significant tech talent shortage or a moderate one — a much higher rate than non-IT tech respondents (60 percent) but closer to that of non-tech company respondents (66 percent).
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