July 16, 2012   //  By: Heather McIlvaine

photo: Fotolia

photo: Fotolia

IT Workforce Shortage

Beer, iPad, or Flexibility: Which Incentives Work?

Some IT companies will do anything to attract new hires, including footing the bill for a year of beer. We find out what it really takes to become a workplace of choice.

It’s the same story for tech companies everywhere, from the big guns in Silicon Valley to mini start-ups in the emerging markets: The supply of IT professionals in the workforce today simply doesn’t meet the demand. In a survey conducted with 38,000 companies in 41 countries, over one-third reported that they have been unable to find the workers they need. The top reason? A lack of hard skills such as IT knowledge.

For IT professionals, this isn’t necessarily a bad situation to be in. The current rate of unemployment for tech workers in the U.S. is around four percent; half of the overall jobless rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you’re an IT expert today, you’re a hot commodity.

But for tech companies, the outlook is a bit gloomier. The competition for skilled workers is high, and many businesses are looking for a way to stand out from their rivals. The answer put forth time and again is simple: become an “employer of choice.” Not only do these companies have an easier time hiring top candidates and keeping current employees, they also perform better.

Engaged employees improve the bottom line

Studies show that the most-engaged employees are significantly more productive and drive higher customer satisfaction than their less-engaged colleagues. In fact, a survey by McKinsey found that companies with excellent talent management achieved total shareholder returns that were 22 percentage points better than average.

So how does a company become an employer of choice? You might ask SAP. It recently made Computerworld’s 2012 list of the “Best Places to Work in IT” and was named a “Top Workplace” in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Find out how to attract new hires on the next page.

More about this topic:  Human Resources (HR)

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