July 16, 2012 // By: Heather McIlvaine
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.
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.