Firms struggle to keep staff as demand rises

Twenty five per cent of businesses are having difficulty retaining IT staff following a surge in demand, a study by research...

Twenty five per cent of businesses are having difficulty retaining IT staff following a surge in demand, a study by research organisation Computer Economics has revealed.

Of the 300 organisations questioned, 40% said their biggest problem was finding staff with specialised skills and 38% said they were struggling to recruit IT staff because of a lack of suitable candidates.

Fifty per cent of those organisations experiencing staff retention problems were public and voluntary sector organisations, Computer Economic’s Fringe Benefit Survey 2005 revealed.

The survey found that 90% of organisations are actively recruiting in all areas of IT, including development, technical services and operations/customer support, compared to 80% in 2004.

This mirrored the findings of the Computer Weekly/SSL Survey of Appointments Data and Trends, which showed that electronics, communications and retail companies as well as the public sector have all stepped up their recruitment of IT staff.
The survey found that recruitment is highest among banks, financial services firms and IT suppliers.

More than 50% of all the organisations polled by Computer Economics said job insecurity had been the biggest factor in retention problems as people felt unsure of the future of their role. Competition from other organisations was the second biggest reason companies failed to hang on to staff, according to 41% of organisations.

Employers are using perks in an attempt to keep their employees. The average cash bonus was £5,771 a year, although this amount varied by sector.

But the provision of company cars has fallen. Only 25% of IT managers were given a company car, compared with 30% last year, although other IT managers received cash for car allowances instead. Trevor Morriss, reward management consultant at Computer Economics, said benefits had little or no bearing on attracting staff to a job.

Demand surges for IT staff >>

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