Overall, the shortage of IT professionals has declined for the second quarter in a row. But the research contends that softer, non-technical skills, such as market knowledge, customer handling and interpersonal skills, will force companies to hire or re-skill staff. <br.
Some technical skills, particularly in databases and networking, are still pursued hotly by UK companies.
One in five employers will fill these business-oriented IT positions by recruiting experienced, rather than graduate staff. But the vast majority will cope with the changing demands through staff training.
A report from US research company Foote Partners, however, suggests there will be a fierce battle to recruit and hang on to people with customer and industry knowledge to back up their technical prowess.
“Our research indicates that retention concerns are more dominant today than ever before, as employers demand IT workers with more specialised skill sets that are focused not just on technology but on industry, customer, and solutions knowledge and experiences,” comments David Foote, president and chief research officer.
Talent comes at all levels of the business, he adds. “I’m not just referring to the ones at or near the top but to those further down the chain of command, making £35,000 to £45,000 annual salaries. Keeping them happily employed and moving forward in their careers is paramount.”