Attracting, Developing and
Retaining IT Professionals
Presented by:
Eve Days
Henry Daniels
John Mayes
Kelly Richter
1
Will Cover:
Current trends of employment for
Information Technology professionals in
the U.S.
Attracting IT professionals to your
organization
Developing the skills and expertise of IT
professionals within your organization
Suggestions for retaining IT professionals
with your organization
2
Main Thoughts
Common sense

pay well, interesting work, current knowledge
Awareness


Goals of organization and individuals
Competition
3
Background on Interviews
Robert Bence, CIO
St. Louis County Gov’t
Public organization
Michael Garcia, CPO
Nexstar Financial Corp.
Private organization
25 employees, plus
25-50 outsourced
25 in St. Louis, 65 in
Colorado
4
Current Situation
As of 2000, there was a shortage of
400,000 IT professionals in the US
alone (1)
The US Department of Commerce
estimates that the US will require
more than 1.3 million new and highly
skilled IT workers through 2007 (2)
5
Perception and Qualifications
Nerds or Not? (4)
Spectrum of skills—what can
you do for us? (5)

Programming languages, database skills,
operating systems, networking skills
6
Beginning the Attainment Process
Tradition is not working any more
Recruitment from all angles (7)
(6)
Recruiting Methods (survey of 150 executives from 1000 largest
US firms) (3)
Staffing/Recruiting
70%
Posting Job on Company Website
57%
Classified Advertising
35%
Job Fairs
32%
Electronic Matching Services
29%
Referrals
21%
Internships
2%
7
What Organizations Are Looking For
and How They Hope to Get It
Characteristics of the individual (6)

Agreeableness, extroversion, conscientiousness,
emotional stability, openness to experience
Stealing from the competition—Greener pastures (8)
“IT professionals with the most valued competencies are
heavily recruited by organizations offering employment
contracts with better salaries, along with signing
bonuses, stock options and work culture inducements,
including enhanced work arrangements and lifestyle
accommodations.”
Government problems –salary, image, and advancement
(9)
8
What Organizations Are Looking For
and How They Hope to Get It
Human Resources as a partner (10)

Managing legal risks, skills
assessments, skills tracking,
awareness of current trends
Moving toward a business
orientation (11)

Blending technology and business
9
Attainment: Recruiting
R. Bence (gov’t)
All positions open to
public (required)
M. Garcia (private)
In-house services
Specific requirements
General requirements
10
What IT Professionals Need To Be
Big Picture
Skills (12)
Interpersonal, technical, business
Activities (13)

“identifying promising application targets, deciding
the systems processes and modes of use, and
assessing the systems risks and potential financial
losses”
Aspects (11)

Diplomacy; political, interpersonal and business
skills; reconsideration of traditional avenues of
career development

11
Salary and Education
Computer Systems Analysts and Scientists in 2004 (mean
average) (14)



Annual earnings: $63,694 average; $70,744 private
Hours worked: 2,079 average; 2,083 private
Hourly wage: $30.67
Education, 1999-2002 graduates in U.S. (15)
199900
200001
200102
IT
Bachelor
Bus.
Bachelor
IT Master
Bus.
Master
IT
Bus.
Doctorate Doctorate
36,195
<3%
257,709
21%
14,264
3%
112,258
24.5%
777
<2%
1,196
<3%
41,954
>3%
265,746
21%
16,038
3%
116,475
25%
768
<2%
1,180
<3%
47,299
<4%
281,330
22%
16,113
3%
120,785
25%
750
<2%
1,158
<3%
12
Developing Through
Training
Training is a consistently crucial factor
in the field of IT. Due to:
Constant changes in society
The ability to keeps costs low
and stay competitive
“Organizations have found increases in
employees job satisfaction, productivity
and profitability” (16)
13
To Train or Not to Train
Benefits of Training




Gives employees a sense of value and
motivation
Understanding how their role effects the
organization
Transfer learning to application
Employee attitudes: “An individual might
believe that acquiring object-oriented skills
would likely provide a reward of being more
marketable or earning a higher salary.” (16)
14
Costs of Training
Keeping up to date in respect to technology
can be very expensive (16)




Explicit costs – additional funding for off-site training
and on-site training
In 1995, the average cost of retraining a programmer
that earns $50,000 a year to be approximately $18,000
(17)
Implicit costs – Lost hours of projected productivity
Potential for the training not to “pay off”, referred to as
transfer learning
Employee Attitude – the individual might also believe
that acquiring the object-oriented skills would be overly
time consuming, requiring a significant amount of after
hours study.
15
Transfer Learning
Motivation to transfer involves the drive or inspiration of
an individual to reassign knowledge gained from formal
or informal learning to job-specific context
Training is most effective when the employee feels that
the employer will expect them to use that information in
the near future
The organization has a learning culture
Trainees reported stronger transfer intentions when
engaged in learning activities in which follow-up from
their manager was anticipated or when employees were
involved in training that was mandatory
Other factors: Environmental, the utility of that which was
learned, peer support, supervisor sanction and support
(16)
16
Learning Organization
Oticon: “Spaghetti Organization”
Overall objective: Increase
productivity by 30%
The organization only supported
three roles:
Project managers – with overall
responsibility for projects
Senior Specialists – providing
professional expertise in
functional areas
Coaches/Mentors – mentoring
and other HR-related roles
IT professionals learned through
experience
diplomacy, political,
interpersonal, business (19)
17
Developing Through Evaluation
Benefits: Evaluations are a very effective way to
develop your employees. To get them off the
wrong path and onto the right one.
Cost: Evaluations, when done correctly, are time
consuming.
Focus on a game plan for the future, instead of the
past.
When possible, get feedback from employees
18
Developing Through Evaluations
Be
“S.M.A.R.T.”
Specific
Measurable
Attainable
Reflective
Time bound
19
Developing Careers: Path
R. Bence (gov’t)
Primarily technical
M. Garcia (private)
Management vs.
technical
Silos…for now
Teams
Career and phase
20
Developing Careers: Training
R. Bence (gov’t)
Budget issues
M. Garcia (private)
Specific
Status quo
Tuition
reimbursement
Direct reports
21
Developing Careers:
Performance Assessments
R. Bence (gov’t)
Annual
M. Garcia (private)
Every 6 months
Formal
Formal
Future of
assessments
Coverage
22
Tommorow’s Jobs
Between 2002 and 2012 total U. S. employment
expected to increase by 14.8 percent
Equates to 21 million more jobs
Growth in professional, scientific, and technical
services by 27.8 percent/1.9 million new jobs by
2012
(21)
23
Tomorrow’s Jobs
Projections are that computer systems design
and related services employment will increase
54.6 percent. This increase amounts to more
than a third of all new jobs in the professional,
scientific, and technical services job category.
632,000 new jobs are expected in the
information supersector by 2012. This job sector
includes software publishers, internet publishers,
data processing services and internet service
providers.
(21)
24
What This May Mean To
Organizations With IT
Professionals
Continued high turnover rates for IT
professionals (22)
Turnover rates of 25% - 33% in 1997-2001 period
Average tenure in IT went down from 18 months in 1998 to
13 months
Increased Competitiveness to fill IT positions (3)
Poaching or brain snatching
Headhunters
Negative effects on innovation, productivity and
competitiveness in world markets (27)
25
Turnover Percentages In
Comparison
(By Industry)
Information technology
Services
Health care
Banking and finance
Insurance
25-33%
13.5
12.8
13.2
7.6
(23)
26
Turnover Percentages At the Best
Companies To Work For
(24)
Rank Location
Percentage
1
Wegman’s Food Markets
6
2
Starbucks
12
3
Valero Energy
29
4
Cisco Systems
3
5
Whole Food Market
32
13
A. G. Edwards
9
14
Microsoft
5
27
Managing IT Professionals
Are IT professionals substantially different from
other employees firms seek?


Best practices for others good enough
Differences IT vs. others
IT skills and business skills
Demand/supply constantly in flux
Half-life of specific skills is short resulting in constant need for
skill renewal and development
(7)
28
What Successful IT Organizations
Do
Study of 32 organizations to determine
what successful organizations do to
recruit, develop and retain IT professionals
Successful organizations being those
successful in IT use, business
performance or managing IT human
resources (7)
29
Sample Demographics (7)
Staff of Companies Included in Case Study:
Number of IT Employees Percentage of
Companies
100-1,000
50%
<100
25%
>1,000
25%
30
Recruiting Practices (7)
Practice Category
Frequency
Sourcing
72
Skills Sought
8
Competitive
36
Differentiation Elements
One-Time Inducements 6
31
Common Themes in IT Human
Resource Trends
Dedicated person or staff supporting IT Human
Resource Activities
Existence of diverse organizational cultures with
two distinct dimensions being nurtured to some
degree


Productivity concerns dimension
Interpersonal Dimension
(7)
32
Retention Practices
Increased frequency of performance appraisals with
financial incentives
Work arrangements with interesting and challenging
projects
Work arrangements that allowed rotation across jobs
and projects
Use of cross-functional teams and modifying work
spaces to accommodate team work
Processes for identifying training and development
needs and addressing those needs
(7)
33
Retention Practices
Providing persistent and accurate
counseling and feedback
Flexible work arrangements
Providing recognition and tangiable
awards all through the performance period



Birthday cards
Welcome baskets
Lunch or dinner out
34
Detailed IT Retention Practices (7)
Practice Category
Frequency (totaling 230)
Performance Measurement
19 instances
Compensation and Benefits
Systems
44
Work Arrangements
27
Employability Training and Dev.
33
Longer-Term Career Development
9
Opportunities for Advancement
14
Opportunities for Recognition
15
Quality of Leadership
21
Sense of Community
32
Lifestyle Accommodations
13
Org. Stability and Employment
Security
3
35
Using The Recruitment and
Retention Practice Categories
Examine current practices – benchmarking
current practices against exemplary firms


Helps to identify gaps in existing practice
Use practice categories to determine set of
practices to expend resources on to recruit
and retain IT professionals
(7)
36
Retaining
R. Bence (gov’t)
Autonomy
M. Garcia (private)
Autonomy
Turnover
Turnover
Complaints
Complaints
37
Retaining: Attractions
R. Bence (gov’t)
Security
M. Garcia (private)
Variety
Commitment
Team
Visibility
Incentives
38
The “Strategic Star” (7)
39
Closing Thoughts
Common sense

pay well, interesting work, current knowledge
Awareness


Goals of organization and individuals
Competition
40
References
1. Kakabadse, Andrew and Nada Korac-Kakabadse, “Future Role of IS/IT
Professionals,” The Journal of Management Development; 2000; 19, 2.
2. Kamal, Mustafa, “Information Technology Workforce—Planning for the
Future,” Journal of American Academy of Business; Sep 2005; 7.
3. Amaram, Donatus I., “Issues in Recruitment and Retention for the IT
Workforce,” The Journal of American Academy of Business; Mar 2005; 6,
2.
4. Kamal, Mustafa, “Information Technology Workforce—Planning for
the Future,” Journal of American Academy of Business; Sep 2005;
7, 2.
5. Athey, Susan and John Plotnicki, “The Evaluation of Job
Opportunities for IT Professionals,” The Journal of Computer
Information Systems; Spring 1998; 38, 3.
6. Witt, L.A. and L.A. Burke, “Selecting High-Performing Information
Technology Professionals,” Journal of End User Computing; Oct-Dec
2002; 14, 4.
41
References
7. Agarwal, Ritu and Thomas W. Ferratt, “Enduring Practices for Managing IT
Professionals,” Communications of the ACM; Sep 2002; 45, 9.
8. Schambach, Thomas and J. Ellis Blanton, “The Professional Development
Challenge for IT Professionals,” Communications of the ACM; Apr 2002;
35, 4.
9. Pawlowski, Suzanne D., Pratim Datta and Andrea L. Houston, “The
(Gradually) Changing Face of State IT Jobs,” Communications of the
ACM; May 2005; 48, 5.
10. Schwarzkopf, Albert B., Roberto J. Mejia, Jon Jasperson, Carol S.
Saunders and Hermann Gruenwald, “Effective Practices for IT Skills
Staffing,” Communications of the ACM; Jan 2004; 7, 1.
11. Kakabadse, Andrew and Nada Korac-Kakabadse, “Future Role of IS/IT
Professionals,” The Journal of Management Development; 2000; 19, 2.
12. Agarwal, Ritu and Thomas W. Ferratt, “Enduring Practices for Managing IT
Professionals,” Communications of the ACM; Sep 2002; 45, 9.
42
References
13. Pawlowski, Suzanne D., Pratim Datta and Andrea L. Houston, “The
(Gradually) Changing Face of State IT Jobs,” Communications of the ACM;
May 2005; 48, 5.
14. St. Louis National Compensation Survey, June 2004
15. US Department of Education
16. Ryan, Sherry D., “A Model of the Motivation for IT Retraining,” Information
Resources Management Journal; Oct-Dec 1999; 12, 4.
17. Chabrow, 1995.
18. Egan, Toby Marshall, Baiyin Yang and Kenneth R. Bartlett, “The Effects of
Organizational Learning Culture and Job Satisfaction on Motivation to
Transfer Learning and Turnover Intention,” Human Resource Development
Quarterly; Fall 2004; 15, 3.
19. Larsen, Henrik Holt, “Oticon: Unorthodox Project-Based Management and
Careers in a Spaghetti Organization,” Human Resource Planning; 2002; 25,
4.
43
References
20. Lacity, Mary and Joseph Rottman, “St. Louis Regional
Report on ‘Trends in IT Workforce Development;’” July,
2005.
21. U. S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2004-2005
22. Moore, Jo Ellen and Lisa A. Burke, “How to Turn Around
‘Turnover Culture’ in IT,” Communications of the ACM; Feb
2002; 45, 2.
23. “Why the Turnover Threat Is Real – and What to Do About
It”; HR Focus; Aug. 2005; 82, 8.
24. “The Turnover Myth”; Workforce Management; Jun 2005;
84, 6.
25. “America’s New Deficit: The shortage of Information
Technology Workers”, U. S. Department of Commerce,
Office of Technology Policy, 1997, pp.19-21, viewed
October 21, 2005.
44
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Attracting, Developing and Retaining IT Professionals