IT Roles Remain Difficult To Fill

The ManpowerGroup Annual Talent Shortage Survey has revealed that for the last two years IT staff roles have been the sixth-hardest to fill. In other words: the vacancies are out there.

Job search picture from Shutterstock

This is great news for those in the IT business looking for greener pastures. But the challenge is that no all IT jobs are created equal. Some roles are much harder to fill than others.

A pool of over 1500 employers was surveyed.

One of the interesting outcomes for the survey was that some of the recruitment tactics of prospective employers were revealed. For example, one of the strategies being used was to employ people from "non-traditional" paths and offering them training. That's great news for folks looking to change to a new career but are put off by having to do their own training or signing up for a degree.

The right attitude and a desire to learn, along with some life and work experience are being increasingly seen as important assets.

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey


    I've been promised training at hire time at every IT job I have had and not once has it been provided.

      Same here, in an EOFY meeting several years, and employers ago, they were thrilled that they came up over budget on training. They had managed to save so much money by not training anyone, except sending a few people on some useless MS courses that they got for free. Hell, they didn't even train anyone on a new service delivery tool, we were just expected to figure it out after being told it was going live the next business day.

    Of course they're hard to fill. Almost all IT roles earn less than the manager they report to.

    If you're advertising a highly specialized IT position for $60,000, you're either going to get someone who's pumped their resume, or it's going to sit vacant.

    If these companies started offering $150,000 for their tech roles that are "impossible to find someone to fill", you might find they're actually really easy to fill.

    A lot of good IT people don't apply for IT positions any more, because they're now now IT Managers, Consultants, Project Managers, Plumbers, Miners, etc. - you know, doing jobs that earn decent cash.

    I know there are exceptions - but if you're having trouble filling a job, generally you're a) not paying enough b) not paying enough c) not advertising the position to a big enough market, or d) asking for someone with the skill-set and experience of a CEO to fill a position titled "office assistant"

      Of course they're hard to fill. Almost all IT roles earn less than the manager they report to.

      Are you complaining that a non-manager gets paid less than a manager?

        Most managers don't have near as many qualifications that cost as much under their belts so why should they be paid more? Sure going to Uni and getting a degree in management is all well and good, but when you look at someone that went to Uni to do something in tech, then having to get vendor certifications on top of that. Usually at their own expense, only to land an entry level position. There is no wonder why they cant fill some jobs.

          Managers are managers for a reason though. They are making all of the high level decisions that nobody else sees that keep the company afloat. They may not have the technical skills to fill the roles that those who report to them do, but those roles wouldn't even be there without them.

            I personally had never thought of that, but I must say that what chaosjester says makes sence..
            I know my last manager was on 110k+ and didn't know the difference between MB and GB. We did all his reporting and purchasing. All he did is take calls from CEO level and pass the work to us as urgent. We sometimes went months with out him even visiting the office and no one was any wiser..

        Not exactly.

        I'm saying that salaries should be set by supply and demand. If there is a short supply of IT workers and high demand for IT workers, IT worker salaries should rise.

        However, organisations that stick to the traditional view that all subordinates must earn less than their manager get stuck. Say for instance it's easier to find a MBA qualified general manager than it is to find a Oracle Qualified DB Admin. Should the IT manager still earn more than their subordinate?

        I'm not complaining. I'm saying I'm not a tech anymore, and many of my peer group who were once techs are no longer techs; not because they didn't like it, but because there was better money in non-hands-on roles. Having a technical background sets you up for a wide range of management (or quasi-management) positions where you oversee technicians.

        It's not unusual for a project manager on a construction project to hire specialists who earn multiple times the amount the project manager does. This IS reflected in the IT consulting industry, but does not seem to be reflected in the IT Employment industry.

        Sure, the IT manager makes decisions that affect the future of the company. But paying/offering someone more doesn't always make them make better decisions. (You can't buy a new lexus for $10,000, but spending $130,000 on a toyota caroola doesn't make it a lexus). However, IT technicians can have a disproportionate influence on the operating costs of a company - ask any medium/large company that relies on an ERP and has suffered an incompetent DB/Systems admin.

    Sometimes the job position has ridiculous requirements. I have seen JUNIOR positions that require 3 to 4 years experience... how is that even a Junior Position anymore???

    This is why

    If Carpenters Were Hired Like Programmers

    I've had to explain to clueless recruiters that programming is like driving a car, and once you know how to drive a car, you can drive different cars with little difficulty
    But all I get is dead silence, presumably their brain fried because it wasn't part of the script

    As someone who is looking for a new it position, the wage to experience that employers are seeking is rediculous, tertiary education, certs and two or more years exp in the field for a 60k wage is a joke. A different field requiring the same level would be paid upwards of 90

    An IT career is a competition against offshore people who get trained to pass exams and will work for peanuts without question. Don't bother.

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