IT managers in short supply

Feb 07 2007 by Nic Paton Print This Article

Skilled IT managers are now in such short supply in the U.S that employers are finding it can often take up three months to fill a vacant position.

Chief information officers are struggling to fill vacant managerial positions, and are so swamped with work themselves that they cannot find the time to hire or interview suitable candidates.

This is creating a Catch-22 situation, a new survey of 1,400 CIOs by recruiter Robert Half Technology claims.

On average, it now takes almost two months - some 56 days - to fill a staff-level IT position and 87 days to bring a new manager on board.

To make matters worse, hiring managers are often so short-staffed that they are unable to find the time even to go out and hire new talent, so exacerbating the situation.

"Hiring managers often are caught in a catch-22: short-staffed but unable to dedicate the necessary time to recruit and evaluate candidates due to extra duties they've had to assume," pointed out Katherine Spencer Lee, executive director of Robert Half Technology.

"Employers must balance the need to expedite the hiring process with the equally pressing need to ensure a new employee is right for the job," she added.

And the levels of demand meant that, when a talented candidate did come on the market, those employers that failed to move quickly enough inevitably lost out.

"Today's top professionals Ė even those currently employed Ė often receive multiple offers to consider, and organisations that don't act quickly risk losing these candidates to other opportunities," said Spencer Lee.

"Overburdening staff for extended periods of time also can lead to burnout and increased turnover," she added.

The survey adds weight to the growing evidence that the IT recruitment market on both sides of the Atlantic is currently red-hot.

In November, a study by recruiter SkillsMarket and the Association of Technology Staffing Companies found that some IT specialists in the UK were now hiring their own Hollywood-style agents to help them keep up with demand.