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How unfilled tech jobs impact the U.S. economy

Sharon Florentine | March 2, 2017
How much are those open IT roles costing the economy and your company? The answer is probably a lot more that you think.

And these unfilled roles don't just represent money left on the table, they represent lower productivity and morale and, potentially, missed market opportunities for innovation and sales, Dobroski says.

"These aren't unnecessary roles that companies can simply ignore or leave vacant -- these IT roles, in particular, are critical for growth, innovation and competition. Companies can't just reallocate those budget dollars elsewhere, they really need tech talent with the hard skills and the ability to understand the market, the business and the competitive landscape," he says.

Hiring is a major concern

The recent Tech Hiring and Retention Survey from executive search and technology firm Harris Allied also shows that management's top concern is with finding and hiring elite tech talent.

That concern edged out other pressing concerns, including "keeping the teams they have in place" and "staying competitive with regard to salary and bonuses," according to the survey, which polled 120 IT executives in November and December of 2016. Fifty percent of the executives surveyed say finding and hiring top tech talent was their biggest concern, followed by 20 percent who say their biggest concern is retention. Only 14 percent of respondents say remaining competitive with salary and bonuses was a major concern; 10 percent say they are concerned about having more work to do with fewer people, while 3 percent say managing their current team was their most pressing issue.

"The 2017 survey results confirm what our clients have been saying: the demand for top talent is at an all-time high, and companies are stepping up to attract and retain the best and brightest stars," says Kathy Harris, managing director of Harris Allied.

Executives are employing a number of strategies to find and hire that top talent, according to the Harris Allied survey. While compensation and benefits packages are still top-of-mind, the survey showed that strategies focusing on corporate culture and unique and exciting work have grown in importance.

"CIOs, other C-level executives, hiring managers and recruiters much realize that money is not enough, especially in tech. When it comes to what keeps your talent engaged long term, it's not a leading factor. Culture and values, career opportunities and growth, the ability to work on exciting, meaningful projects -- these are what tech talent wants," says Dobroski.

More opportunities for workers

With so many opportunities available, tech talent has a lot of options when it comes to finding work, Dobroski says, That's why companies must differentiate themselves with culture, values and meaningful work, he says.

"In the case of software engineers, in particular, they're often doing very similar work regardless of the company they land at. So, having an opportunity to do meaningful work for a mission-driven company, building interesting products that touch millions of lives and having clear communication so they know why their work matters will help companies fill these roles," he says.


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