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Project managers, tech sales pros are in high demand

Sharon Florentine | April 8, 2016
After engineers, IT companies are struggling to keep up with demand for two other hard-to-fill roles: technical salespeople and IT project managers.

"You have to make sure you're offering education, training and that your compensation plans for sales people are top rate. There's so many companies looking, it's not unheard of that you'll hire a bunch of salespeople, get them trained and up to speed, and then they'll leave for a better offer," Kader says.

A good PM is hard to find

Technical project manager roles are also increasingly hard to fill, according to research from Strayer University's Strayer@Work Skills Index, which provides a real-time look at talent shortages across a number of industries, including IT. The index uses select skills data from the public domain, including LinkedIn profiles, to identify what skills are in highest demand and where companies are falling short.

The Skills Index identified performance management, IT audit and resource allocation and scheduling skills as those most in demand -- and hardest to find, says Kelly Bozarth, CEO of Strayer@Work.

"Within IT, we expected to see skills gaps around hard technology skills, and there's some of that, yes, around engineers and developers. But what was most interesting was that the biggest gap was around the skillset for project managers. That ability to take IT projects and deliver them on-time, under-budget and to use technology to help drive ROI -- that's huge," says Bozarth.

Technical project management skills are necessary in all fields, and one challenge in finding and recruiting project managers is the increased competition for talent, says Bozarth. Regardless of industry, almost all companies today depend on technology to drive their business, which means IT project managers are in demand across the board, in every industry.

"Every company is an IT company nowadays, so every industry, not just IT, is going to need these people, so you have to think much more strategically when hiring. One solution is to hire at the entry-level and then institute learning and education programs to build the talent from within your organization," Bozarth says.

Though they don't get as much attention, project management and sales roles are just as important to your IT business -- and hiring for them can be just as challenging.


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