88 percent of Australian firms struggle to fill IT roles

17 November 2014

The majority of Australian businesses (88%) say it is challenging1 to find top IT talent; with larger organisations facing the greatest shortage, according to research released by specialist recruitment firm, Robert Half.

In a survey of 100 CIOs across the country, sourcing skilled professionals is proving difficult due to a lack of niche, technical experts and general demand outweighing supply.

The top five functional areas hardest to fill include:

  • Software development (18%)
  • Applications development (15%)
  • Data/database management (15%)
  • Help desk/technical support (11%)
  • Security (8%)

Recruitment this year has been driven by the implementation of new projects and initiatives, product or service expansion, and moving over to cloud-based infrastructure.

Andrew Morris, Director at Robert Half says that companies struggling to attract quality IT staff need to adopt a variety of strategies that go beyond a solid salary and good benefits.

“Top candidates want to see the potential for stimulating projects to engage their creative side. A possible solution is to hold annual or quarterly ‘innovation days’ that allow employees to contribute to business growth in different ways”.

Another option to meet staff shortages is with a temporary hire, especially for one-off projects.

“Staff with specialist skills can be hired exclusively for a single project. An organisation then also has the time to assess whether someone may be suitable for a permanent role should the need arise”, adds Morris.

Given the challenge in finding top talent, CIOs are just as concerned2 (83%) about losing top performers to other job opportunities.

“Companies cannot afford to be complacent with their recruitment and retention strategies. Talent is a key factor underpinning the success of any business – large or small, public sector or private”, concludes Morris.

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Gabrielle Nagy  
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