IT talent in the Irish market is going somewhere, but where, and why?
Blogs | 01 May 2012 :
In speaking to a number of company chiefs of late in various parts of the ICT industry in Ireland, one thing has emerged that is common to all and that is a frustration in the hunt for talent.
All spoke of the lack of properly skilled people to fill various roles related to ICT services, whether internal or offered out to customers. All spoke too of a general dissatisfaction with recruitment agencies who seem, uniformly, to have fallen back on old habits of the CV deluge in the hope that something will stick, but alas, the companies merely get annoyed with this. The lack of suitable candidates distilled from the wave has led one company in particular to abandon such agencies altogether and hire its own HR person specifically to recruit technical people.
It seems ironic that as online dating agencies are touting the sophistication and intelligence of their algorithms in matching potential mates, IT recruitment specialists seem baffled in matching applicants to vacancies, much to the displeasure of client companies.
But another interesting common thread has emerged from the various captains of industry and that was where they thought talent was going. While each of the voices echoed the sentiment that there was a shortage of indigenous people qualified to the levels required in the various vacancies, there was also a feeling that what people were available were being snapped up by different figures.
To the end user companies, there was a feeling that growing service providers, expanding on the wave of outsourcing and managed service adoption, were snapping up, and indeed poaching, all the good people from under their noses. As a result, there was also a feeling that the switch from in house IT to outsourced or managed services may be accelerated due to the talent shortage. This was not seen as a good thing.
By the same token, the heads of the service providers, faced with the same challenges, seemed to think that the talent was being vacuumed up by likes of Facebook/Google/Twitter and all of the other exciting new media and major multinational companies.
Now, what was also interesting was that all of the evidence for these apparent drains was anecdotal, but nonetheless the convictions they inspired were firmly held.
What appears to be emerging from this situation is that ICT recruiters are failing client companies and losing business. Furthermore, client companies are experiencing difficulties in finding, and perhaps retaining, talent that they are attributing to competition from what each none perceives as the next step up in the chain of possible career progression.
I am not for a moment saying that these perceptions are incorrect, but it is interesting that no one is reporting losing talent to competitors or purely on remuneration issues. It would be interesting to see if there were any recruitment companies that could offer some metrics on movements in the industry to see if any of these fears can be borne out.