the attractiveness of the IT sector is resilient but growing competition poses risks

the attractiveness of the IT sector is resilient but growing competition poses risks
Are you an IT industry worker? Then we have some good news for you, the IT sector is considered one of the most attractive in the world.

According to the 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research, the IT sector is one of the most desirable sectors to work in on the planet, particularly in New Zealand.

The IT sector ranks highly when it comes to giving employers in New Zealand what they want from a job. This includes high salary and benefits, balanced work-life schedule and long-term job security. While IT isn’t the only sector to score highly in these attributes, the perception is that the IT sector consistently delivers on these factors in employment. 

room for improvement

However, there is a lot of room for improvement within the sector, with a need to close the gender gap between men and women becoming more and more important. The IT sector fairs particularly badly when it comes to employing women, the Economist reported that only 21% of Silicon Valley executives are women, compared with 36% in all other industries.

Innovation drivers within the industry may find this and other aspects of the sector unappealing, and IT could see its attractiveness fall if it doesn’t take the time to appeal to women and other minority groups, ensure pay equality, job flexibility and career progression opportunities across the board. 

IT attraction and retention

The industry needs to be aware of the disruptions going on across other sectors. IT may be popular now with working adults, but the 2017 Randstad Employer Brand Research revealed that its supporters are not unconditionally loyal. In fact,75% of employees in IT would be open to switching sectors. 

What's more, other sectors are employing more IT specialists to keep up with the industry and stay on the cutting-edge of innovation. Digitisation has started to infiltrate almost every business, and as top talent looks for best opportunities and offers from sectors that invest in IT and other employee benefits. 

The skills shortage within this sector has also been rising, with a greater need for specialty skills and an ever-evolving skill set, making talent harder to find and keep. 

Under these conditions, how can the IT business retain its top skilled employees and stay ahead of the game?

the future of IT employment 

The IT sector should be concerned. To prevent a serious skills shortage, the sector needs to build up a pipeline of IT workers for the future, and this can only be done by improving its employee value proposition – meaning what employees will gain, not just financially, from working in IT. This can be anything from flexible working to extended leave and unlimited holiday time. Today, IT organisations need to provide the most engaging and attractive work environment for employees in order to attract and retain the very best in IT talent.
 
Another factor that the IT sector needs to consider is the next talent and the next generation. Young talent is the key to innovation, and the IT sector need to engage and nurture the next generation to help generate the future innovators in IT. Scholarships and training programs can incentivize youth to join the sector, as well as provide a comprehensive education for the next phase of workers. The Ministry of Social Development’s Grayson Zhang has the right idea, with a CSR initiative in IT to grow the workplace of the future (Read more here). 

Ultimately, when it comes to the future, the pace of training needs to reflect the fast pace of change in the industry – there’s no time to be complacent. 
Posted: Tuesday, 4 July 2017 - 11:00 AM