Today’s talent shortage is enormous, and this is no different in the IT sector. On the contrary. Last year we even saw a record number of IT jobs published. Yet, many of these vacancies remain unfilled. Melina Kayila, managing consultant in the IT division of international recruitment firm Robert Walters, takes a closer look and tells us what professionals and organizations can do to help turn the tide.
Increasing number of IT jobs
2021 was a record year for the number of IT jobs in Belgium. Jobfeed figures reveal that 55% more IT vacancies were published compared to the previous year. "This strong increase in the number of vacancies was particularly noticeable in positions in data management (87%), IT infrastructure (66%), IT management (51%) and IT project management (45%)," says Melina.
Highest talent shortage
Every year, VDAB publishes a list of positions that are difficult to fill, which has now grown to 207. Nurses lead the way, but certain IT roles have also been on this list for years, such as IT business analysts, IT managers and IT developers.
Most popular sectors
Besides ICT organizations and software companies, many other sectors are also looking for IT specialists. Melina: "IT Managers, C-level professionals within IT and IT Project Managers are particularly in high demand in sectors such as pharma, automotive, telecom and management consulting. Within the banking and insurance sector, the government, retail and energy sectors, data and warehousing specialists and IT architects are highly sought-after.”
Attract and retain IT talent
"The number of vacancies in IT is increasing month by month, but the inflow of well-trained IT specialists is lagging behind and this could become problematic, given the major transformations we are experiencing in the areas of digitization and IT security," says Melina. "Encouraging students to choose an IT education is one thing, but organizations also need to take urgent steps to face this increasing talent shortage. Training and upskilling employees and setting up individual growth plans are a good start."
On average, an IT professional remains loyal to their employer for 2 to 2.5 years before looking for a new challenge. If, as an organization, you want to keep IT talent on board, it is essential to take several factors into consideration. Melina: "Offering a competitive salary or salary increase is fine, but flexible working hours, hybrid working, autonomy and the ability to work with the latest technologies are equally important for IT professionals.“
Larger pool of talent
Now that hybrid working is established in most organizations, professionals have become more flexible in their choice of employer and are expanding their search area. Travel time used to play a key role, and interesting jobs were easily rejected if they were too far from home. "This is fortunately over, and that is good news for organizations that want to attract IT talent. Even looking beyond our national borders is not a luxury, especially in today's tight labour market," Melina concludes.
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