Improving IT recruiting by rethinking IT priorities

Allstate people working

Most people seem to have complaints about hiring IT staff. They can’t find the right skills, or just people. Of course, what little economics I know would suggest that this means the price (wages) should be higher.

Also, there’s probably a need a rejigger how organization’s think about IT, namely by dividing projects up into low-value (non-differentiating), and high value/differentiating buckets. Those answers are all too simple, really. The question is how to get the IT department to the point where management can do those things.

Jon Reed summerize a and comments on an article on this topic:

There isn’t an inherent conflict between outsourcing some skills and cultivating others. Too many companies cultivate mediocre administrative skills, while paying a premium for external talent on a contract basis.
But the report cites a nifty example from the CIO of the Weather Report, who has figured out how to stay lean AND talented:

  • Use free/open source tools
  • Use SaaS where possible (Koehler would rather pay a salary to a developer/engineer than to a person to just manage infrastructure tooling)
  • Focus FTEs on the “new stuff” and utilize third party services to do manual testing, regression testing, and hardware certification

To add a glib summarization which matches with a lot of the “digital transformation” advice I find: companies should revisit how they prioritize each activity in IT, and only focus on in-sourcing (as in on-premises and their own staffing) things that are differentiating to their businesses. The hope is that this frees up resources (time, money, and corporate attention) to “do things right”). Rightly, I think others would also suggest that if you treat staff more humanely and focus on continuous learning you’ll get results too.

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