IT Workers Will Be Hard to Find and Keep in 2022
Three recently published reports suggest that while the demand for technology will remain high in 2022, skilled IT workers will be hard to find and difficult to keep.
These trends will disrupt technology projects but will also close the gap between technology and HR leaders, according to a survey report titled The Impact of Technology in 2022 and Beyond: an IEEE Global Study.
The report reveals that 97 percent of IT leaders agree that their team is working more closely than ever with human resource leaders to implement workplace technologies—though it may take longer than usual due to the staffing shortages.
The report, which was published by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in November, relied on responses from 350 chief information officers, chief technology officers, IT directors and other technology leaders in the U.S., China, the U.K., India and Brazil who work at organizations with more than 1,000 employees across multiple sectors.
The IT leaders shared their views on the state of HR technology as the impact of COVID-19 continues to change the workplace.
Respondents predict that in 2022 they'll have a plethora of difficult IT problems to solve, including:
- Maintaining strong cybersecurity for a hybrid workforce of remote and in-office workers (83 percent).
- Managing return-to-office health and safety protocols, software, apps, and data (73 percent).
- Deciding what technologies are necessary for their company in the post-pandemic future (68 percent).
- Recruiting technologists and filling open tech positions (73 percent).
A survey published in October by TalentLMS, part of the Epignosis Group of Companies, and recruiting software company Workable suggests there's more trouble ahead. The companies polled 1,200 IT workers for its report and found 72 percent of respondents in the U.S. said they are thinking of quitting their jobs in the next 12 months.
Respondents cited several reasons for wanting to quit, with 41 percent saying their jobs had limited career progression, 40 percent noting a lack of flexibility in working hours and 39 percent citing a toxic work environment.
"The percentage of IT workers [who] are thinking about quitting their jobs is higher than I would imagine," said Periklis Venakis, chief technology officer at Epignosis.
Venakis said employers will have to adapt to remote work, which will continue after the pandemic ends. He added that HR should see this as an opportunity because companies can find employees in markets that were closed to them prior to the pandemic.
"Not only is the competition stronger, but [also] the pool of candidates is larger," he said. "HR executives should focus on reaching out to people working in geographically dispersed areas that were unreachable up until recently. By providing flexible working conditions, they can more easily hire and keep new IT staff."
One company that is watching its IT staff turnover rates is Cloudflare Inc., an infrastructure and website security company based in San Francisco.
According to Janet Van Huysse, Cloudflare's senior vice president and chief people officer, the company's employee turnover rate during the pandemic peaked in May 2021. Cloudflare has more than 2,200 employees and an IT organization of 964 workers globally.