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Will Your IT Help Desk Support Suffer From Shallowing Applicant Pools?

Will Your IT Help Desk Support Suffer From Shallowing Applicant Pools?

With Growing Demands for IT Help Desk Support, How Can Your Business Keep Up?

The US Labor Department announced last week that unemployment is reaching a 10 year low, nearing 4.5%. Even more so, unemployment within technology-related professionals has remained even lower, dipping below 2.5%, according to the new US Bureau of Labor Statistics data (BLS). And BLS officials see little to no change in tech employment demands in the near future. In fact, by the year 2020, BLS predicts that over a million tech-related jobs will go unfilled.

Tech Professionals Are Harder To Retain

The BLS data also underscores a 6% increase in the amount of technicians that voluntarily quit their jobs in the last quarter. Many analysts view this data as a sign that IT professionals see the improving economy as a sign that opportunities may be better. That means if your organization has not been properly managing, compensating, incentivizing and growing your tech workers—especially in IT help desk support roles—you likely have invested a lot of time and money into people who will leave within the first year in search of better opportunities.

The Information Technology Job Market Is Tightening

Demand for IT-related jobs, including IT Help Desk, is at an all-time high. BLS reports that layoffs in IT dropped from 431,000 in the first quarter of 2016 to 379,500 this past quarter. Businesses are simply settling for mediocre tech workers because there’s no one else available! With less qualified applicants and growing needs for technological knowledge, organizations are scrambling to retain whatever talent they have—even if performance isn’t quite meeting expectations.

In light of a shallow pool of IT help desk technicians in our current economic climate, your business faces a severe dilemma. With current economic conditions signaling greater opportunities for your business to grow, your demands on technology won’t disappear. Even if you have an outstanding and dedicated IT department today, will that same department be sufficient tomorrow? And when it’s not, will you be scrambling to pick up whatever spare worker you can find—even if they aren’t the most qualified?

To prepare you to face the 2017 job market, I want to go through the 4 biggest problems your business will face when trying to hire IT Help Desk Workers (Note: these problems will be for your entire IT Support Team, but your IT Help Desk team will likely be most-effected):

Talent Shortage—with increasing demand and limited change in secondary and post-secondary curriculum to information technology help desk roles, there simply aren’t enough qualified help desk technicians to service growing number of users.

Increased Recruiting Costs—current recruitment of qualified technicians costs businesses between 20-25% of a recruit’s annual salary (for external recruiters) and in-house recruiters need to have specialization in identifying and attracting qualified technicians (Note: many recruiters that do not explicitly focus on information technology hiring lack basic technological training to assess and filter out poor recruits).

The Compensation Race—because of shortages in IT help desk (and technology fields in general), tech salaries have been growing quickly. To attract new talent with potential, you either need to know where to look and how to incentivize or you need to have deeper pockets simply to provide basic help desk support to your users. One might expect a growing applicant pool for IT help desk and technology roles in the next year or two (in reaction to increased compensation), but your users’ computer headaches are immediate and cannot wait that long!

More Training and Growth Potential—if you think once you hire for an IT help desk support role, the job’s done and all of the benefits from your hard work recruiting a talented technician will instantly make your organization run smoother, think again! Even for most talented of help desk workers, on-going training and growth opportunities are critical to not only having good-performing help desk technicians, but also to keep your IT help desk engaged and excited about their jobs.

So, if you are thinking about your IT department or your IT help desk role, what should you be thinking about?

Frankly, all of the above. You need to be constantly monitoring the market, recruiting talent (even when you think you have everyone you need!) to ensure if someone leaves, you’ll be set to support your users’ growing demands. You need to understand what incentives other IT departments are using to attract new hires and test and identify good strategies to recruit top talent of your own. AND on top of all that, you need to try and grow the IT help desk workers that are already at your organization.

Have your thought about how you are going to keep meeting your users’ demands for IT Help Desk Support? Isn’t there a simpler way to get professional IT support without having to invest time and money into recruiting, retaining and growing your IT help desk? Contact us TODAY for a FREE help desk health assessment!

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