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The Struggle for Great IT Talent

Having Trouble Keeping Your IT Team Staffed?

You are far from alone. Many SMBs have issues retaining top technical talent and the reasons why are not surprising. Churn is a constant and expensive issue among small and medium businesses. To make matters worse, the costs of hiring and training new talent make it nearly impossible to stay in front of the issue.

Why SMB IT Teams See So Much Turnover

  • Limited career growth opportunities. At some point, if IT is done well, either the new, interesting work (projects) will dry up or the company will have maintained a significant growth trajectory over a long period of time. Few SMB’s maintain significant growth, consistently.
  • Compensation growth. SMB’s generally have a lower compensation cap than enterprise business does. As such, top IT talent generally hits a compensation ceiling within 4 to 7 years. Good IT people continue to improve their skill set so they perceive a “value gap” between what they provide the business and what they’re paid, over time.
  • Skillset mismatch. At some point, when IT is running well, there’s less for the IT manager to do (or, at least, there’s less work that requires his/her skill set). Hence, the business perceives a “value-gap” (isn’t this work we can have less experienced and less expensive people do?).
  • 24 x 7 life. SMB’s don’t have a staff of 12 IT team members. Or 8. They have 1 to 3 which means the IT staff are on call – all the time.
  • Other opportunities. The enterprise community provides answers to all these (no 24×7, higher pay opportunities, work that matches the skill set, etc.) Additionally, other SMBs who don’t have great IT seek out IT professionals who are able to create strong, IT environments and good IT people are often drawn to these challenges. And, of course, IT consulting firms aggressively seek the top technical talent.

Indeed there is some IT talent that is returning to the SMB world, but often those are people on the tail end of their career, tired of the corporate game, and/or happy returning to a less complex, less stressful environment. If you can find one of these people who is still invested in their career, hire them. They are absolutely worth it.

However, if you’re like nearly all SMB’s, plan ahead and ensure you have a relationship with a good IT consulting firm – they help bridge this inevitable gap in more ways than one. Visit our Staffing page to learn more.

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