Posted on: December 13th, 2017

2018 I.T. Budget Trends – What does it mean to Onboarding I.T. Staff?

It’s that time of year again… as the I.T. world reviews budgets and staffing trends for 2018.

The overall picture looks rather rosy with firms and IT shops increasing their budget and staffing.  According to Spiceworks, “The 2018 State of IT”, 44% of the firms interviewed stated that they intend to increase their budget and 43% stated they would maintain their current one. Only 11% of those firms interviewed said they would decrease.  So, overall, you can expect IT budgets to increase or at least remain flat.  The picture gets even better in respect to I.T. compensation.  Around 60% of Spicework’s respondents stated they intend to increase their I.T. Staff revenue next year and that number increased to 70% for large corporations (5000+ employees).  Based on IT Budgets and Compensation increasing, 2018 does look to be a Happy New Year!

Looking specifically at IT staff, recently wrote an article 7 IT salary and hiring trends for 2018 by Sarah White that more closely looks at IT Staffing issues for the next year.  Of the seven trends stated four in particular stand out…

1). Talent Shortage Still Looms – Because of this, there is an increase in companies hiring less experienced workers who are “motivated to learn new skills quickly.”  The talent shortage is quickly becoming one of the most significant business problems for CIO’s…this means training programs will increase.

2) The Hiring Process is Still Too Slow – On average, it takes 4 to 5 weeks to fill a staff-level role.  The firms’ surveyed stated that IT candidates lose interest in positions if not contacted in two weeks.  This issue, along with the IT talent shortage stated above, can have a significant impact on a firm’s IT staffing issues.

3) Soft Skills are Now Required Skills – Communication and collaboration are critical. Employers are now focused on candidates that have effective listening and critical thinking skills.  Being a pure coder is no longer possible in the IT world, especially for individual contributors.  They are expected to be more embedded into their organization’s business lines.  This means not only are they to be experts in their field and behind the desk, but now, influencers with increased visibility and now a part of team interactions and discussions with stakeholders.

4)  Popular Perks that “Woo” IT Talent – Two of the most popular perks are flexible work schedules and remote work opportunities.  Both certainly seem reasonable, given the amount of work required, and ways to attract the best talent. However this can be in conflict with the ever important soft skills mentioned above.  Since I.T. Professionals are truly key and important the business they must remain connected.  If these perks are used, both the business and worker will need to have accountabilities to ensure success.

Potential IT Onboarding Issues for 2018 – Warnings

1)  Increase in Wasted Time – Look for large firms to begin hiring rapidly in 2018; unfortunately, large firms tend to be inefficient onboarding their IT staff.  An increase in budget does not necessarily mean the IT, HR, and other various departments will be ready for this increase.  This means you can expect new IT staff to be sitting around waiting for equipment, applications, and of course permission (roles).

2)  Increased Time Pressure for New IT Staff – Remember that slow hiring process mentioned above?  Let’s do some “time” math here…say it takes 5 weeks to hire a new candidate as mentioned by CIO.  Give another 2 weeks before that IT Candidate walks into the door and another 6 to 8 before they can begin to contribute to their team.  So, 5+2+8 = 15.  Therefore, you can expect 15 weeks or over 3 months from the identification of a business need before your individual contributor begins to add value in solving the business need.  Even though this is not the new hire’s fault you can expect they will feel the pressure.

3)  Increased Knowledge Pressure for new IT Staff – As previously mentioned, the talent war shortage still looms as firms embrace new IT staff that are willing to learn the latest technology skills.  This is in addition to them getting closer to the lines of business in order to develop more intelligent applications, to give their firm an edge.  You can expect that 2018’s IT Staff will have a heavy dose of learning in the coming year.

For more information on LiL-Tec and Our Approach, please check out my website along with my whitepaper which focuses on many of the challenges briefly highlighted in this blog. 

A New Approach

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