Organisations that were reluctant to hire entry level IT staff during the downturn will struggle to find mid-range candidates, an IT recruitment firm has claimed.
Recruitment firm, Hays Information Technology, claims during the downturn, organisations developed their good staff, while graduate recruitment fell, leading towards the danger of a 'top-heavy' management structure and severe shortage of candidates with mid-level (three years) experience.
“Employers were reluctant to recruit graduates and entry-level staff during the downturn,” Hays regional director, Peter Noblet, said. “At the same time, employers took steps to retain their star performers and invested in their development. Today, these people are progressing into senior or management roles, and employers are again recruiting at the entry-level, but this leaves a gap in between.
“The recruitment battle for this mid-band will intensify and moving forward companies will find themselves under pressure to promote and up-skill quickly to fill and replace that lost layer of their workforce. This will create a significant challenge for employers.”
Noblet said staff that progressed in title and career during the downturn will not want to cover the intermediate or mid-level positions they have vacated.
“They will want their career to continue to move forward, and employers, particularly medium-sized businesses, are already starting to question how they can keep these staff challenged, motivated and progressing. If they don’t find an answer, these staff will become disenchanted and look elsewhere as the top level of the organisation becomes compacted,” Noblet said.
“The other danger is that new entry-level staff will have no-one at the mid-level directly above them to look up to. With a whole layer of staff gone, they will look one more level up for guidance, but the job function and experience of employees at that level is usually very different from their own. This creates the potential for a greater ‘them and us’ scenario, which ultimately affects retention, engagement and productivity.”