OPINION: Facing the IT skills shortage

OPINION: Facing the IT skills shortage

Many channel companies I have spoken to this year could wax lyrical for hours about the difficulty of finding good IT staff. That in itself isn't a surprise -- finding hard workers who will get the job done well, on time and without endless hours of supervision is any company's dream.

Four or five months ago while researching a feature, I found channel companies telling me they had to provide packages to potential employees which included more than just great salaries, in order to lure the bright young things they were after. Will that all change in 2001? I don't think so. In an industry where change is commonplace and what is new today is yesterday's news six months later, there will remain a high demand for staff with knowledge of the latest hardware and software (see Topic of the Week: Tackling the IT skills shortage).

Nor is it just graduates who channel companies are trying to attract -- it's the more experienced, senior staff -- those that have both the technical and management skills and can communicate these both to customers and other staff.

And as IT salaries continue to spiral upwards in areas where there are acute skills shortages, channel companies have to increasingly market themselves to potential candidates. It's the Brave New World of IT which rewards the strongest, fittest and most attractive. And persuading candidates that you are the company they want to work with may be the difference between hiring a brilliant new staff member or a lacklustre employee who is all that you could get.

Vivienne Fisher is associate editor at Australian Reseller News. Reach her at

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