Six Through Eight

By Ericka Chickowski  |  Posted 2008-04-29 Print this article Print

Tips for getting the workforce you need in the skills you lack.

6. Implement job rotation.
Training employees doesn't have to be all about mentorship and classroom training. In fact, some experts are recommending enterprises put employees through plenty of good old fashioned on-the-job training. A formal job rotation program can offer junior employees the opportunity to gain all of the skills required of today's IT worker. If a company is especially keen on equipping IT workers with business-knowledge, it might even make sense to implement a rotation program that gets IT employees working in other non-technical departments.

“Willingness to hire at the entry level is an indicator of a CIO’s overall commitment to developing future IT staff,” wrote former Forrester analyst Samuel Bright last fall. “And job rotation becomes a tool to facilitate this development by accelerating the learning of entry-level hires, as well as updating the knowledge set of existing employees. As IT matures, CIOs will view their people as assets to be invested and cultivated. This mind shift translates into specific strategies for talent development, including rotation.”

Job rotation is also a very effective way of training future leaders by allowing them to get a first-hand glimpse of many different aspects of the IT department and the business at large, he wrote.

“IT organizations that are grooming future directors should rotate future leaders into different roles within IT to broaden their expertise and into different roles in other businessfunctions to broaden their perspective,” Bright says. “IT-to-business rotation is tougher to implement but enables future directors to build relationships with business manager counterparts.”

7. Leverage teleworkers.
One of the quickest ways an employer can broaden its field of qualified candidates for a job is to open up the search geographically. Often a search can be stymied by the fact that there might only be one or two people in a given area with the exact qualifications to do the job and there is no guarantee they're looking for something new.

Implementing a telework program is not only an inventive way to effectively open up a search geographically, it can also be a strong work benefit to those who would prefer working from home.

“Telecommuting has been seemingly more of an available option these days,” Han says. “That does widen the pool of candidates, especially when you have a quality candidate who might have an hour commute and wouldn't normally take the job. When telecommuting is an option and they can work remotely even part of the week a company is more likely to attract and retain them.”

8. Make the work environment enviable.
When an employer invests the proper amount in its staff training, the importance of hiring teachable candidates and retaining them after training ratchets up considerably. While offering a commensurate base salary is certainly an important piece of the puzzle, there are many other ways to compensate employees without spending a fortune.

“Creative incentives are important, things as easy as offering food at the office, maybe providing lunch or offering soft drinks can create a positive environment,” Han says. “Being able to present things like that to a candidate looking at multiple offers can really show them that the company cares about its people.”


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