Professional Development and Skills Training a Challenge for Many CIOs, Survey Shows



    TORONTO, Feb. 27 /CNW/ - Providing employees with adequate skills
training tops the list of staffing concerns for technology executives today, a
new survey shows. More than a quarter (26 per cent) of chief information
officers (CIOs) polled said providing adequate professional development and
skills training for their information technology (IT) professionals is their
greatest staffing challenge. Maintaining productivity levels ranked second,
cited by 20 per cent of respondents, followed by recruiting IT professionals
at 16 per cent.
    The study, developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of
information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and
conducted by an independent research firm, is based on telephone interviews
with 270 CIOs across Canada.
    CIOs were asked, "Of the following staffing issues within the IT
department, which do you consider to be your greatest challenge as a CIO?"

    
    Providing staff with adequate professional
     development resources to keep skills current ....................... 26%
    Keeping employees productive ........................................ 20%
    Finding skilled technology professionals ............................ 16%
    Dealing with personality conflicts between employees ................  7%
    Developing defined career paths for IT staff members ................  6%
    None ................................................................ 16%
                                                                         ----
    Don't know/other ....................................................  9%
                                                                         ----
                                                                         100%
    

    "As technology continues to change rapidly, many CIOs find it challenging
to maintain adequate training and skill enhancement programs for their staff,"
said Sandra Lavoy, vice-president with Robert Half Technology. "Companies that
are able to implement adaptable training programs and that are diligent in
evaluating their staff's abilities will be better able to close skill gaps
quickly and reap the added benefits of increased productivity."
    CIOs at medium firms (250-499 employees) are having the greatest
difficulty in providing staff with adequate training: 32 per cent of
respondents from this category named this as their top concern. Medium firms
also had the greatest challenge in keeping employees productive, as cited by
22 per cent of respondents. When it came to finding skilled IT professionals,
medium to large firms (500-999 employees) are having the greatest challenge as
noted by 34 per cent of CIOs in companies this size. (See Table 1 for a
breakdown of response by company size.)
    Lavoy noted that "In today's IT hiring environment, job seekers are
looking beyond attractive compensation and benefits packages to see how
organizations can assist with their professional development. To remain
competitive, companies can enhance their recruitment and retention efforts by
offering more robust professional development programs and greater assistance
to staff wishing to pursue certifications."

    
                               About the Survey
                               ----------------
    The study was developed by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of
information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis, and
conducted by an independent research firm. The study is based on more than 270
telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of Canadian companies with
100 or more employees. In order for the study to be statistically
representative and ensure that companies from all segments were represented,
the sample was stratified by industry and employee size. The results were then
weighted to reflect the proper proportions of employee size within industry.

                         About Robert Half Technology
                         ----------------------------
    With more than 100 locations in North America, South America, Europe and
the Asia-Pacific region, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of
technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and
multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support.
Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at www.rht.com.

    EDITOR'S NOTE: To schedule an interview for local commentary in Toronto,
    Ottawa, Calgary or Vancouver, please contact Jason Chapman at 416-350-
    8143, extension 62070.


    Table 1: Responses by Company Size
    ----------------------------------
    CIOs were asked, "Of the following staffing issues within the IT
    department, which do you consider to be your greatest challenges as a
    CIO?" (top responses shown)

    1000+ employees

    Finding skilled technology professionals ............................ 24%
    Providing staff with adequate professional
     development resources to keep skills current ....................... 21%
    Keeping employees productive ........................................ 20%
    Dealing with personality conflicts between employees ................ 12%
    Developing defined career paths for IT staff members ................ 10%

    500-999 employees

    Finding skilled technology professionals ............................ 34%
    Providing staff with adequate professional
     development resources to keep skills current ....................... 29%
    Developing defined career paths for IT staff members ................ 26%
    Keeping employees productive ........................................ 11%
    Dealing with personality conflicts between employees ................  0%

    250-499 employees

    Providing staff with adequate professional
     development resources to keep skills current ....................... 32%
    Keeping employees productive ........................................ 22%
    Finding skilled technology professionals ............................ 15%
    Developing defined career paths for IT staff members ................ 12%
    Dealing with personality conflicts between employees ................  6%

    100-249 employees

    Providing staff with adequate professional
     development resources to keep skills current ....................... 24%
    Keeping employees productive ........................................ 20%
    Finding skilled technology professionals ............................ 14%
    Dealing with personality conflicts between employees ................  8%
    Developing defined career paths for IT staff members ................  3%
    





For further information:

For further information: TO SPEAK WITH A LOCAL EXPERT, CONTACT: Robert
Half Technology, Jason Chapman, (416) 350-8143, extension 62070,
jason.chapman@rhi.com


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