ICT Specialists: Is There Really a Shortage?

The explosion of new information and communication technologies stimulates recruiters appetites for workers who master these skills. But is it a commodity that is as rare as they claim? It may just be that some companies put the bar a little too high, says TECHNOCompétences.

Year after year, no fewer than 6000 specialist positions in information and communications technologies (ICT) are not being filled in Quebec.

This data, collected by TECHNOCompétences, applies only to the ICT sector. However, the exponential diffusion of innovations such as mobile technologies, the Internet of Things, cloud computing and big data analysis increases the demand for ICT specialists in all sectors. Financial institutions, retailers, manufacturers: companies of all sizes and all industries are snapping these specialists up and increasing the pressure on demand for a skilled workforce.

So much so that many recruiters lament what they describe as a labour shortage. Yet, the pool of available ICT specialists has only increased in recent years, says TECHNOCompétences in its latest sectoral analysis in the ICT sector in Quebec. “The market is definitely not suffering from a shortage of new graduates,” it notes.

High expectations

Access to human capital in ICT is indeed a major challenge in human resources management, a fact which TECHNOCompétences recognizes. With an average employment period of 53 days – or 13 days longer than in 2012 – ICT jobs have some of the longest vacancies in Quebec.

The catch is that employers generally covet highly qualified candidates with five to seven years experience. “Companies have different and often unique needs that fit their situation. They are looking for specialized talent who know the business needs of the company and that have strong management capabilities.”

TECHNOCompétences has noticed that this growing phenomenon leads to a gap in recruitment. In short, by placing the bar too high, employers neglect those candidates fresh out of school that could help address their needs, at least in part, as well as reduce the pressure on demand.

Invest in training

To ensure the development of ICT professionals, TECHNOCompétences believes that employers should develop a ‘culture of continuing education’ and implement better development of their human capital strategies.

Finally, the agency notes that firms often react to changes in their business environment rather than anticipate them. “This is well reflected in human resources management practices and development initiatives. It is important for companies to implement development strategies of their human capital,” it concludes.



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