Thanks to the many of you who participated in a survey we recently conducted that covered a number of employment-focused matters, including employees’ plans for retirement, hiring new technical employees, and training those employees. In a future issue we’re going to provide significant detail, and a lot of charts, summarizing what you and your peers have told us. In this space I’ll provide a sneak preview of a couple points I found most intriguing from that survey.
The numbers I’m discussing here come from companies whose primary function is the design and/or installation of information and communications technology (ICT) networks. Among those contracting companies, about 25% of the workforce has turned over within a 2-year time period. That doesn’t strike me as particularly notable. A little more than 10% per year doesn’t sound like “The Great Resignation” to me. But what is notable is the feedback we got from managers who have tried to hire installers and technicians within the past year. In most cases, they were looking for workers with less than 5 years of experience with 3 to 4 years being the most-sought-after experience range. The most common experience among those who tried to hire—57% of our survey respondents told us they encountered this situation—was that the candidates applying for the job(s) they had open were either unqualified or underqualified for the position. The next-most-common experience (cited by 46%) was that no candidates or very few candidates applied for the position(s). (We asked our survey respondents to tell us about all their hiring experiences over the previous year. Many were in a position to make multiple hires, so may have had different experiences during different hiring efforts. So the numbers add up to more than 100%.)
Two other hiring experiences happened with just about equal frequency, about a quarter of the time: 1) Hiring managers had a good pool of applicants and were able to choose from multiple qualified candidates, and 2) Desirable candidates’ compensation requirements exceeded what the hiring company was prepared to pay for the position.
So even though I maintain my stance that the ICT industry is not experiencing the Great Resignation, because workers are not leaving the industry in mass numbers, for some it has become a significant challenge to hire the talent you’re looking for. And it’s a higher achievement to do so.
As mentioned earlier, I’m going to have more details, charts, and graphs in an upcoming issue. But for now, if you have had experiences on either end of the hiring process—as a hiring manager or as a prospective hiree—that you would like to share, please do. My email is [email protected]. Charts and graphs are great and can give us one dimension. But stories from the field make an issue come to life. I look forward to hearing yours.