CIOs in 2023 want to know: who has talent?

As the IT talent shortage continues in 2023, CIOs are increasing their recruiting efforts with new models such as upskilling, job sharing and rotations, as well as increasing wages and providing benefits to retain workers.

Employer job openings for tech roles in the United States in November 2022 totaled nearly 270,000, the lowest in nearly two years, partly reflecting a tighter economy, lower costs and layoffs in the sector, according to the CompTIA trade group. The data suggests there are still more hirings than layoffs of talent, with the unemployment rate for tech roles falling to 2% from 2.2% in October, the group said.

Some technology leaders claim that while there is talent available, there is a skills mismatch and a clear shortage of available candidates with expertise in cybersecurity fields.

HP CIO Ron Warrior. He said companies that prioritize workplace culture and diversity are likely to come out on top.


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HP Inc.

CIOs in companies like Kroger Co.

Duke Energy Corp.

and Cardinal Health Inc.

say picking up and keeping talent will be a key priority for them in the new year as they continue to execute on their modernization efforts and strengthen their cyber defenses. Some also believe that the changing economy could make it easier to fill vacancies, although the short-term talent market remains difficult.

“It’s been a source of not deprioritizing, but re-sequencing the work that we do,” Kroger CIO Yael Cosset said of the talent shortage.

Mr. Cosset said that over the past year he has spent a lot of time building development programs, where employees across the company, both those working in technology and others areas, spend a week learning in-depth technical topics to make them more proficient in their roles.

Upgrading skills is a priority for CIOs across all industries. Duke Energy is developing certification programs and partnering with software companies on training programs to help in-house talent learn new skills, CIO Bonnie Titone said.

“As finding the best technology and security talent in the market has become more competitive, developing the talented workforce we already have has become even more critical,” she said.

Some companies change the composition of their teams in the hope that they will be more efficient and effective. For example, Advanced Micro Devices Inc.

CIO Hasmukh Ranjan said he was moving away from an outsourcing model to instead having the majority of IT talent in-house.

“[It] may seem counter-intuitive because many companies outsource to reduce costs,” he said, adding that “we believe that by outsourcing we can make our workforce more efficient.”

Diogo Rau, chief information and digital officer at Eli Lilly & Co., is also trying to bring more work in-house rather than relying on vendors, adding that there is a clear benefit to having the skills and knowledge within the company.

“It helps you go faster and cheaper on a lot of things,” Rau said, adding “I don’t think vendor management is really the skill a fresh college grad wants to learn.”

David Burden, CIO of software company Forgerock Inc.,

said companies will also rely on job sharing, rotations and contractors to augment teams.

Cardinal Health CIO Michelle Greene said the organization is raising salaries for key positions such as cybersecurity to retain workers.

“People are constantly looking for our security talents,” she said. In addition to salary increases, she said it was also important to provide other benefits, including constant training, commitment and the opportunity to attend conferences and engage with peers from all disciplines. .

Company culture is also critical to some CIOs’ retention efforts.

“As we face an ongoing IT skills shortage, companies that prioritize workplace culture, diversity and meeting fairness will likely come out on top,” HP said. Inc.

CIO Ron Warrior.

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Others hope that a changing economy could relieve the talent market. Startup layoffs make the prospect of working for established, stable companies more attractive, said Alex Cook, head of strategic capabilities at New York Life Co.

Mr Cook said he was already starting to see the impact as some employees who left for tech insurance startups boomeranged back.

Tourbillon Corp.

CIO Dani Brown said she has yet to see this change happen. “When it comes to cyber capabilities, there’s a lot more demand than talent,” she said, “I wish there had been more.”

A growing number of CIOs across industries have also said that revitalizing workforce retention strategies and finding ways for existing teams to be more productive will remain a priority through 2023.

“Without the right people, the right technology is useless,” said Penelope Prett, Chief Information, Data and Analytics Officer at Accenture.

Write to Isabelle Bousquette at isabelle.bousquette@wsj.com

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