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Cost of living crisis driving salary concerns for C-suites

IT leaders have indicated that strategy changes for hiring and training will be necessary to beat the talent shortage while remaining on budget

A close up of two people's hands, pointing to charts on a budget sheet and a third pair of hands doing sums on a calculator

IT leaders have become increasingly worried by cost of living pressures which have raised salary demands of employees to levels that businesses cannot match.

C-suite executives identified salary demands driven by increasing prices as among the top three issues facing organisations amidst tech talent shortages, according to a new report.

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These also included growing demands for a four-day work week, with 40% of respondents having flagged this as a structure they cannot currently provide.

Many respondents indicated that the unstable economic and hiring landscape is making staff recruitment and retention much more difficult, with 42% worried that staff will leave due to burnout. 46% of respondents stated that due to staff shortages, overworked staff are having to 'fight fires' and this is having a detrimental effect on productivity.

The results were published in enterprise software provider Rimini Street’s IT leader future outlook report 2023, which gathered data from a range of CIOs and CTOs throughout the industry.

Filling the talent gaps

46% stated that they are relying on external work partners to meet IT goals. Results also showed that IT leaders are aware of the need for people-oriented changes and more open hiring policies to plug these gaps throughout the year.

To grow teams and fill hiring gaps in 2023, 60% of respondents indicated that they would hire individuals with less experience or skills but an enthusiasm to learn.

Other strategies indicated in the report include a focus on hiring remote or overseas workers (50%) and cross-skilling or upskilling existing workers (39%).

Some firms are also entering into agreements with universities to drive candidates towards skills and careers in high demand, with 48% of those surveyed having indicated that this is an option they will pursue.

Universities can play a key role in boosting digital skills, as well as in fixing the gender bias in STEM roles to improve the overall range of talent available to businesses.

Changing strategies to adopt more flexible work arrangements is also an area that could improve onboarding for businesses. 38% of respondents stated that demands made by high-ranking staff to return to the office were a primary deterrent for potential recruits.

Beyond hiring challenges, executive teams are looking at a range of ways to ensure that current employees have the necessary skills without putting them at risk of burnout.

This is a crucial goal for IT leaders in a tech landscape still impacted by the so-called ‘great resignation’ and prolonged skill shortages of the past few years, and 47% plan on retraining internal staff in 2023.

A number of strategies have been implemented by firms to combat each challenge faced. 52% of respondents stated that they plan to encourage staff to learn skills via virtual training courses, while 46% identified the importance of checking line managers receive training on new technologies and on how to help employees adapt to these.

Reskilling and upskilling workers can be a crucial method for improving employee satisfaction and retention, as it represents a meaningful investment in one’s workforce. 

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