Apr 22 2015

NASCIO: IT Workforce an Issue in Nearly Every State

Study reveals that 86 percent of states have trouble recruiting top tech talent.

More than nine out of 10 state governments say salary rates and pay grade structures are a challenge when it comes to recruiting and retaining top technology talent, according to a new study from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers.

The NASCIO survey, State IT Workforce: Facing Reality with Innovation, contains data from 49 states and territories collected earlier this year and includes findings and recommendations for state CIOs.

From the report:

A major concern for state CIOs continues to be the significant number of state IT employees who are eligible for retirement or have been eligible, but postponed retirement due to the economic downturn. In spite of this, there is evidence that the economy is recovering and some states are experiencing record numbers of retirement. For example, late summer/early fall 2014, California saw a sharp uptick California saw a sharp uptick in state-pension applications, rising as much as 64 percent in August 2014. One possible explanation for this could be that, after several years of pay freezes, state workers are now seeing percentage increases and taking advantage of the high three policy. Even still, many states continue to experience hiring freezes and lack of salary increases — all of which have exacerbated the situation.

Some statistics of note: 86 percent of states have difficulty recruiting new employees to fill vacant technology positions, with 46 percent taking three to five months to fill senior-level roles.

Perhaps most important, these workforce issues are “hindering 66 percent of states from achieving strategic IT initiatives,” the report states.

NASCIO has released similar reports in 2007 and 2011. Updating the report is a priority of NASCIO President Stu Davis, who is also Ohio’s CIO.

“For the first time in several years, ‘human resources/talent management’ made NASCIO’s ‘Top Ten’ list for 2015 — a compilation of top priorities for state CIOs,” Davis said in a media announcement. “Therefore, we felt it was important to take a fresh look at the issue.”


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