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Do You Need to Hire an IT Expert?

By Rieva Lesonsky

While there’s much debate about hiring trends in the U.S. and among small business right now, there’s no question about one area of hiring: IT employees are hot. A Monster.com poll of companies that hire IT workers found that a majority of them are planning to hire IT staff in the next 60 days. Sixty percent are doing so as part of overall staff increases, while 45 percent say it’s because their companies are expanding.

The respondents, which included both big and small companies, said they were focusing their IT hires on roles that help align business goals with technology, including developing apps (72 percent), web design/development (57 percent), networking (56 percent), and business intelligence/analytics (55 percent).

While 70 percent say there are fewer qualified candidates available than there are jobs available, 49 percent still feel confident that they’ll be able to find employees with the skills they need. However, 52 percent say IT jobs are increasingly requiring highly specific skills.

If you’re not hiring an IT person for your small business because you think you can’t afford one, maybe you can’t afford not to. Recent research from Microsoft and AMI-Partners reported in Business News Daily shows that small companies that don’t have a dedicated IT manager in place lose a total of some $24 billion in productivity each year.

Instead of hiring an IT manager, many small businesses put the employee who’s the most tech-savvy in charge of technology—on top of his or her other duties. The study, which called these individuals “involuntary IT managers,” found that each of them loses six hours a week, or 300 hours a year, of productivity as they struggle to deal with IT challenges.

The more employees a company has, the more productivity unqualified IT managers cause it to lose.  On top of the lost productivity, 26 percent of involuntary IT managers say they don’t feel qualified to do the job and 30 percent of them say it’s a nuisance.

Image by Flickr user Dnikolos (Creative Commons)


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