Train and retain, say experts

Focus on Training, CIO’s most recent IT staffing survey, found that IT training is the most utilized benefit in hiring and keeping IT employees, increasing 10 per cent in January 2002 from November 2000 levels. Monetary incentives to sign on with or stay at organizations are less common, with the use of hiring bonuses and staying bonuses continuing to drop by 43 per cent and 47 per cent respectively from November 2000 to January 2002.

It also suggests some training best practices to keep in mind:

Use current employees to train each other. Training doesn’t have to be in the classroom. Instead, share in-house know-how using existing means, such as your company’s intranet.

Get vendors to train workers. Patricia Kennedy, COO, and Kelly Knight, IT director at Acsys Inc., a staffing services company based in Ipharetta, Ga., suggests that CIOs offload training to vendors. “Ask your vendors to provide some online or videoconferencing sessions for your staff,” she said.

Communicate. If you’re cutting training, be open and honest with your staff about why. Kennedy recommends that CIOs listen to their employees and address their needs directly. “Your staff will tell you what they need in terms of training and job satisfaction,” she said.