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5 Strategies to Adapt to the IT Labor Shortage

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We don’t need to tell you there’s a labor shortage going on. You’re already living it.

This labor shortage doesn’t stop at restaurants and retail, either. It’s extending deeply into the IT labor force, too, with research from Gartner showing that businesses believe nearly two-thirds of new tech is facing slow adoption due to the IT labor shortage.

Let’s make one thing clear: we know you don’t need another think piece on the reasons for this shortage. You need solutions instead.

You can’t solve the labor shortage and neither can we. But with the right strategies, you can adapt and overcome them. Check out these five strategies to adapt to the IT labor shortage that you can apply right now in your service delivery business.

Prepare for Material Shortages & Longer Lead Times

First, think in terms of the theory of constraints. If your IT labor is a critical bottleneck, then one strategy for adapting to the shortage is to clear the path of any other bottlenecks.

Of course, the problem with this is that there are plenty of other bottlenecks right now. Material shortages and longer lead times come to mind.

Material shortages and supply chain issues are another set of factors outside your control. But as frustrating as these factors are, you can plan for them.

Build longer lead times into your IT deployment schedules to account for these delays. Also, build out strategies for rescheduling so you’re prepared for situations in which lead times slip (again).

The last thing you want right now is to squander limited IT labor by being unprepared with the proper materials. So do what you can now to plan for these inevitable delays. It’s the only way to maximize your likely limited IT labor.

Invest In Existing Staff (or Partner with a Firm That Does)

It may seem obvious, but your most precious IT resources are the ones that you already have. Bear in mind, though, that in a labor shortage like this one, those personnel are even more likely to go searching for greener pastures (in this case, bigger paychecks).

If you’re in an organization that employs its own IT staff, now is the time to invest in that staff. Find out what they want and what they need. Re-evaluate pay structure, even if it’s not the right point in the business year to do so. If you can do more for these crucial team members, do it. As hard a time as you’re having to augment or extend this staff, you can’t afford any more losses.

If you’re in a field services or service delivery company that doesn’t employ its own IT personnel, you’re a step removed from this process. Still, you’ll reap dividends in the long term if you partner with a quality IT deployment partner, one that invests in its existing staff and has the network to find new (admittedly scarce) personnel.

If you’re wondering: Kinettix is doing exactly that. We have the scale and the resources both to take care of our staff and to find the right talent — even in a labor shortage.

Consider Whether Your Benefits Align with Candidates’ Expectations

Since the early COVID lockdowns, there’s been a seismic reshuffling in terms of what employees (or candidates) expect of an employer. In the face of an IT labor shortage, now is the time to evaluate your benefits package and work culture. Do these elements align with what the candidates of 2022 are looking for?

Grow Your Contingent Workforce

One potential shortcut to the current labor shortage is to get creative in how you think about IT labor. If you’re only considering full-time, in-person applicants, you’re shutting out a significant amount of the applicant pool.

At Kinettix, we’re big believers in relying on a contingent workforce as a way to augment capabilities, get local talent for on-site deployments, and more. Many IT professionals prefer to work as freelancers or other contingent workers, keeping multiple clients happy with their hyper-focused skills.

This method can also be one way to unlock access to more IT professionals — for example, parents who have bowed out of the full-time or in-person workforce due to childcare responsibilities or COVID concerns.

Maximize Resource Efficiency Through Field Services Management Software

Again, if labor is a bottleneck, it’s important than ever to maximize efficiency in the field. Sending too many techs to an IT deployment is an obvious waste, but so is sending a tech without the right tools for the job. When there literally isn’t another tech to send, you can’t afford for your techs to make multiple trips when one should’ve been enough.

Field services management software can be the key to maximizing resource efficiency in this way. Know where your techs are, what they need, and gain the ability to respond in near real-time.

For more on how Kinettix can help you improve outcomes in field services and service delivery, reach out to us today.

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Lisa Cook

Written by: Lisa Cook

With more than 30 years in the technology field, Lisa has deep experience overseeing the design, analysis, implementation, deployment and support of varying sizes and complexities of technology initiatives across a broad range of industries. Her experience has allowed her to provide all aspects of technology deployment support to national and global clients such as Walgreens, Ulta Beauty, Office Max, Walmart, Blockbuster, American Eagle, Chrysler, Simon Property Group, and CBL & Associates. As the founder of OPL Technologies, Lisa is an integral part of the Kinettix Team due to her expertise in designing and managing complex multi-site technology deployments. She is the author of the recently released book “Designing Retail Success: A Blueprint for Designing Retail Technology Deployments.”

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