One in four businesses looking abroad for IT talent
IT skills scarcity shifting balance from local knowledge to global flexibility, says international study
The latest findings from an international study by IT resourcing specialist, Experis, show that a significant number of businesses are looking overseas for IT expertise to supplement local talent and knowledge.
The research investigated different approaches to resourcing from businesses around the world across various IT business functions. Development Solutions was the discipline most likely to be handled by international workers, with 32% of businesses across all countries resourcing most or at least half of their work outside of their country.
Yet certain functions are resourced almost exclusively in-country. Only 7% of resourcing for Information Security and Project Management is done mostly out of country. These findings may illustrate companies feel safer resourcing security professionals closer to home, despite improvements in remote working technology. Similarly, it’s possible that Project Management challenges were viewed as more difficult to accomplish without in-person teams.
Geoff Smith, Managing Director, Experis Europe, comments: “Achieving the right balance between local expertise and international flexibility is never a simple task. Modern IT teams are governed by fierce cost and time pressures which often forces them into creating diverse international teams to get the job done. New technology makes it far easier to manage and facilitate this, but there is still a need for long term planning that takes advantage of global talent pools, but keeps local knowledge at the core.”
In the UK, areas most likely to be staffed internationally are Development Solutions (35%) and Business Intelligence & Analytics (32%), while Information Security was one of the least likely to be performed mostly out of country (7%).
In terms of the resource balance, the study also revealed that employers engage a wider range of experts within teams, but the makeup differs with the workforce outside of their home country. With regards to the international portion of their workforces, companies are more evenly divided between exclusively permanent employees (29%), a mix of permanent and contract workers (23%), exclusive use of contract workers (18%) and exclusive use of freelancers (9%). On the other hand, businesses resourcing locally are more like to tap into the permanent workforce (49%) and exclusive reliance on contract (6%) and freelance (5%) workers is much less.
Smith concludes: “Despite a steady incline in the number of UK businesses looking for IT candidates over-seas, our research suggests that they are still able to address many of their resourcing needs locally. This speaks volumes about the calibre of local candidates as it stands, but businesses need to look ahead to the years to come, when demand will increasingly outpace supply. As IT moves from a cost centre, to more of a strategic function, this pressure on available talent resources will increase and the trend of sourcing workers from over-seas will likely accelerate at a faster pace.”