Preparing for a Hiring Frenzy—Protecting Your IT Talent

By Charlotte Huff

Oct. 1, 2009

What can your company do to protect and support valued IT employees before recruiters come courting? Experts offer a mix of strategies:

Salary does indeed matter: Companies with IT talent—particularly those whose employees have health care expertise—should watch hiring trends closely in case they need to thaw any recession-related wage freezes, says John Stevenson, a Dallas-based information technology executive consultant. “Having a frozen wage base could harm them quickly,” he says.

Beyond pay: Re-examine your fringe benefits. While pay in the health care field may not necessarily be as high as in other industries, those jobs may offer better health insurance and longer-term career stability.

Be proactive: If you’ve laid off talented IT employees, start reconnecting with them to discuss upcoming opportunities, says Walt Zywiak, a principal researcher in Computer Sciences Corp.’s Healthcare Group. Health care leaders also should work hard to retain any employees with systems implementation skills, even if it’s on a consulting basis, he says.

Keep the work challenging: Bored employees may be enticed away by an emerging IT field, says Marty Witrak, who chairs the workforce subgroup of the National Rural HIT Coalition. “I would make the jobs in my own industry as exciting as possible, because I think they are going to be very exciting in health care.”

Charlotte Huff is a writer based in Fort Worth, Texas.

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