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Consulting Firm Urges CIOs: Prepare For Worker Shortage

Gartner asserts that CIOs need to create a plan today to deal with a worker shortage in seven years.

Analyst firm Gartner recommends that CIOs prepare now for a shortage of workers that the company says will occur by 2012.

Gartner's human-capital-management practice, people3, has issued a report that outlines four steps CIOs should take in order to avoid being caught under-resourced. According to people3, there will be 21 million new jobs in 2012, but only 17 million people entering the IT industry, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Execs should create a strategic workforce plan that covers at least three years.

Gartner attributes the decline to a drop-off in the number of people studying information technology in school and the aging U.S. population.

The report recommends that CIOs:

  • Set a strategic direction because that will determine workforce needs today and in the future.

  • Do supply-and-demand and gap analyses to find skills that could be in short supply or in abundance. Then build a campaign to address problems that are uncovered.

  • Create a plan that includes recruiting, succession planning, training and development, and other related human-resources programs.

  • Don't let the plan collect dust. It should be evaluated periodically and revised as conditions and needs change. While people3 recommends creating a general three-year plan, longer time frames are required for more distant challenges like that presented by the aging workforce. Plans dealing with aging workers could stretch a decade or longer.

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