08:28 PM

Report: Uptick In Hiring Could Be Stymied By Lack Of Skilled Workers

Chief executive officers plan to increase head count within the next 12 months, but say finding the correct people for the job has proven difficult, according to Deloitte.

Chief executive officers plan to increase headcount within the next 12 months, but say finding the correct people for the job proves difficult, according to a study released Wednesday.

While 97 percent said they plan to grow their workforce, 41 percent said finding, hiring and retaining qualified employees remains the major challenge, said Tony Kern, deputy national managing principal at Deloitte.

CEOs also have begun to give employees credit for the company's growth. More than half, 66 percent, of the CEOs said high-quality employees contribute most to the company's success, up from 25 percent last year and 19 percent in 2004.

The problem with filling jobs in the United States has been skilled workers from India, China and other educated countries are not as attracted as in prior years to finding jobs in the U.S. market. "The United States and Canada are still attractive places to work, but there are compensating balances in other countries," Kern said.

To attract employees, 71 percent have upped stock options or some form of ownership interest. Others offer flexible work hours, 49 percent, and additional vacation days, 23 percent. Thirty five percent offer training and development programs, and 28 percent provide a career growth plan.

The technology sector has begun to step out of the slump it entered about five years ago, when the market bottomed out, Kern said.

CEOs are finding it easiest to hire people in India. "It's not as third-worldish as you might think," Kern said. "India and China have a long way to go, compared with the U.S. and the U.K., but it's not as backwards or without benefits as you might think and you can live extremely well."

The survey conducted during the first quarter of 2006 by Deloitte’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) Group. Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500 is an annual ranking of the fastest growing technology companies in North America based on percentage revenue growth over five years.

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