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Tipping The Scales With Training

Companies that invest in their employees' professional development have an edge when recruiting IT professionals, new research from Robert Half Technology suggests. Sixty-eight percent of IT workers surveyed said the ability to acquire new skills is very important when evaluating a job opportunity.

Additionally, 64 percent of respondents said they are very concerned about keeping their skills current in the next three to five years. However, in a separate Robert Half Technology survey, 44 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said their companies do not have training and development programs for IT professionals.

The IT worker survey was developed and conducted by Robert Half Technology, a leading provider of information technology (IT) professionals on a project and full-time basis. The responses are from more than 7,500 IT workers to a web survey. The CIO survey was developed by Robert Half Technology and conducted by an independent research firm. The survey is based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees.

IT workers were asked, "When evaluating a job opportunity, how important is the ability to gain new skills in that role?" Their responses:

Very important - 68%
Somewhat important - 30%
Not important - 2%


IT workers were also asked, "How concerned are you about keeping your skills current in the next three to five years?" Their responses:

Very concerned - 64%
Somewhat concerned - 29%
Not concerned - 7%


CIOs were asked, "Does your organization have a training and development program for IT professionals?" Their responses:

Yes - 55%
No - 44%
Don't know - 1%

Robert Half Technology offers employers three tips to help IT staff keep their skills sharp:

  • Pay for relevant learning. Reimburse staff for relevant online classes, educational conferences and courses offered by professional associations or local colleges. If employees seek (or already hold) industry certifications, consider reimbursing them for the costs to obtain and maintain them.


  • Be flexible. If your team members are expected to complete professional development courses on their personal time, they may forgo training opportunities altogether. Be willing to make scheduling accommodations or adjust workloads when necessary.


  • Look inside. If you simply don't have the budget to reimburse employees for continuing education expenses, tap internal subject matter experts. Hold brown-bag training sessions so one employee can educate others on a particular topic. Mentoring arrangements are another proven and cost-efficient way to transfer knowledge and support development.

  • [Full Article]   Aug-11-2013

     

    U.S. Workers Found to Outperform Offshore Staff

    U.S.-based workers show more initiative and are more innovative and more understanding of the business than offshore workers, a new study that looks on sourcing services in the U.S has found.

    These qualities are helping to boost use of domestic IT services, especially as companies move to cloud-based services, said HfS Research, an IT services research firm and consultancy.

    Domestic workers also work harder than offshore staff, but not by much. The difference was 83 percent to 79 percent when responders were asked to assign attributes to their U.S.-based and non-U.S.-based staff, said the report, which was based on a survey of 235 enterprise buyers of $1 billion or more in revenue.

    In most areas associated with productivity, U.S.-based staff exceeded offshore staff by wide margins in this survey. When it came to cultural and communication skills, U.S. based staff was rated 82 percent versus 33 percent for offshore staff. In taking initiative, it was 77 percent to 40 percent, and for being innovative, it was 77 percent to 45 percent.

    When the survey looked at specific IT services functions, the findings narrowed some, but with U.S.-based workers maintaining leads nonetheless. Survey takers were asked, for instance, how satisfied they were with application development work, 77 percent said they very satisfied and satisfied with U.S.-based staff, versus 61 percent for offshore. For IT help desk, it was 71 percent to 54 percent, in favor of U.S. workers.
    [Full Article]   Aug-11-2013

     

    New Research Shows How Social Media, Mobile, and Advanced Self-Service Help Shape the Customer Experience

    The International Customer Management Institute (ICMI) has released its 2013 research report, Extreme Engagement in the Multichannel Contact Center: Leveraging the Emerging Channels Research Report and Best Practices Guide. The study results were collected, compiled and analyzed from a 2013 second quarter poll with over 300 respondents a mixture of call center executives, directors and managers. Their input painted a compelling picture of how channels such as social media, mobile, and advanced self-service help shape and improve the customer experience, first contact resolution, and customer engagement.

    Key findings from the research study include:

  • Only 25% of companies feel their customers are extremely engaged in their brand


  • 90% of customers find the features of social customer service extremely useful or somewhat useful


  • 93% of customers would be MORE satisfied with customer service if they were offered their channel choice


  • Self-service is said to increase deflection rate or lower volume to other channels by 57% of study participants


  • Agents use social media personally, but don't feel comfortable doing so in the contact center


  • 72% consider Mobile a necessary channel; although only 39% of companies support it as a channel.

  • [Full Article]   Aug-04-2013

     

    Survey Highlights Opportunities for Service Organizations to Better Engage Employees

    NICE Systems announced that a benchmark study on trends and best practices in frontline performance management indicates that a majority of companies do not use collaboration and gamification to improve employee engagement. Only 12 percent of companies actively solicit ideas from frontline employees, and less than one third set daily or weekly performance goals.

    Organizations that use gamification from the initial, onboarding stage drive better business outcomes such as performance, engagement, and retention, according to the Aberdeen Group. While technologies such as gamification can be applied to focus the frontline every day, the NICE survey found that companies continue to motivate performance through traditional contests, and two in three companies run those contests less than once per month.

    According to the NICE study:

  • Eighty-eight percent of companies run contests and competitions to motivate employees


  • Contest kick-offs and results are most frequently communicated through email (86 percent) and verbally (49 percent)


  • The most common rewards used in contests and competitions are trophies (78 percent) and financial incentives (57 percent)


  • Gaming mechanics are used infrequently, with only 31 percent of companies exploring some form of digital rewards.

  • [Full Article]   Aug-04-2013

     

    Mid-Year 2013 Salary Survey Released in Time for 2014 Budgeting Process

    To aid in the budgeting process, Janco has just released it MID-YEAR 2013 IT Salary Survey and finding show there has been little movement in compensation for IT professionals in the last 12 months.

    Key survey findings include:

  • IT compensation has increased by 0.45% in the last 12 months.


  • CIOs compensation has increased in the past 12 months the mean base compensation is higher and bonuses are about the same as received in the prior year. The mean compensation for CIOs in large enterprises is now $182,210 (an increase of 1.37%) and $165,702 (an increase of 0.14%) in mid-sized enterprises.


  • Positions in highest demand are all associated with the help desk, big data, quality control, records management, and system analysts.


  • Over the long term IT executives have fared better in mid-sized companies than large companies.


  • In the last 12 months the IT job market has grown by 87,600 jobs according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) not enough to employee the number of IT graduates from US universities or to increase demand.


  • Lay-offs seem to have tapered off, however some companies continue to cut the size of the IT organizations.


  • Cost control is still the rule of the day; however we have seen an increase in the number of "part-timers" and contractors who are focused on particular critical projects.


  • On shore outsourcing has peaked and companies are looking to bring IT operations back into their direct control and reduce operating costs.


  • BYOD and "big data" requirements have increased the demand for system analysts and web designers for both Android and Apple devices as well as the new Windows based phone.


  • Companies are continuing to refine the benefits provided to IT professionals. Though benefits such as health care are available to 82%, IT professionals are now paying a greater portion of that cost.

  • [Full Article]   Jul-28-2013

     

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