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Is Your Small Business Having Trouble Recruiting for IT? Here's Why...

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If you're a small business leader or executive, you may be familiar with how challenging recruiting and retaining IT team members can be. More often than not, IT positions are expensive and difficult to fill.

However, starting in early 2021, the hiring dilemma for IT became even more difficult as a new term began to sweep the internet, “The Great Resignation.” Coined by Professor Anthony Klotz of Texas A&M University, the term represents an economic trend in which employees are voluntarily resigning from their jobs at a significantly higher rate than normal.

The Great Resignation has amplified the skills gap in the IT labour market meaning there are now more open IT positions than professionals to fill them.

“With the hiring freezes of 2020, followed by the widespread implementation of technology demanded by digital transformation, this 2021 surge in Canadian tech jobs has led to unparalleled demand and competition for talent both on and off the market. With the pandemic providing the spark for companies to increase their tech workforce, 80% of businesses are currently in need of IT workers, and 70% of all businesses are having a difficult time finding candidates with the right skillsets.”

Tech Salary Guide 2022

The average cost of an IT resource is skyrocketing, and the turnover rate is at an all-time high.  

Microsoft wrote an excellent article on The Cybersecurity Skills Gap which shares that for every 2 cybersecurity jobs that are filled, 1 sits empty.

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Blog Post: Is Your Small Business Having Trouble Recruiting for IT

As a results of the Great Resignation, recruiting and retaining IT talent just got significantly harder. In an already competitive space this is no small challenge.

tech-job-postings

 

Even if you can recruit IT talent, we’re approaching an inflection point where the cost of IT resources is so expensive that insourcing is beginning to make less and less sense. In 2021, salaries have risen by 6.4% by median in the Information and Communication Technology job sector; with cybersecurity roles leading the pack.

“Additionally, no longer limited to major tech hubs, top-paying companies in the U.S. such as Twitter, VMWare and Google are helping drive up salaries by dipping into the Canadian talent pool.”

– Tech Salary Guide 2022  

And now, we’ve reached a tipping point. We’ve hit a time where the cost and difficulty of recruiting IT resources, combined with the inevitable gaps in security posture created by a forced adjustment to hybrid work, leaves organizations vulnerable (not to mention, cyberattacks are at an all-time high).

Hybrid Workplace = More IT Team Members Required

A lot of small business that had one or two IT members pre-pandemic are finding they can no longer operate status quo.

The pandemic forced businesses to scramble to manage a sudden shift to remote work. Plans—and mistakes—were hastily made. Ad-hoc solutions were implemented and IT departments, if they existed, were stretched far beyond their limits. The necessary shift to remote or hybrid workplaces over the last two years has accelerated the risk factor amongst all industries and requires more IT resources to support.

And as the dust settles after the largest public health crisis of our life, many small businesses are realizing they are never going back to “normal.” Instead, most organizations have concluded that instead of a full-time return to the office a hybrid workplace is the best way forward.​

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How The Pandemic Forces Digital Transformation For Small Businesses

Before the pandemic most small businesses were operating in traditional work environment which meant:

Everyone in the office

Everything behind a firewall

All corporate data inside the perimeter of your office walls (on a corporate device)

Hybrid Workplaces Mean The World Is No Longer Traditional

Today's SMB I.T. environment is challenging. A firewall, antivirus software, email filtering, and backup used to be enough to protect a small business. But now that so many more employees work remotely — moving your sensitive corporate data to the cloud — the threat landscape has drastically changed.

If your IT resources felt pressure before, Covid-19 introduced a force multiplier effect as they had to deploy cloud-based collaboration services and allow employees outside the office to access corporate data.

Organization having to quickly adjust to support a work from home environment has also created a feeding frenzy for bad actors while IT teams were finding out that their traditional security products gave them no visibility into suspicious activity on their cloud network. And now that the vulnerabilities with collaboration products are being exploited, IT has to review these deployments to ensure a security posture consistent with the modern, post pandemic threat landscape.

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Your Small Business Could Be a BIG Target

Small businesses use to be able to manage IT inhouse but as the complexity and sophistication of cyber threats increase, that’s quickly becoming a solution of the past.

Interested in understanding how the pandemic and a forced hasty move to hybrid work means small business are a bigger target for cybercrime than ever before?

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Smart organizations are beginning to rethink their approach to IT and security. If you aren’t sure where to start, the best next step is to get a cybersecurity assessment to understand where your organization stands today and what security gaps currently exist for your organization.

SMB Blog 71

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-Rani Lofstrom, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Microsoft Security

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