News Feature | January 20, 2016

Talent Retention Challenge Will Be An Emerging Channel Threat In 2016

Christine Kern

By Christine Kern, contributing writer

Talent Retention Challenge Will Be An Emerging Channel Threat In 2016

As technology becomes increasingly complex, there will be stiffer competition to attract and retain skilled cybersecurity and IT talent in the workplace. Channelnomics has identified talent retention as one of the top emerging threats for 2016, with cybercrime as a key driver.

According to the Cisco 2014 annual Security Report, there is a significant labor shortage in the field of cybersecurity. And Forbes examined this cybersecurity shortage last fall, calling it an “epidemic” as corporations and government agencies scramble to staff their IT departments to defend against attacks.

Channelnomics quotes Gavin Livingstone, president of Hudson, MA MSP Bryley Systems, who points out IT professionals are leaving the channel for higher-paying cybersecurity jobs in government or startups. “They’re not only just taking talent away,” Livingstone says, “but they’re pushing the salary range up for folks that wouldn’t have made that much money any other way.”

But Shawn Walsh, president of Paradigm Computer Consulting, told Channelnomics that solutions providers are also being challenged by competition from larger players in the market: “I think the market is going to be even slimmer than in the past because of the fact that so many larger companies are expanding their offerings and can offer attractive packages, which make it hard for small service providers to attract top-tier talent.” This will have a strong impact on the channel in 2016, and Walsh advises ramping up recruitment and investing in a positive company culture to attract and retain the best people.

In an article for Forbes’ CIO Network, Mike Guggemos, CIO at Insight Enterprises, agrees, stating that the best way to attract and retain the right talent is through finding the appropriate cultural fit and establishing an IT workplace that attracts the type of employees you want and encourages them to stay. If you find you are considering millennial generation employees, Chris Phillips, CompTIA’s director of member communities, also recommends providing a flexible work environment, meaningful feedback, opportunities to be seen and heard, mentorship opportunities, and workforce integration.