The job market is upside down: while job seekers find paradisiacal conditions, companies despair of finding employees and high recruitment costs due to the IT skills shortage.

IT skills shortage

Too few applicants for open positions: IT skills shortage (Photo: Karolina Graboswka -Pexels)

The shortage of IT specialists is getting worse. While many are withdrawing from the labor market due to age, too few are seeking employment due to the declining birth rate. Nursing, catering and construction in particular are suffering. But other sectors, such as IT, are also complaining about a shortage of skilled workers. Many professions in the technology sector are so specialized that a professional search is like looking for a needle in a haystack. This shortage of skilled workers is becoming more and more acute for companies. The career portal Stepstone has quantified the costs for the first time. On average, unfilled positions cost a German company €29,000 one time.

IT specialists are urgently sought

Depending on the size of the company, the costs for IT specialists can rise to dizzying heights, among the highest in comparison to other industries: according to Stepstone, the costs for companies with up to 50 employees amount to €19,269, €37,301 for companies with up to 250 employees and even €96,228 per vacancy for companies with more than 250 employees. The statisticians from StepStone have included the average daily salaries for the duration of the implemented vacancies.

StepStone justifies this with the minimum value added that a filled position generates for employers. However, a potential loss of turnover was not taken into account. It is therefore assumed here that the salary corresponds exactly to the value of the work. Which clearly shows that the actual costs are appreciably higher. It can be assumed that companies lose revenue because they take a very long time to fill a vacancy.

"For this reason, companies need to improve their Recruiting processes very quickly and at the same time invest in employee loyalty in the long term. The challenges are therefore complex," says Ilka Szentkiralyi, Managing Director of the IT recruiting boutique indivHR.

Ms. Szentkiralyi focuses on the recruiting process for her clients. Application processes must be simplified so that potential candidates go through them quickly and with appreciation.

"Companies need to understand that they are applying to potential employees and not the other way around"- Ilka Szentkiralyi continued.

Various statistics show how severe the shortage of IT specialists is in Germany. Across all industries, the Number of vacancies for IT professionals to grow to 96,000 in 2021. This represents an increase of 12 % compared to the previous year. "Digitization is the answer to the pandemic, location competition and climate crisis, but there is a lack of experts to shape and drive it. Incidentally, the shortage of IT specialists not only affects the economy, but also the state, which often loses out when it comes to filling IT jobs," says Bitkom President Achim Berg.

Find IT professionals

IT freight shortage

IT skills gap widens in Germany: 96,000 vacancies. (Graphic: Bitkom)

In times of New Work, employers need to rethink. We live in a globalized world and should think that way. For many jobs it doesn't really matter where someone is based, as long as there is a certain willingness to travel to e.g. team meetings, customer meetings, workshops, etc. "Does it really make sense to leave a position unfilled for months just because no one can be found within a radius of 10-20 km?" - Ilka Szentkiralyi asks.

In times of Corona, people have learned that it is possible to combine work and family better and more deeply. They want to work where they have their friends and family and are happy to go the extra mile at work to do so.

"In the next few years, the number of IT vacancies will continue to rise," Ilka Szentkiralyi is certain.

It will become increasingly difficult, IT professionals for themselves. We are already in full employment as far as IT specialists are concerned. The balance of power is shifting, and that will not change in the next ten years.

This inevitably leads to rising salaries and more flexible working models. Those who refuse to accept this will lose the battle for IT specialists.