Train Us or We Walk

Training is always seen as an employee benefit.

Many companies invest in it heavily, but often the training option was often tied to an individual's career path. 

However, in Hong Kong, IT professionals have had enough.

According to a new Robert Half survey, 95 percent of CIOs surveyed admitted that their IT employees would likely resign if their requested training sessions were not provided.

It means that the role of professional development has now shifted. It is no longer essential for filling apparent skills gaps, but also for retaining top performers, concluded the survey.

“Ongoing professional development is very appealing to many employees who are looking to keep their skills relevant in a rapidly changing world. If ambitious and talented IT professionals feel their career aspirations are not being met, the abundance of available IT jobs simply means they are likely to look for advancement opportunities elsewhere,” said Adam Johnston, managing director, Robert Half Hong Kong. 

One in four CIOs surveyed also see training as the best tool for alleviating the current IT skills shortage. A close second option was promoting IT as an attractive career path for millennials and Gen Z.

One way to improve in-house training was to work closely with education providers and universities, according to 16 percent of CIOs surveyed. Meanwhile, 15 percent believed increased collaboration initiatives from the business community would ease Hong Kong's IT skills shortage.

Interestingly, only 11 percent of CIOs see government initiatives as a viable solution.

“To combat the skills shortage, professional development needs to part of a comprehensive approach which includes IT leaders, government initiatives, education providers and the wider business community working together to increase the influx of IT candidates into the market, developing the skills of existing employees and properly ‘marketing’ the benefits and opportunities available with a career in IT,” said Johnston.

The survey highlighted the battle for IT talents raging across Hong Kong. Ninety-two percent of CIOs said that finding qualified IT professionals was an intense struggle, while 88 percent said that it was equally challenging to get these qualified candidates to join them.