The majority of IT leaders and IT professionals believe the IT skills gap is real, with 80 percent of leaders and 70 percent of IT pros agreeing with that statement, according to a survey of more than 1,300 IT specialists by TEKsystems.
Additionally, 60 percent of IT leaders say the IT skills gap has a moderate to severe impact on their organization, compared to 45 percent of IT professionals. Only about one-third of all respondents said they believe their organization has the skills in-house to address their needs.
"IT leaders believe the skills gap impacts the organization much more deeply than IT professionals do, perhaps due to the more strategic nature of their role," the report said. "As the ones managing projects and deadlines, it makes sense that IT leaders would feel the effects of the skills gap more than IT professionals, who may be focused on their own work."
However, the report revealed there is a high level of disagreement among IT leaders and IT pros over the underlying reasons for why positions go unfilled.
Seventy percent of IT leaders point to a lack of skills as the biggest issue when seeking quality candidates.
But just a quarter of IT pros claim a lack of skills as a reason why they were not offered a job. IT professionals cite a mismatch in experience or education (63 percent) much more heavily than IT leaders (20 percent).
The top three challenges IT leaders report--an unqualified candidate pool, mismatch of skills needs and skills available, and a small pool of candidates—could indicate inadequate recruiting practices and a lack of consensus around what skills are required to be successful.
Budget constraints was the only other challenge that received over 50 percent of responses.
Meanwhile, over one-third (36 percent) of IT professionals indicated they were never given a reason for why they did not get a job for which they were considered.
The report also revealed 81 percent of IT leaders find it extremely or moderately difficult to find quality candidates, while 73 percent of IT professionals have difficulty finding IT opportunities for which they are qualified.
About half of IT leaders (48 percent) and a little more than half of IT professionals (55 percent) surveyed said that finding IT candidates or opportunities always or often takes longer than anticipated.
However, the majority (63 percent) of IT leaders said they do not believe their organization has developed a strategic workforce plan that positions it to successfully address IT hiring challenges.
"IT professionals are in high demand, and if employers do not provide competitive compensation packages, or take too long to make an offer, the candidate will move on to a different opportunity," the report noted. "For the most part, companies take a Band-Aid approach to solving their IT skills gap issues, instead of creating a plan to tackle the problem holistically."