For public-sector administrators burdened with the task of recruiting and retaining information technology (IT) professionals, these are difficult times. A shortage of IT personnel combined with intense demand for new technology skills has made recruiting and retaining staff harried pursuits; additionally, the demand for technical workers in corporate America keeps rising (Pawlowski, Datta, & Houston, 2005). This demand for workers with leading-edge IT skills is exacerbated by the looming retirement of seasoned government workers, estimated at a 30% reduction in public-sector workforce across state governments by 2006 (Council of State Government [CSG], 2002). Despite the mounting demands on IT to be leveraged in state governments as a cost-reducing and efficiency-increasing tool (Levinson, 2003), even with economic recovery (Information Technology Association of America [ITAA], 2004) many scholars and industry analysts fear a widening shortage in available IT professionals (Pawlowski et al.).
Key Terms in this Chapter
Human resource management: This describes the functions within an organization that include the employment of suitable staff and the administration of the employment relationships, as well as both the strategic and operational view of personnel requirements.
Civil Service System: This is a model for managing a bureaucracy in which individuals are selected for employment in the government on the basis of either competitive examinations or special qualifications, such as professional training.
Telecommute: The human resource practice of working off site, often at home, and communicating with the primary office in a different location via a personal computer equipped with communications software.
Perk: A perk is an incidental benefit awarded for certain types of employment.
Special Compensation Plan for Information Technology: It was used in the State of Mississippi to provide methods for employment, promotion, and reassignment that are responsive to organizational needs and offers flexibility in the negotiation and adjustment of salaries (MSPB, 2006).
Flex Time: Flex time is a variable work timetable, in contrast to a traditional work arrangement, which allows employees to set their own schedules.
Electronic Government: This is the transformation of internal and external business processes toward customer-centricity based upon service delivery opportunities offered by new communication technologies (such as Web-based technologies) to better fulfill the purposes of government to provide efficiency and effectiveness as well as fairness and equitability.