Demographic Change: The Reasons, Implications and Consequences for IT Departments

Demographic Change: The Reasons, Implications and Consequences for IT Departments

Olaf Radant (BearingPoint, Berlin, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/ijhcitp.2014010104
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Abstract

The skill shortage is becoming an ever-increasing challenge for Information Technology (IT) departments. To allocate the resources in the best possible way is even more important. The challenge is to improve the company not only on the side of the organizational and process level, but to develop new strategies and approaches in human resource management. Only a symbiosis of these disciplines will enable relevant and indispensable employees to promote loyalty to the company. A frequent change of the work place, for a well-trained professional, is so long associated with normality until they find the best environment for their needs and expectations. These expectations are no longer just on a financial level. This work will analyse the previous work on these topics and demonstrate first conclusions regarding a way forward.
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1. Introduction

In current times, companies are confronted with continuous changes. They have to face new challenges faster and more target orientated, adapt to new circumstances in maintain a high level of productivity. The requirements on companies will increase in the coming years due to the scarcity of various goods and resources. Statistics prove that in the coming decades the aging population will have blatant effects. In 2030 36% of the population of Germany will be aged 60 years or older and only 47% will be aged between 20 and 60 years. This represents a decrease of 8.2 million people compared to 2012 (Federal Statistical Office Germany, 2009).

Therefore companies have to counteract a significant resource problem on the labour level. Professionals will be hard to find not only in specialist positions, but in all areas of the organization.

Nowadays companies must spend a significant financial amount to the most suitable candidate. In some areas of the IT industry is that alone no longer sufficient, as there are far more jobs than qualified applicants. As a result companies cannot serve the demand of the market and lose money every single day.

If it is possible to hire a desired professional, it is important to keep him or her in the company (Sabir & Sabir, 2010). Additionally to the cost of acquiring, the care of the employee is a considerable effort as well. This includes not only targeted training and a good salary, but also expenses for a feel-good effect to produce well. An example of this expenditure may be to balance work and family.

While the market for young graduates, especially in technical fields is getting worse in the upcoming years (Guildford, 2007), the corporate identification and loyalty of the employees will continue to decrease . This is due to the fact that the frequent change of the work place, for a well-trained professional, is so long associated with normality until they find the best environment for their needs and expectations. Although compensation is critical (Gomez-Mejia, Berrone, & Franco-Santos, 2010), these expectations are no longer just on a financial level.

In addition to the recruitment of appropriate staff, companies have also largely untapped potential (Reinberg, 2004). One example is the better integration of women and older employees. Both groups have individual needs and lifestyles that have to be coordinated with the appropriate economic goals of the company (Krisor, Flasche, & Antonik, 2013). Satisfied employees are the most valuable and productive asset of a company.

To meet the expectations of the employees and the company, new and innovative work models must be developed. That will allow the best balance between work and family. The challenge for the company is, to solve the conflict between a higher degree of temporal flexibility and potentially more leisure time for the employees, while maintaining or increasing productivity. An important aspect in this regard is the consideration of human (Henke & Stantchev, 2009) or usability aspects (Stantchev, 2010) of different technological working environments.

In recent years, on the subject of politics and economy, diverse proposals as a quota for women in business and the current care benefits for mothers were discussed or decided. But often these measures are short-sighted or settled in the wrong places in order to adequately meet the complexity of the problems. This is usually due to a fixation on short-term monetary goals of departments and enterprises that will not meet the long-term nature of a complex challenge like this.

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